Sunday, 14 May 2017

Dr Who — Series 10: Episode 5 — Oxygen

14th May, 2017.

I think … 

Think … 

I’ve seen something special, tonight.

Hmm … 

I’m just staring at that initial opening.

And thinking it seems just a little bit gushy.

Unlike the TV show I’ve just watched.

I think I’ve should explain myself, shouldn’t I … ?

I’m old enough to like sitting down with a TV show: rather that — say — play hard-core computer games.

Although I’m ALSO of an age to appreciate casual games like Tetris and Space Invaders, but let’s not go there, shall we?

At ANY rate?

My given choice of entertainment is a film, or a TV show.

Or possibly a radio station.

I’m happily listening to an online station called LeCandyLab which is playing a lot of Technohouse that I find great to blog to.

The reason I’m writing?

The reason I’m writing, is simply this.

I’ve JUST seen Oxygen: the Jamie Mathiesen penned, fifth episode of series ten of Doctor Who.

I think I’ve seen something both watchable … 

And terrifying … 


After an intro from the 12th Doctor, Oxygen opens by showing us two of the crew of Chasm Forge, a space-based mining station rushing back to the base from the station’s antenna: only to run foul of what looks like zombies in space suits.

Back at Saint Luke’s?

Back at Saint Luke’s, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is giving a lecture on how the human body reacts to being exposed to the vacuum of space.

And, post lecture?

Tricking Nardole, and taking both Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) on a round trip to see what’s out there.

Ending up?   At the very same mining station we’ve been introduced to.

It seems the surviving four crew members problems are caused by a serious lack of oxygen … 

As the company that owns the place is making some cost cutting measures … 


Now … 



Good … ?

I think I can say yes on all three counts.

Writer, Jamie Mathieson, has writing for the show before now: penning FlatlineMummy on the Orient Express and The Girl Who Died.

Mummy on the Orient Express, in particular, was one I found scary: and very reminiscent of Phillip Hincliffe/Robert Holmes Tom Baker era of the show’s history.

Less so in the other Mathieson episodes … 

But, overall?

Overall, that scare factor is something I’m noticing in each episode of series ten, so far.

It’s especially noticeable in tonights episode: with a companion at seriously risk of death from oxygen starvation, an fearful tone throughout the episode, zombie astronauts with a nod to the Cybermen … 

And a hero left seriously injured at the end of the episode.

Leaving us with a cliff-hanger that looks like it’s only going to be resolved in next weeks episode.



Oxygen’s design work — somewhere between Ark In Space, and Revenge of the Cybermen, with added touches of working grime of Alien, The Rebel Flesh and The Satan Pit — impressed me.

Add to that?

The fact both series regulars — Capaldi and Mackie — did their usual great job of being genuinely menaced, with Matt Lucas’ Nardole in a very strong supporting role?

That kept me sitting very still, this week.

Along with that?

I said of Mathieson, that his work on Mummy on the Orient Express reminded me of Robert Holmes?

Certainly in tone, if not in Holmes’ references to classic horror or literature … ?

Means Oxygen is going to be a firm favourite of mine.


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