Bring some tea tree oil and some garlic, just in case. Or maybe a heavy duty flamethrower depending on the size of the spider. Err, spoiler.
After a heady week last time, “Arachnids in the UK” brings Doctor Who back to some proper creepy B-movie horror. Well, depending on how much you like spiders probably depends on how much you were scared by the skittery blighters on display here—as someone who is very much not a fan of our eight legged friends, it definitely sent some chills up my spine a few times, no matter what quantity of pro-Spider propaganda the BBC could hurl me at the same time it was asking me to be petrified of giant mutant spiders!
But aside from the spiders, this was another episode that feels deliberately in tone with classic-era Doctor Who. Science gone wrong, toxic waste, asshole businessmen in the vein of a certain president of the United States? If that was Jon Pertwee running around with Yaz, Ryan, and Graham, I wouldn’t have batted an eye. Well, except for the fact it wouldn’t have been Jodie Whittaker, who once again turned in a delightful performance—funny and awkward and hitting all the right Doctor-y notes, but bringing with it a vulnerability that so few Doctors have tapped into.
There is a youth to the thirteenth Doctor that goes beyond simply the charming energetic swagger of past Doctors like Tennant and Smith, an earnestness and emotional openness, and it is a delight to watch her grow alongside her very own Team TARDIS. I’d still like to see more from Yaz, as nice as getting a bit of her family drama was, but now they’re firmly all onboard as wanderers in the fourth dimension, Doctor Who can carry on on this rather lovely streak it’s got going.
We’ll have more thoughts on the episode in our recap tomorrow, but for now, let us know what you thought of “Arachnids in the UK” below. Just... don’t play any Stormzy. It’ll attract more spiders!