Dave and I knocked out an episode on Spyfall Part 2 yesterday which you can hear below. Unlike my notes for Part 1, these will be briefer and a bit more scattered. Our episode came out around 30m – which was 10m than our first hot take from this series, too. Less is more! Trust me!
I found this second part really enjoyable. Now, given I only liked 50% of last series, and the ones I liked were the ones Chris Chibnall didn’t write, I’m as shocked by this as anyone. Because, yes, Chibnall has now written another episode I’m genuinely quite OK with, and I’m no blind fanboy by any stretch of the imagination. That said, it’s not without some issues but I think Doctor Who remained on a high this episode.
I said the episode has some issues and, weirdly, the story underpinning everything seemed to be the weakest part of all. Basically the Kassavin – the aliens from last week which everyone thought would be the Voord – were going to turn everyone into storage devices? That’s an interesting idea, but as the Kassavin don’t really have much dialogue in this episode, their motivation seems lost with the Doctor and her new friends running through time, The Master doing his thing, Lenny Henry doing his thing, the Fam doing its thing. It’s like the thing that underpins everything was the least interesting and therefore weakest. Weird.
The Doctor – I felt there was even more steel this week than last week. I can really feel the Doctor is stepping things up. Her disbelief and anger at Gallifrey being destroyed seemed spot on. Really good.
The Master – Another really good performance, without clapping and spinning like a lunatic which I was really worried would continue into this episode. I could really get behind this angry version of the Master. It’s a good change from the past couple of incarnations.
Graham and his laser shoes delighted me. If they continue after this episode, I will spew. Especially if they disappear then reappear in the finale or something. But for this episode, they were so silly, and he played it for laughs with his soft shoe shuffle, and that was fine. I went on the journey with how nuts that was and didn’t get bent out of shape. Liking Graham as a character probably helped that a lot.
Yaz and Ryan I felt melted into the background as much as each other, as I felt the story (not to mention the audience), was most interested in what the Doctor and her NEW companions were doing, plus what the Master was doing, plus what the Kassavin were all about. Poor Yaz and Ryan.
People online are trying to figure out where the Master comes from with regards to his/her timeline and a surprising number can’t accept the concept that he’s post-Missy. They really want Missy to be the end of the line, and for all “new” Masters to be pre-Missy in the timeline.
The escape from the crashing plane was as bonkers as you’d expect it to be. It was like something we’d see in Red Dwarf, with the whole going back in time to remind yourself to do things that will help someone in the future, except played more seriously. Dave makes the comment on the podcast that this is always one of Doctor Who’s dangers. Why isn’t every trap solved with, “Well, I got out of the trap because I went back in time to give myself the tools to get out out of it… which got me out of it…” You probably shouldn’t think about it too much, dear reader.
The elephant in the room is Gallifrey. I’m excited by this on a basic level. The Master has destroyed Gallifrey. Holy hell. That’s massive. At the same time, however, I’ve always felt that Gallifrey, Time Lord history, and so on, is best left alone and we should never go too deep into it. Unless there’s some sort of wacky twist here, it seems Chibnall is really going for it and could push things further than I want him to.
All cards on the table, the “Timeless Child” storyline had better be really amazing if it’s going to change the way we think of Gallifrey and Time Lords forever. I think of past storylines like “the Hyrbid” that Moffat tried to pull off, and that was just silly, and from a masterful writer no less. So I think the fear is valid that a writer with a patchier record, like Chibnall’s had overall, just won’t pull it off.
The Radio Times has pondered if the Timeless Child was perhaps the true founder of Gallifrey, only for the Time Lords (who wouldn’t have been Time Lords at the time of course), to come along and somehow steal Gallifrey and the technology? It would go against what we know about the beginnings of Gallifrey with Omega and Rassilon and so on, but with the storyline being painted as an, “Everything you know is wrong…” kind of thing, is Chibanall going to do it? Again, we’ve had lesser storylines crash and burn, so to screw this one up would be quite disastrous.
Throughout the episode I kept thinking, “Is this as strong as last week?” and while different, there was also plenty in there I quite liked, so I’m not going to deviate and will say, 8/10 like last episode. I can see how people could nitpick at this – and I’ve nitpicked here myself – but I’m surprised some people didn’t like it outright. I think there was a lot here to like. More to like than not like, surely?
What did you think of Spyfall (Part 2)? Leave a comment below.