The second episode of Series 11 finds the Doctor and her friends facing almost certain death in the depths of space before being temporarily rescued... but then crashing onto a planet where the entire environment is toxic to all life. And there's no way home. It's one of those days.
Following a very traditional Who template this new series goes from "Modern-day Earth under threat" to "Outer space adventure" to next week's "Celebrity historical" - so this second episode is following in the footsteps of The End Of The World or The Beast Below as a way of introducing the latest set of companions to the joys and terror of space travel in the Whoniverse.
As this review is ( typically ) on the late side and the "spoilers" mentioned in the blog title above are all out there, as well as tons of reviews that are better than anything I could scribble down, I thought I'd just go with some quick thoughts on the episode...
Things I loved about The Ghost Monument:
The new title sequence at last! Wonderfully new but retro with a Pertwee-era vibe
"This is my Tardis" ( proper shivers down the spine )
That bass-heavy theme tune
Stunning South African location footage
Ryan and ladders :-)
The return of Venusian Aikido ( but no "Hai!" )
Jodie of course
Custard creams in space
( I never thought I'd say this but ) I really like Bradley Walsh
Things that were less than lovely in The Ghost Monument:
Why have Art Malik as a guest star then completely waste the opportunity?
Far too much exposition
Fairly useless robot enemies
We really need to see more of Yaz...
All in all, this was a solid adventure which looked stunning, with some lovely moments ( "Come to daddy!" ) but didn't quite have the adrenaline-rush of The Woman Who Fell To Earth ( and again this is in keeping with the previous "Space adventure" episodes I mentioned above ), so I'm giving this one:
Three And A Half Sonic-Screwdrivers ( or tiny crystal Tardises )
Soundtrack: Kablammo! by Ash ( going to see them in Bristol on Friday! Yay! )