Arachnids in the UK – Doctor Who Series 11 Episode 4 – The DVDfever Review

Arachnids in the UK
Arachnids in the UK is the fourth episode of Doctor Who Series 11, as well as clearly being a play on the Sex Pistols’ classic Anarchy In The UK.

The gang are back in Sheffield – at last! And just 30 minutes after they left, so they don’t need to do any intergalactic travelling, surely? Well, not yet since the problem is closer to home, as strange spider webs are appearing all over the place and in great numbers.

Not many people like spiders, and the ones in this were ridiculously huge, and smarter than the average spider. After all, one of them swiped my pic-a-nic basket!

This week’s guest star is Sex and the City‘s Big, aka Chris Noth, who played John Robertson, preparing for 2020 to be US President. He’s also “not a politician, I’m a businessman”, so he’s clearly based on Donald Trump, even though his name is mentioned to Robertson’s disgust. Just to ram the point home, he’s certainly as arrogant as Trump, and if anyone hadn’t yet got the connection, one of them bad-mouths the Russians.



After one of the big spiders demolished a bathtub, I loved it when Chris Noth said, “It got Kevin! I have no more Kevin!”

And later on, “Yeah, see that? Who’s in charge, now? …I’m talking to spiders(!)”

Plus, when he said to the gang, “Who are you people?”, Graham replied, “Word of advice – run now, ask questions later!”

Elsewhere, The Doctor waffled away to herself, we learned she was a sister for the Quiston Calcium Assassins, as well as the fact that spider’s web can, in certain circumstances, stop a plane in flight… she knows because of the time she apparently met aviator Amelia Earhart.

It was a nice moment when Graham… oh, hang on, spoiler bit for anyone who doesn’t want to know if they’re reading this before watching the episode.

Spoiler Inside SelectShow


Arachnids in the UK – Trailer – Doctor Who


Sadly, once again, The Doctor overuses the sonic screwdriver when it’s convenient to do so, rather than figure a way through. For example, she used it to open a door, when you might’ve expected the more conventional method of just kicking it in, so Chris Chibnall‘s getting a bit lazy in that respect.

He’s also relying on the age-old sci-fi trope of featuring a baddie that takes humans and imprisons them in cocoons. Plus, when everyone was down under the building, they took about five minutes to explain the plot when the rest of us were way ahead of them, although part of that time was spent giving us an environmental lecture.

Plus Plus… this was largely Scooby Doo, with the gang running away from the spiders.

And as for the resolution,

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Unsurprisingly, despite returning home, all three decided it was more fun to run away in a TARDIS than stay home and face stupid reality again.

Again, this episode wasn’t available for preview, which usually means it’ll be a stinker. It wasn’t, but while overall, this passed a reasonable 50 minutes, and more sci-fi than last week’s episode, but it’s still far from (inter)stellar.

Plus, if The Ghost Monument‘s “The Timeless Child” had been intended as part of a story arc, it’s quickly been forgotten about, which is disappointing.

Next time: They’re in a sonic mine, which is in a hospital, and The Doctor’s being shot at and… more Scooby Doo?

Arachnids in the UK is available on the BBC iPlayer for a month.

You can also pre-order it on Blu-ray, Blu-ray Limited Edition Steelbook and DVD.

Individual episodes can be bought in HD and SD here.


Score: 6/10

Director: Sallie Aprahamian
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Writer: Chris Chibnall
Executive Producers: Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens
Music: Segun Akinola

Cast:
The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker
Graham O’Brien: Bradley Walsh
Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole
Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
Robertson: Chris Noth
Najia Khan: Shobna Gulati
Dr Jade McIntyre: Tanya Fear
Hakim Khan: Ravin J Ganatra
Sonya Khan: Bhavnisha Parmar
Frankie Ellish: Jaleh Alp
Kevin: William Meredith

And one individual who I’ll put behind a spoiler header:

Spoiler Inside SelectShow


Arachnids in the UK
Previously on DVDfever:

October 21st:

Arachnids in the UK is the fourth episode of Doctor Who Series 11, as well as clearly being a play on the Sex Pistols’ classic Anarchy In The UK.

The gang are back home in Sheffield but something’s going awry with the spiders in the city, and Chris Noth (Big in Sex and the City) was seen screaming, so he’ll have a hand in the proceedings…. maybe it was his hand that caused the scream. It certainly seemed rather painful.

Arachnids in the UK is broadcast at 7.00pm on BBC1 next Sunday.

Read our review for Rosa.

Director: Sallie Aprahamian
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Writer: Chris Chibnall
Executive Producers: Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens
Music: Segun Akinola

Cast:
The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker
Graham O’Brien: Bradley Walsh
Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole
Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
Robertson: Chris Noth
Najia Khan: Shobna Gulati
Dr Jade McIntyre: Tanya Fear
Hakim Khan: Ravin J Ganatra
Sonya Khan: Bhavnisha Parmar
Frankie Ellish: Jaleh Alp
Kevin: William Meredith

Check out the brand new trailer below along with a look at what police officer Yasmin Khan has on file about the Stenza from episode one, and The Remnants from episode two.




Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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