You say you want a resolution? Well, you know, this “New Years Special” provides more of one than the official season finale, while bringing back the villain we know each Doctor will face.

Title: “Resolution”

Directed by Jamie Childs, Wayne Yip
Written by Chris Chibnall

Cast
Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor
Tosin Cole as Ryan Sinclair
Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan
Bradley Walsh as Graham O’Brien
Daniel Adegboyega as Aaron
Nikesh Patel as Mitch
Charlotte Ritchie as Lin
Nicholas Briggs as voice of the Dalek
Michael Ballard as Sergeant
Darryl Clark as Police Officer Will
Sophie Duval as Mum
Laura Evelyn as Call Centre Polly
Hugh Holman as Zak
Guillaume Rivaud as Siberian Warrior

Premise

Centuries ago, a collection of armies defeated a reconnaissance Dalek and buried the parts in separate locations. At the dawn of 2019, the Doctor must deal with the resurrected creature—and without experienced help, since UNIT’s budget has been cut, due to the withdrawal of support from “major international partners” (An anti-Brexit jab that has met with mixed responses in the UK).

High Point

The double prologue gives the episode an epic, cinematic feel, and the “Doctor vs a Dalek” plot gets played off a family drama that answers some questions left lingering from earlier in the Season.

Low Point

We accept many handwaves when watching Doctor Who, but this would have been a stronger episode with a few less. The reconstructed Dalek looks great—but how, with only portions of its original casing and some junkyard parts, did it make itself indestructible? And the ending has an incredibly cobbled-together feel, with a resolution that relies heavily on the Dalek behaving rather stupidly. They could have resolved both problems by having the Doctor play off the weaknesses inherent in the reconstruction, and other options suggest themselves, apart from just writing, “something something conclusion.”

The Scores

Originality: 2/6 Doctor Who, aided by her associates, must defeat a Dalek!

Did you see that coming? Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Effects: 5/6 This episode has a higher budget than most, and the opening creates a cinematic feel that has been missing from this season of Doctor Who (and, to be honest, most seasons).

Heck, I wanted to see that backstory more than this episode.

Story: 4/6

Acting: 5/6

Emotional Response: 4+1/6 The Daleks have been the butt of many fannish jokes over the years, but this episode makes them suitably creepy and incredibly dangerous.

The other plot gets a special bonus for the things in the box.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6 “Resolution” feels less like a holiday special and more like a season finale.

In total, “Resolution” receives 30/42