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‘Doctor Who’ season finale recap: 11×10 “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos”

Doctor Who season finale recap: Season 11, Episode 10, “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos,” Aired Dec. 9, 2018

I’m so sad to write that this is the Doctor Who season finale. This season was too short! “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos” brought back a familiar face out of nowhere. Plus, like all important Who episodes, The Doctor gave a speech about the universe and how it’s full of surprises.

We’ll have to wait until 2020 for a new full season. Until then, let’s get to this finale!

This season’s big bad

The preview we got of this episode last Sunday was very misleading. Remember how we all thought the voice The Doctor recognized would be an old companion or someone along those lines? WRONG.

Doctor Who season finale The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos Tim Shaw Tzim-Sha the Stenza

The voice was that of Tzim-Sha (Tim Shaw), the Stenza from episode one of the season. Some people predicted he’d be the big bad of the season. Congrats to them for figuring that out so early. Tzim-Sha had no real reason to be the baddie in this episode, but there he was.

Ranskoor Av Kolos

Doctor Who season finale The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

Turns out when The Doctor sent Tzim-Sha away, he landed on Ranskoor Av Kolos, a planet with the power to mess with the mind. To make things even worse, the planet’s inhabitants, the legendary Ux, thought Tzim-Sha rather magnificent, and they worshipped him as “The Creator.”

Tzim-Sha was in pretty bad shape after the landing, so he had the Ux use their special abilities to keep him alive. Of course, he’s the bad guy, so he also had them create a weapon through which he stole five planets. He targeted any planet that ever opposed the Stenza, especially Earth.

Doctor Who season finale The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos Graham sarcasm

“Just in the foot, just to shut him up”

Doctor Who season finale The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker takes down The Stenza

Sacrificing their own neural dampeners, The Doctor and Yaz de-weaponized the Ux, exposing their own minds to the planet’s tricks. Meanwhile, Graham and Ryan confronted Tzim-Sha for the first time since Grace’s murder. Together, the two were strong enough to not kill him, even if he would’ve deserved it.

Doctor Who season finale The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos Graham O'Brien and Ryan Sinclair confront the Stenza Tim Shaw Tzim-Sha

Lingering question: Why did Tzim-Sha get a name-spelling change from the first episode? He was definitely Tim Shaw before, but IMDb has it changed this time around. Hmm…


Welp, the finale felt to me like most of the other episodes this season, but I didn’t think it was as terrible as the general consensus would have you believe. I just didn’t get the whole finale vibe until that speech at the very end.

I am still loving Jodie Whittaker in this role, and I really can’t wait to see her in another season. I’m hoping she’ll interact with a classic enemy or two next time. I also have high hopes she might get her own story.

We have quite a wait until the next season, but the New Year’s Day special is fast approaching!

New Year’s Day:

What did you think of “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos”? Let us know at @PureFandom on Twitter!

Doctor Who New Year’s Day special airs Jan. 1 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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