Doctor Who Review: Praxeus

This week’s episode sets up an excellent, globe-spanning mystery. Some viewers might find the solution to be a bit plastic.

Title: “Praxeus”

Directed by Jamie Magnus Stone
Written by Chris Chibnall and Pete McTighe

Cast
Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor
Tosin Cole as Ryan Sinclair
Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan
Bradley Walsh as Graham O’Brien
Warren Brown as Jake Willis
Matthew McNulty as Adam Lang
Molly Harris as Suki Cheng
Joana Borja as Gabriela Camera
Thapelo Maropefela as Aramu
Gabriela Toloi as Jamila Velez
Soo Drouet as Joyce
Tristan de Beer as Zach Olson

Premise

The Doctor and her companions investigate several mysteries spread across the world—including a few really odd birds— trying to make the connection before irreversible disaster strikes.

High Point

The range of mysteries, set in different areas, work quite well. This episode has an engaging, effectively-paced first half.

Low Points

I have no problem with contemporary messages in Doctor Who— they’ve always been a a part of SF — but the solution and its resolution tumble into unrestrained preaching, and I’m not certain the episode earns its moralizing.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6 The use of so many settings in one episode is uncommon in Doctor Who. The main menace, of course, recalls a certain Hitchcock classic.

Story: 4/6

Acting: 5/6 The acting is uneven, though the supporting cast generally do well with the limited screen time permitted for each character. Mandip Gill gets some strong moments as Yasmin Khan.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 6/6 The episode impressed me with its direction and use of setting.

Effects: 5/6 The effects linger behind the rest of the production.

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Praxeus” receives 31/42

3 replies on “Doctor Who Review: Praxeus”

  1. lost says:

    I agree with the low point. It was a bit too much of a sledge hammer. (Orphan 55 also veered into this territory so it’s something of a pattern now.) They could have handled it a bit more subtlely without losing the point, mostly by toning down the speech. Also, I’m not sure the science on microplastics is quite settled, yet. Are they good? No. Are they quite as bad as this episode made out? Possibly not. Same for the trash accummulation points in the oceans.

    On the other hand, microplastics are a thing. As are trash accumulation points in the oceans.

    • zocalo says:

      +1 from me as well. Doctor Who has certainly addressed contemporary issues on multiple occassions in the past, but this need to beat the viewer over the head with the point in the coda wasn’t anything like as common before, and I think it’s still unnecessary now. Yes, we’ve seen multiple graphic shots of plastic lying around on beaches, in the ocean gyres, etc. over the last 50 minutes, plus various bits of only slightly less unsubtle exposition, as well – WE GET IT!

      I do hope this isn’t becoming a pattern, because I’m already wavering in my commitment to the show, and judging by comments on some other fan sites and the steadily declining UK viewing figures the knock-on effect of the heavy handedness definitely appears to be a forming a pattern.

      • I am one of those people who drives a Prius, goes out of his way to buy recyclable things, doesn’t buy paper towels, avoid water bottles, etc. I don’t think I am preachy myself, but I am also the kind of guy who makes jokes about Punxsutawny Phil saying, “It’s an early spring because you hairless apes have broken the planet!!”

        …and I think the show is getting too preachy. Yes, they’re right, but I don’t need to be reminded of it. It’s similar to how I recognize that eating vegetables is good for me, but that doesn’t mean I want them in my ice cream sundae.

        Ignoring that, I have been enjoying the show, but they should reign it in a bit.

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