Home Forums Episodes The Thirteenth Doctor Resolution

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    Craig @craig


    Firstly, as I’ve been a bit AWOL over the holiday season, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas (or whatever you celebrate – or even if you don’t) and I wish all commentators, and all who just pop in for a read, a very Happy New Year – even though we will be, sadly, Doctorless. I’ll try to keep the site reasonably lively over the coming year with retrospectives and more visits to older episodes.

    This hour-long special episode, written by Chibnall, is obviously a resolution to the series and a play on New Year resolutions. I begin to think Chibnall’s greatest talent is his titles! It is directed by Wayne Yip who did a brilliant job on “The Lie of the Land” and “Empress of Mars” last year, and also directed the best episode of Class, “What Quill Did”.

    Charlotte Ritchie is one of the guest stars. She was one of the leads in Channel 4’s comedy “Fresh Meat” and has been in “Call the Midwife” for the last three years. Nikesh Patel, who was one of the leads in the TV series “Indian Summers” also guest stars, along with Daniel Adegboyega, who has had parts in many TV shows, including “Torchwood”, and has been in several big-budget movies including “Skyfall”.

    Once again, little is known about this episode but as far as I can tell the TARDIS team return home at New Year just as a terrifying alien threat from Earth’s history is stirring. Unless you’ve been in hiding, I think you probably already know what that threat is but I’m not going to spoil it here. Let’s hope this series is ‘resolved’ with a bang.


    A lone Dalek. Always more interesting than an army of them.

    Can anyone remember how long a rel is?

    Wayne Yip can definitely do more.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Well I liked that! As @pedant says – lone daleks are scary. Especially when they’re on a mission. Not perfect, but loads to like. And yay for the return of skeleton exposing extermination effect.

    Loved the steampunk dalek, and the parallel with the Doctor constructing her new sonic from bits of Sheffield steel in ep 1. And was the Doctor really going to sacrifice Ryan’s dad for the greater good of destroying the dalek? Looked like it to me. A definitely darker steely edge to 13.

    Lots to talk about re this series, once I’ve had a chance to catch up on previous discussion (could be a while!) But there’s definitely a feeling of very old school Who for me, like way back to 1963. I also like this move away froom Christmas Day special to New Year, tat definitely freshened it up a bit – and gave them a great reason for fewer cast and empty streets.

    PS How long is a rel – no idea! I think it’s relative – and depends on whether there’s time travel involved 🙂

    Mudlark @mudlark


    A lone Dalek. Always more interesting than an army of them.

    Very true. Just as Eccleston Doctor’s encounter with the lone, semi dormant Dalek and his reaction to it conveyed the menace of the species far better than later massed battalions, this resurrected specimen had real impact and allowed Whittaker to display her full range as the Doctor. Suspension of disbelief was a little strained in accepting that it could construct its new carapace/vehicle, entire and complete with electronics and armed weaponry, just from scrap in a farmer’s workshop and forge, but the result was impressive in a steam-punk fashion and with additional functions to boot! It also recalled the manner in which the Doctor manufactured her new sonic screwdriver in the first episode of the series.

    Chibnall’s strengths as a writer were on full display in the extended scenes between Ryan and his father although I thought the way those scenes were interwoven and integrated into the Dalek narrative wasn’t exactly seamless, I was happy enough to overlook the jarring notes because of the emotional impact of the script as interpreted by the actors. And in the end the threads came together and Chekov’s microwave saved the day 🙂

    And so Brexit means no more UNIT? Bastards!




    I suspect a rel is exactly as long as it needs to be for plot purposes!

    I suspect the very Brexity disposal of UNIT is going to make a lot of Angry Virgins a lot angrier.

    Anonymous @

    Kudos to Chibnall and co. I had just about decided to give up on the show for at least a year. But Resolution wasn’t just the best thing this series, even better than It Takes You Away, but it holds up against RTD/Moffat material, in terms of what I’m looking for. A few thoughts:

    The Recon Dalek definitely reminded me of Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters, especially its opening dialog.  Glad they kept Nicholas Briggs.

    The suspension of UNIT shouldn’t surprise anyone. Chibnall doesn’t want his show cluttered up with things people loved in the past; he wants it cluttered up with things people will love in the future. Can’t fault him for the goal, just whether he achieves it or not.

    I love Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and Osgood, so I started getting mad. But honestly, the way the Helpline was so unhelpful was too well done.

    Love the Doctor going all badass. Been waiting all season.

    Didn’t completely like the old villain’s-defeat-isn’t-real-try-again trope, but it didn’t spoil the special for me. RTD and Moffat both didn’t always have the resolution episode (sorry about that) be as good as the set-up either.

    Finally, I realized that if Chibnall had followed RTD instead of Moffat, I wouldn’t have been anywhere near as disappointed by almost all of this last series. RTD was great, but I got spoiled big-time by Moffat.

    P.S. I’m sure some past reference to rels was specific enough to be converted approximately to seconds or minutes or whatever. But we should keep in mind all the time dilation involved in the flight of Recon Dalek… (I know that doesn’t make any sense, but technobabble only needs to be plausible.)

    P.P.S. BBC America stretched this 60-minute special to 90 with commercials. Yeesh.

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @pedant   @scaryb “Can anyone remember how long a rel is?”

    I believe a rel is 1.2 seconds, or at least that’s what it was in Evolution of the Daleks (if my memory is right).

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    I thought that was good. And nothing like a Dalek to make the Doctor go, well, full Doctor. I’m the Doctor, Earth is protected. Maybe if I just tell them that they’ll go away…

    100% thought Graham would sacrifice himself for Ryan’s dad.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Also, one thought. When she comments about dads being complicated ‘so I’m told’ is that a nod to her relationship (or lack of it) with her own father, or a comment on her relationship with her own children in the past?



    Chibnall doesn’t want his show cluttered up with things people loved in the past; he wants it cluttered up with things people will love in the future

    That’s a splendidly tendencious way of phrasing it. It was an exercise in cruft-clearing:

    RTD used the Time War to sweep away the Time Lords;

    Moffat used the cracks in time to sweep away Victorian cybermen and the Battle of Canary Wharf;

    Chibnall used a little brexit joke to pop Unit in its box until he needs it again (“other armies are available”).

    Significantly, he didn’t have to do too much because Moffat paid him the courtesy of clearing a lot of his own cruft away, as RTD had done for him.

    Cruft is a show-killer. It is what alienates potential new fans. Another approach is, of course, the flagrant disregard for continuity that the show has exhibited for its entire history, but that is a bit harder in an online age with Youtube’s cancerous algorithms.


    When she comments about dads being complicated ‘so I’m told’ is that a nod to her relationship (or lack of it) with her own father

    Or possibly about her previous incarnations, or why Doc 1 removed Susan from Gallifrey.


    Anonymous @


    That’s a splendidly tendencious way of phrasing it.

    I know, I know, sorry.  I came up with the first half of it in initial reaction…and then realized he was being quite reasonable.  But I just couldn’t resist.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Thanks for the clarification on the length a  Rel, @countscarlioni, although I also think @pedant has a point that it’s as long/short as it needs to be for dramatic tension, haha. (And thanks also to Pedant for the extension to my vocabularly – so a cruft is a bit of a shaggy dog then…? )

    @miapatrick – I agree that the dads being complicated… “or so I’m told” comment was loaded, and also said with a metaphorical wink.  As was Ryan calling Graham “Gramps” in front of his dad – that was for Aaron more than it was meant for Graham, I reckon.


    @scaryb – cruft is the massive amount of incidental, background and procedural detail that builds up in long running stories,  that only nerds like us really care about.  And which, more significantly, can push future writers into a corner where it is basically impossible to focus on what the story is about, and instead get caught worrying about how the story works. The servant becomes the master. Late season X Files is a show that never properly addressed this problem and vanished up its own wotsit.

    Totally agree about who ‘gramps’ was aimed at. Clear snark at Aaron.

    Speaking of Aaron, he’s clearly a broken character in a long Doctor Who tradition, but that as not really explored. It will be interesting see see if they delve deeper into that in S12.

    Anonymous @


    It will be interesting see see if they delve deeper into that in S12.

    Definitely.  And since Yaz could stand a little more attention from the writers, we can hope the same is true for her.  (I’m trying to come up with a bonkers theory to connect Aaron and Yaz, which would be easier if we hadn’t met her dad already.  Could Mrs. Khan have had a fling?????)  (I hope not.)

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @kevinwho agree about Yaz, the problem at the moment is that the Doctor absolutely loves her, but we haven’t really seen much of why. I mean, we can see why she would, she’s a perfectly lovely character, but we haven’t really seen her do much – in this episode, she escorted two people through the vault to the stairs.

    So like a lot of people I’m hoping that now the Graham-Ryan relationship has been worked through – which is a decent reason why they had relatively more action and screen time – we can see more of the Yaz-Doctor pairing. looking at the episodes, she’s physically positioned as the primary companion – she’s usually the one the Doctor takes with her while Ryan and Graham stay together – but most of the attention is on them. And the thing is, there is a lot more she could contribute – the Doctor is adjusting to people responding to her as female (not as much of an automatic authority figure). Yaz is a female police officer, so dealing with that is essentially what she’s doing when she isn’t on the Tardis.

    At the same time I can see why there is so much focus on the male companions with a female Doctor, just as there was always more focus on Rose than Mickey, Amy than Rory, it’s the counterpoint. But what made Rory such a great character was his differences, his occasional critique of the Doctor, because there are many more than one kind of man. And I do worry that Yaz and the Doctor are a little too similar. Which also makes the exposition function of the companion a little trickier, exposition in dialogue comes across a lot better when there is an element of conflict, the companion not just asking the doctor what they’re going to do, but why, is that a good idea, etc.

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    Apologies if this is a double post, but my attempted edit seems to have deleted the post…

    @kevinwho @pedant

    I’ve got to admit, wiping UNIT away, some of the most-longstanding “cruft” in Doctor Who, was something that caused me a certain amount of disappointment. It can obviously be reinstated as necessary though, so that’s not a decision that needs to stick. And if it does come back, then it can be remolded to whatever new vision the writers choose. In any case, the story was probably better for not having UNIT complicating the personal battle of Doctor versus dalek though.

    I agree with the comments that a single dalek poses a more interesting threat, if not actually a more credible one, than a battalion of them. I’m not sure if the Doctor is actually concerned that the lone dalek would be able to contact allies, particularly in any reasonable amount of time, if it it relying on radio communication, as seems to be the case. If 9000 rels is a few hours, that does seem unreasonably optimistic in any case.


    Chibnall doesn’t want his show cluttered up with things people loved in the past; he wants it cluttered up with things people will love in the future.

    I’m concerned that if too much is wiped away, then what is put back in a couple of seasons won’t have the same depth. Particularly if many episodes are one-offs that don’t leave much to revisit in the future.

    Anonymous @


    [T]he Doctor absolutely loves her, but we haven’t really seen much of why.

    That’s very well put, as is your later point about conflict.  When they work out more of who she is, I hope they’re thinking of that latter point, and remember to show us how she differs from the Doctor too.


    [UNIT] can obviously be reinstated as necessary though…

    Indeed.  Maybe next series, if they want to poke the US, they can use UNIT instead of not-Trump.  Some semi-comedic gung-ho types (think Strax toned down) could be pretty funny.  Plus the Doctor could bring back the old “been some cowboys in here” line.

    I’m concerned that if too much is wiped away, then what is put back in a couple of seasons won’t have the same depth. Particularly if many episodes are one-offs that don’t leave much to revisit in the future.

    Agree completely.  @pedant is right about the cruft, but it’s a balancing act.  Take away too much and you get both the problem I alluded to in Home, plus the stories can feel like they aren’t set in the same universe.  And, as you said, you can lose depth.  “Oh, another rando alien to dispatch, whatever,” isn’t the audience reaction anyone’s looking for.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @pedant, quite, I was thinking of Susan’s parents. Something his (at the time) children said to him? Something Susan said to him?

    It’s also made me think, she’s mentioned lots of grandmothers, there was that woman in an RTD episode that was apparently confirmed as his mother. No mention of father figures other than the Doctor travelling with his granddaughter. The barn on Gallifray, some kind of elite boarding school? (elite boarding schools in England tended to be quite harsh living conditions) or did it connect so much with Danny at the orphanage because the Doctor was a kind of orphan? Or some kind of Spartan system where children leave their homes when they’re very young.

    The High Council always reminded me of Pubic School types. Which would be the natural thing for the writers of the time to draw on. But we did end up with a kind of mindset as a result of so many children sent to live in, as I said, quite brutal conditions, and ending up in positions of power.

    So the Doctor might have a quite complicated and distant relationship with fatherhood from both sides of the equation.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Public school types, I mean of course. That said…

    syzygy @thane16

    @kevinwho @pedant

    are we tendencious about the tendentious?

    Anonymous @

    @thane16 @pedant – I have a tendency that way…

    Anonymous @


    [T]hat woman in an RTD episode that was apparently confirmed as his mother.

    The mysterious woman in The End of Time was intended to be his mother, but RTD left it open.  (I always liked to think it was Susan’s mother.)

    But you bring up an interesting point.  That woman was closely associated/related somehow; there’s Susan, and all those grandmothers; other than the Tenth Doctor mentioning a brother once (to Rose?), it’s all women.

    Being from the US, I’ve never met anyone from a public school, at least not that I knew of.  But I have run into people with that “I’ve been through hell, so you should go through it too” mindset.  Not fun when they get power…

    Rob @rob

    Happy New Year Peeps

    Was away up in Cambridgeshireshire for a wobbly drinks start to 2019 and have therefore only just watched this years only offering.

    On the scientifically proven self built Whometer it scored a inspirational 56.78432r  (not sure what that is in Rells though)

    I shall post later when I’ve had time to think more about the episode

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @miapatrick  @scaryb

    Yes, that ‘So I’m told’ was freighted with a lot of potential meaning, and in ‘Listen’ the situation of the boy in the barn suggested that, if not actually orphaned, he had been separated from family for purposes of training in some kind of elite academy.  On the other hand, also in ‘Listen’, we saw the Doctor putting young Rupert/Danny to sleep with a touch on the forehead and the laconic explanation ‘Dad skills’.

    How much trust can we place in anything he says concerning his early life, given how cagey he tends to be when the subject arises? The Doctor lies and the Doctor misleads, and he has said more than once in the past that he edits his memories.

    Anonymous @

    Actually, in his book on Dr Who, (the name of which I forget – I gave it away to a young fan) RTD did confirm that Claire Bloom was playing the part of the Dr’s mother.

    We never found out who the other Time Lord covering his face was.

    Anonymous @

    @margaret-blaine @miapatrick

    Okay.  My source was a DVD extra somewhere, which certainly sounds less authoritative to me.

    TranslatorCircuit @translatorcircuit

    <span style=”font-size: medium;”>DOCTOR WHO “RESOLUTION“</span>

    <span style=”font-size: medium;”>So, the Daleks are back! It‘s a pity that information was given out in advance. Even so, I couldn‘t have predicted what type of Dalek we‘d see in this episode, so I thought it was good that we saw a Dalek trying new tactics. I don‘t think I‘d ever seen a Dalek take over a human before. It was more like the BG “Planet of the Spiders“, or AG “Turn Left“ when I saw the Dalek creature on Lyn‘s back. </span>

    <span style=”font-size: medium;”>As the story unfolded, I couldn‘t help feeling something new was happening and a feeling of excitement. I think this episode was as good as, if not better than, any episodes in Season 11. </span>

    <span style=”font-size: medium;”>We get a date reference for the Daleks when it‘s revealed that the Dalek has been on Earth since the 9th Century AD. Does this fit in with any dates mentioned before, though? </span>

    <span style=”font-size: medium;”>Who would‘ve expected Ryan‘s Dad Arron to suddenly appear after all this time, which included him missing Grace‘s funeral? He‘s been working on oil rigs, but is now trying to sell a combi microwave/conventional oven which he helped design, so he knows all about it. </span>

    <span style=”font-size: medium;”>I thought it was a really amazing twist to have a Dalek blown up by Arron‘s oven, although I‘m not sure that part was scientifically sound. </span>

    <span style=”font-size: medium;”>Sadly, I don‘t know if or when I‘ll be able to see another new Doctor Who episode, but at least it‘s finished with a bang! I don‘t plan to watch any BBC TV channels now for the foreseeable future. </span>

    TranslatorCircuit @translatorcircuit

    I posted my last comment before reading any of your comments, but now I’ve read them, so I can comment on them. Unfortunately, I write my comment in Libre Office, then copied and pasted it onto this forum, only to find lots of formatting tags visible. I edited them out, but then found my post had disappeared, so then I had to copy and paste again, complete with tags. It seems tardigrade had a similar problem with editing, in spite of ending up with a tag free post.


    I think Rels are mentioned in the very first Dalek story. I think they’re a very short time unit of a similar length to a second. I think the total number mentioned at first was about 9,800 Rels, meaning about 163 minutes, or 2 hours 43 minutes.


    I don’t see what the suspension of UNIT could have to do with Brexit, for two reasons. 1. Brexit hasn’t happened yet and I hope it never does. This episode has the date given as as 01-01-2019. 2. In the BG episodes UNIT stood for United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, which had offices in Geneva, but in the AG episodes although it stands for UNified Intelligence Taskforce, a lot of its personnel are from the USA.


    I don’t know if there’s any definnite information about the Doctor’s family in any episodes prior to AG Series 11, except that Susan was his Grandaughter. She reappeared in “The Five Doctors”. Apart from this, The Doctor is a member of the house of The Prydonians, but I’m not sure if that means they’re related.


    Of course, during Series 11, The Doctor has mentioned various details about her family after saying in “The Woman Who Fell To Earth” that they were all dead, which seems to have rewritten history. This included having seven Grandmothers, but I’m not sure what else, as I didn’t notice at the time. I think I need to go back and watch all the Series 11 episodes again.









    When drafting in an external app, paste into the Text tab in the editor (top right) not the Visual tab. This will stop it trying to interpret metadata…and mangling it.

    I think Rels are mentioned in the very first Dalek story.

    The point is that it was a joke. Isaac Asimov wrote a splendid essay on why it is such a bad idea to invent units for aline worlds.

    I don’t see what the suspension of UNIT could have to do with Brexit, for two reasons. 1. Brexit hasn’t happened yet and I hope it never does. This episode has the date given as as 01-01-2019. 2. In the BG episodes UNIT

    Again, it was a topical joke that could have been designed to wind up a certain class of angry virgin on Youtube.


    Anonymous @

    What @translatorcircuit said about family set me wondering about something.

    River Song and the Doctor’s timelines were moving in opposite directions so does that mean this Doctor has never met RS?That’s pretty convenient when you think about it and means Steven Moffat did a very clever thing back there in the library. Either that or he did a quirky little thing which he later used to good advantage. I’ve a feeling he put in lots of things like that over the years which he could pick up and use later if he wanted or just leave unexplained.

    If the references to rels and Brexit were meant to be jokes it just confirms what I already thought – humour isn’t CC’s strongest point! Having said that I did enjoy the scene with helpline.

    Which brings me to ‘alien threat’ disposal teams. RTD created Torchwood. Moffat did some wavy wavy stuff with them and reactivated UNIT. They’ve now been decommissioned so I wonder if CC will invent a new organization or is this part of the re-boot – the Doctor stands alone.

    There were a few flaws in this episode – I felt the stuff with Ryan’s dad was misplaced and mispaced – but on the whole I enjoyed it very much. Two good guest actors as well.



    Anonymous @


    If the references to rels and Brexit were meant to be jokes it just confirms what I already thought – humour isn’t CC’s strongest point! Having said that I did enjoy the scene with helpline.

    Agreed, but I thought the humorous touches were welcome in a generally tense story.  So, the humor might have been a bit weak, but I laughed anyway.

    I felt the stuff with Ryan’s dad was misplaced and mispaced

    That’s a really good point.  I thought that part was really well executed – but in a suspense story it slowed the middle down a lot.  Maybe should have cut back and forth between the character bits and the Dalek.  Maybe.  Something.  Hm.

    …but on the whole I enjoyed it very much.

    Me too.  Best of the season, except maybe It Takes You Away.



    River Song and the Doctor’s timelines were moving in opposite directions so does that mean this Doctor has never met RS?


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @margaret-blaine re River and the Doctor. The opposite directions isn’t literal, they just meet at different times for each of them in the relationship, While their relationship isn’t linear, our experience of the Doctors has been, we’ve seen 10, 11, and 12 encounter her at wildly different points in her own timeline, ending with her meeting 13 at the last time she sees the Doctor in her own chronology before he meets her for the first time the day she dies. 13 has just come after 12, so she’s met her, felt extremely ambivalent about her, married her, fallen in love with her, spent that very long night with her, and morned her (even Missy expressed sympathy! But then River wasn’t entirely human, she was probably Time Lord enough for Missy to respect the relationship). CC probably won’t use River, but 13 has been through all this.

    re: Tourchwood, I don’t know.  RTD created it, CC re-created it into something different. But then he took it to very, very dark places, so while he’s perfectly entitled to pick it up again, I’m not sure it can be woven back into Doctor Who. I’m going to try and avoid spoilers, in case someone hasn’t watched the last two seasons of Tourchwood and wants to at some point, but I don’t think Captain Jack can team up with the Doctor again.

    From Resolution, I don’t think CC will create another agency or revive any of the old ones. I think there was a clear idea in this episode, teamwork, not with government agencies or governments (The Doctor didn’t bother to inform the world that since it was now in grave danger she was, by their own decision, president of the world for the duration) but people. She’ll build a sonic, or a transporter, or a weapon with what she has around her, and she’ll fight off a threat with the people who are in her vicinity.

    OK now I’ve just remembered how she built a transporter to find her Tardis and I’m slightly more annoyed that it was Ryan’s dad who worked out how to use the microwave to fight the Dalek. Still, quite nice bookending.

    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick Thanks for that clear explanation. Once you’ve said it I can’t think why I couldn’t see that ! Since my stroke I must admit that , although I still have all my marbles (I think) they’re not necessarily in the same order as they were in before, especially in matters of logic. And memory.

    I’d forgotten CC had been involved with Torchwood for example. It does seem to me that he’s not really wanting to go down that ‘military’,guns blazing route with this Doctor and I’m all for that really.

    Agree about the Doctor and the microwave.

    @kevinwho Yes, the scene in the cafe seemed to play out painfully slowly  and undid all the tension built up in the rather good police chase. I don’t quite know where I’d have placed it though.

    Incidentally Charlotte Ritchie was very good

    Anonymous @

    @margaret-blaine – The best I can think of is to cut back and forth between the conversation and the Dalek.  A line of dialog, then the Dalek killing the farmer, a line of dialog, the Dalek working on its armor – something like that.

    Anonymous @

    @kevinwho   Yes, that might have worked.

    Or maybe a shorter scene there and then include a bit more dialogue later while they were, I don’t know, dismantling the microwave or something,

    Ah, could have been, would have been, should have been.

    Anonymous @


    Ah, could have been, would have been, should have been.

    Always – or this forum would be pointless! 🙂

    nerys @nerys

    @miapatrick Well … I thought I understood the bit about the Doctor’s and River’s timelines, but now that I’ve read your description, I realize I don’t. And I’m too hopelessly mired in my own linear thinking to understand it, so I won’t even try. Just enjoy their story on its own merits, and leave it at that.

    As for this episode, I actually forgot that we were due for a New Year’s special, and was happily surprised to see a new Doctor Who episode on my DVR! I loved this, and so did my husband (whose fandom goes back to the Tom Baker era). He didn’t even utter his usual, “Oh, for f—‘s sake, not another Dalek episode!” The Dalek reappeared so insidiously that I didn’t even recognize it at first. Once the Dalek was encased, I felt it was the most sinister-looking of all the Dalek designs I have seen.

    I too liked the parallel between the Doctor crafting her own sonic in the season opener, and the Dalek crafting its own case here. The weak point was what others have noted: the pacing of the B storyline about Ryan and Aaron. The story, itself, carried emotional resonance, and it was well acted. It’s just its placement within the A story that seemed to drag things down a bit. But it didn’t bother me to the point where I felt it seriously detracted from the episode.

    The call to the help desk about UNIT made me excited about seeing Kate Lethbridge-Stewart again, so I felt a bit disappointed by that turn of events. But I do understand the need to clear out the “cruft” (love that term)! And the unhelpful help desk attendant gave us a nice bit of comic relief.

    As for the prospect of darker developments, I was certain Aaron was going to sacrifice himself for “the greater good” … a common motif in the Doctor Who canon. Was a dramatic opportunity missed? Or would that have been too predictable? I will need at least one more rewatch before I can decide.

    Now, if Graham had sacrificed himself, in Aaron’s place, I would have been reduced to a bawling, squalling puddle of mush.

    If there was any question about Jodie Whittaker truly owning the role of the Doctor, any doubts were erased here. I never once thought about who was portraying the Doctor. I saw and heard, simply, the Doctor.

    Anonymous @


    If there was any question about Jodie Whittaker truly owning the role of the Doctor, any doubts were erased here. I never once thought about who was portraying the Doctor. I saw and heard, simply, the Doctor.

    I don’t so much have doubts as reservations.  I’ve only seen one each Second and Fifth Doctor episode, and a handful apiece of Third and Fourth.  So for me the Doctor isn’t just someone with weird tech who makes a lot of side comments, it’s someone who comes across as immensely old, with all the pain and joy and experience that comes with that age.  And I don’t see that from the Thirteenth Doctor.

    But, again, my BG Who experience is limited…and it’s probably a matter of taste as well.  Because nothing I say should detract from your own appreciation – it’s already detracting from mine, and that’s too much!!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Have to say, I like the move to New Year’s Day. There’s only so many Christmas themed stories you can do without it becoming stale, and it’s good to jump before it does. NYD feels fresher, and I like the multi-layered possibilities in the word “Resolution”

    Anonymous @

    @scaryb – I suspect they’ll go back to Christmas, though.  After S11 episodes all having much higher ratings than S10 equivalents, the New Year’s special was significantly lower than all Christmas specials.  So, while most of the moves and changes S11 made panned out, this one seems to have misfired some.

    nerys @nerys

    By the way, who is narrating the beginning of this episode? The voice sounds to me like Aaron’s.

    nerys @nerys

    I just watched it again, and now I think it was the right call to save Aaron. As Ryan told him, he’d been running away and hiding for all of Ryan’s life. To have him sacrifice himself at the end would have been, in a way, too simple. Not easy, mind you. But it would have allowed Aaron another escape, of sorts, when now is the time for him to be there, finally, for Ryan.

    Did anyone notice a few Bondian musical cues, along with the “Doctor Who will return” banner at the end? (Maybe the latter is the norm for the Christmas/now New Year’s specials. I can’t recall.)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    A bit late to the party, but there it is. I did manage to watch most of Resolution on New Years Day, but squeezing out any time this week to watch the bits I missed has been a bit tricky. 🙂

    Like @scaryb, I do like the move to New Years Day, even if it was difficult to find the time to watch. Firstly, I agree that the various producers have now mined every single possible ‘Christmas’ angle (or angel), with the possible exception of having a Cyberman made out of tinsel. The New Years Day theme felt much less forced, and provided a plausible excuse for Aaron to suddenly turn up. He’s made a New Years Resolution to reconnect with Ryan. Yup, that’s gonna go well … 🙂

    So Ryan’s Dad is bad at the entire life skills thing. And Ryan is dyspraxic. Okay, that does make sense -and we also now see why Ryan in Episode 1 was studying to be a mechanic, which is probably one of the least suitable professions for someone with dyspraxia. His estranged Dad is an engineer on oil rigs. Nan was a nurse, Dad was an engineer and Ryan – works in a warehouse. Ouch. No wonder he threw the bike into a tree.

    This episode was clearly the ‘finale’ – the bookending of things like the Doctor and Dalek Lynn both welding alien tech out of scrap, Ryan’s Nan getting killed versus Ryan managing to save his Dad, the newly regenerated Doctor struggling to defeat Tim Shaw The Inadequate, where the more established Doctor can confidently tackle Daleks. Well, one Dalek.

    One Dalek is definitely scarier than an entire army of the things, especially when it’s channelling Robert Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters. Having a Dalek mostly out of its shell worked even better than having an Ice Warrior out of its armour.

    The ‘UNIT cancelled by Brexit’ joke, followed by ‘We’re on our own!’ made me laugh out loud. I did note, however, that UNIT is ‘suspended’ and ‘under review’, NOT definitely disbanded. 🙂 Like The Doctor, I’m sure UNIT will return – just possibly not under Chibnall.

    I thought ‘so I’m told’ is a possible reference to the Doctor not having a Dad of their own. Possibly their Dad regenerated into their Mum? Or maybe the Doctor is a half-orphan? Like the barn in Listen, that line was definitely a reference to something in the Doctor’s backstory.

    The other thing that made me wonder was the way Aaron was used, as in the first episode, to mirror the Doctor. Made mistakes, by the time he realised they were mistakes, it was too late and the damage was done. Then he ran away because he was too ashamed to step up and admit he’d got it wrong. Now, who else do we know who famously ran away from home?

    The mirroring in the first episode – I wonder if the Doctor would’ve walked away from Grace’s funeral as normal if Aaron had turned up? Whether she stayed because she understood that Ryan needed all his friends, since his Dad had let him down? – Then we see her in other, later funerals because she now understands the damage she’s doing to people by just walking away and not giving them the support they need.

    Another signal that we are going to have a Yaz arc next series – she again does a ‘greater good’ thing when Aaron gets taken prisoner. That’s a tendency that could so easily go so horribly wrong – though I did like the way the Doctor effectively had Yaz use her Mad Police Skillz (yes, with a zed) to get the two bystanders (they thought) out of the danger zone.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi everyone – hope you’re enjoying the New Year!
    I haven’t much to add to everyone’s thoughts on Resolution – except to add to the view that one Dalek is always better (ie scarier) than hordes of them.

    Chibnall seems to be stronger in the ‘intimate-relationship dialogue rather than speech-ifying and though I was never a fan of the bombastic stuff we’ve had before, I still think things like:

    Doctor – “Come on you lot – places to go”
    Yaz – “When you say places to go, where were you thinking?”
    Doctor – “I was thinking …. everywhere”

    is all a bit… flat.
    Its a box/ show that takes you through Time and Space and that just seemed … well a bit flat.
    But I’m not a writer, I couldn’t write better (I only had the one word – “flat”) and I’m still looking forward to the next series.
    (I’m actually looking forward to the insights of people here to the show as much as to the show itself, as well as following how you all are!).

    As relationships are Chibnall’s strength I’m in two minds as to whether a Yaz / Ryan relationship is a good idea, but I would love to see more of Yaz and some groundwork has been done I guess (indeed in Resolution its she that answers Aaron’s question about how Ryan is looked after in this motley group).

    Anonymous @

    I’m new to the site. Originally posted and then just reas comments from others in the Sofa lounge. Unfortunately the topic of cooking poultry seems to have overtaken any discussion of DW over there so exploring other rooms on this site.

    I miss the continuity that this season failed to bring with it. This episode was better than any of the others but still fell far short of past storylines.

    I ordered the entire series from Eccleston through Capaldi and am having a wonderful time viewing and seeing some episodes I’ve never seen.  But it will be very disappointing if they cannot get Ms. DW to up her game. I want there to be more connection  with the past. I want more personlity in DW and the side kicks. This is the dullest bunch of superheroes out there.

    I want to laugh more and be on the edge of my seat more and enjoy watching old friends engaging in bad and unbelievable behavior more. Hope they fix the writing, film in the old technique  and inject some personality for everyone in the next DW season. If not, will have to make do with my dvds and just relive the old times over and over again.






    This is the dullest bunch of superheroes out there.

    They aren’t superheroes. They are people. One of them has two hearts and a big brain, but still not a superhero.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @misslegaleagle On the Sofa is, as it says, a place for general chat. Cooking poultry defiantly comes under that heading. Especially around the Christmas season.

    RougeCyberman @rougecyberman

    Well I would really like some more information on Grace’s funeral and i am sure a rel is just a second because in multiple episode’s the Daleks say 5…4..3 etc. just like seconds. Then again they could easily be something else. The lone Dalek is always better it leaves less to focus on.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @rougecyberman in episode one, after Grace dies, Ryan’s dad doesn’t turn up for the funeral, although Grace was his mother and Ryan really needed him to. The Doctor stuck around for the funeral, which isn’t a regular kind of thing for her.

    I agree about lone Dalek’s. There does seem to be a sense of diminishing returns when it comes to Daleks. An episode with one Time Lord v One Dalek gives us a chance to focus on the depths of The Doctor’s relationship with them as a species. Although I loved the part in The Witches Familiar (I think) when The Doctor rides into a room full of Dalek’s in Davros’ chair ‘face it, we’ve all had this exact same nightmare’

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