Yaz has a dangerous encounter with the robo-postie.
Photo: BBC

Bah. Who needs teleporting, creepy-looking robot deliverymen when you can just put something on the internet? Much quicker for open threads to talk about Doctor Who, that!

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Although I have personally vastly enjoyed this season of Doctor Who’s tone—the way its fantastical allegory has been pulled back to tell meaningful, powerful stories, using the past and future as windows on our present—“Kerblam!” has been the most it has felt like prior incarnations of the show, and in a very good way.

It mixed in its timely critique of labor issues and retail conglomerates like the Amazons of the world with the sci-fi allegory that has been mostly absent in season 11 so far—from your sinister robots in the form of the “Kerblam Man” android workers, to that most classic of all Doctor Who staples, an everyday item turned into something petrifying. Killer bubble wrap! Honestly, rude of Doctor Who to put that idea in our heads just as holiday shopping is ramping up and we’re all surrounded by deliveries laden with bubble wrap. Will they be laced with billions of micro explosives? Probably not. Am I gonna think about it every time I’m tempted to pop a bubble? Absolutely.

It didn’t quite commit all the way into a full on old-school romp—the robots, while still pretty sinister, are ultimately unwitting tools of a very human plan—and there’s still lessons to be learned, something this season has strived to do, and has mostly done so pretty successfully. But as a middle ground between the lighthearted adventure storytelling and the more heady emotional dramas we’ve been getting, “Kerblam!” fit in quite nicely, even if its compromises between those two ever-present sides of Doctor Who left a few threads open that probably shouldn’t have been. But as a reminder that Doctor Who can still do a good space adventure while delivering timely messages, it was over all a pretty decent success.

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We’ll have more to say in our full recap tomorrow, but lets us know your thoughts in the comments below.