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‘Doctor Who’ recap: 11×04 “Arachnids in the U.K.”

Doctor Who recap: Season 11, Episode 4, “Arachnids in the UK,” Aired Oct. 28, 2018

Guys, I am NOT a fan of spiders, yet I was seriously looking forward to this episode. I saw this as a Doctor Who Halloween episode, and I was thoroughly creeped out. Well done, Chris Chibnall. Also, “Arachnids in the U.K.” would absolutely cause “Anarchy in the U.K.”

“My fam”

Doctor Who 11x04 Arachnids in the U.K. The Doctor and her companions

Turns out the companions aren’t yet permanent companions when the episode begins. Reluctant to part, The Doctor and Ryan go for tea at Yaz’s, where the group starts noticing copious amounts of spider webs. Meanwhile, Graham has trouble dealing with the loss of his wife when he learns it’s only been half an hour since they’d left in that first episode. The gang comes back together under the threat of the “Arachnids in the U.K.”

Doctor Who 11x04 Arachnids in the U.K. The Doctor and Companions Team TARDIS

By the end of the episode, the TARDIS crew are official companions! Only took 4 episodes.

Not an itsy-bitsy spider

I jumped every time the spiders showed up on the screen; those things are terrifying. Even worse, the spiders are huge! I’m just glad I watched this during the day, or I’d be incapable of sleeping. And to spare us all (but mostly myself), I won’t include any spider gifs in this recap.

Doctor Who Arachnids in the U.K. giant spiders

Guys, 21 quadrillion spiders. This episode is my worst nightmare. Unusual spider activity all over the U.K. leads The Doctor to the hotel Yaz’s mom works at, bringing everyone together. The spiders try to seal them in, and it’s up to The Doctor to save them all from “Arachnids in the U.K.”


Besides the spiders, The Doctor deals with a hotel chain owner-turned political candidate named Robertson. Robertson built this specific hotel on a landfill, and the spiders were affected by the toxic waste. The spiders can grow indefinitely now, as long as they’re alive. That’s got to be one of the worst mutations I can think of. But the uncontrollably growing spiders can grow too large for their own survival, and Robertson shoots the mother spider, directly defying The Doctor’s orders.

Doctor Who 11x04 Arachnids in the U.K. The Doctor puts Jack Robertson in his place

The show really tried to make the spiders sympathetic, but I’m still terrified of them, tragic backstory or not. However, the political commentary was amusing.


Well, I’m absolutely horrified at “Arachnids in the U.K.” I’m seeing those things every time I close my eyes. Happy Halloween, Whovians!


Next week:

What did you think of “Arachnids in the UK”? Let us know at @PureFandom on Twitter!

Doctor Who airs Sunday nights on BBC America at 8/7c.

(Image: BBC)


Jordan Alperstein

Jordy has a degree in English literature and communication studies. When she isn't attending concerts, she's watching way too much TV for her own good and fangirling over fictional characters. Jordy is a self-proclaimed optimist and bookworm, and she's a sucker for fantasy, superheroes, and good old-fashioned villains.

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