Doctor Who Review: “Fugitive of the Judoon”

The alien rhinoceros police are back! Jack Harness is back! The Cyberman may be lurking just around the corner!

And that’s not the biggest surprise this week. No, that accolade goes to the true identity of the titular fugitive.

Title: “Fugitive of the Judoon”

Directed by Nida Manzoor and Jamie Magnus Stone
Written by Chris Chibnall and Vinay Patel

Cast
Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor
Tosin Cole as Ryan Sinclair
Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan
Bradley Walsh as Graham O’Brien
Jo Martin as Ruth Clayton
John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness
Neil Stuke as Lee Clayton
Ritu Arya as Gat
Paul Kasey as Judoon Captain Pol-Kon-Don
Richard Price as Judoon
Nicholas Briggs as Voice of the Judoon
Michael Begley as All Ears Allan
And the fugitive is…
Jo Martin as the Doctor

Premise

A group of Judoon horn their way onto earth in search of a mysterious fugitive. The mystery of that person’s identity (and the identity of the Judoon’s employer) will have far-reaching implications for the Doctor.

High Point

The high point has to be the identity of the fugitive and its implications for the rest of the season. This episode begins as a monster-of-the-week featuring those goofy but deadly space-rhinos in search of a McGuffin character. Then the story turns into something unexpected.

Low Point

The Judoon captain looks good, and they arrive in an interesting ship. Otherwise, the effects look like a hypothetical Doctor Who from the 1990s, with a budget somewhere between the 1980s and 2000s versions of the show.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6 Doesn’t anyone on earth remember that aliens invade England a couple of times a year? However, the Judoon quickly become a sideshow—albeit a dangerous one. This episode brings a couple of intriguing twists to the season.

Effects: 4/6 In the end, I didn’t mind the effects, but we’ve come to expect better from the twenty-first century version of the show. I really do imagine the show would have looked like this episode if the Paul McGann version had been picked up for a regular run.

Story: 5/6 The plotting was chaotic, but it did take us to some interesting places. They told an entertaining story while laying the groundwork for the rest of the season.

Acting: 5/6

Emotional Response: 5/6 This episode packs a stronger punch than the last couple.

Production: 5/6 Although some of the effects were low-grade, the overall production is strong.

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Fugitive of the Judoon” receives 32/42

3 replies on “Doctor Who Review: “Fugitive of the Judoon””

  1. lost says:

    Characters have actually commented on people not remembering the repeated alien invasions things once or twice. But, yeah, it still defies belief. Perhaps there’s a giant world-spanning “somebody else’s problem” field related to alien invasions which causes people to just not care afterward. Or maybe the explanation is what they used on Buffy: “Gang related. PCP.” Which would probably make about as much sense as anything else. On reflection, maybe it’s better that there isn’t a definitive explanation. I’m sure anything they stated explicitly will be as bad as that tech babble when the Doctor was trying to get the Tardis past the shield thing this week.

    • crow says:

      Yeah, they used to do a good job of keeping the mass public from knowing anything about aliens in the old series, but the new series has pretty much given up on that, which I find disappointing.

  2. I recognized the surprise guest from his voice, and my wife and I were both so shocked and thrilled we immediately rewound it and re-watched it.

    This episode started off as a very standard episode, which I think was intentional. It lulled you into a sense of “Oh, more typical Doctor Who” before swerving hard to the right with the surprise guest star, then again in another direction entirely with the fugitive’s reveal. Like getting on the bus in the morning for work and getting off of it on the beach. On Venus. In 1963.

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