We’re in Aleppo, Syria, 1380, a time when people in any country certainly never used the term “mental wellbeing“, but this is the very woke Doctor Who of 2020, and Chris Chibnall is defacting any old crap onto the page in a bid to fill 50 minutes without too much complaint from those of us who enjoy escapist drama.
A pre-credits scene made this look like a rehash of Jurassic Park, but then Chibnall has a habit of ripping off other films and TV shows in times gone by.
And talking of time, The Doctor can travel anywhere at any time, so why are we only ever getting stories in present-day England?
And why do the Scooby Doo gang ‘go away for months’ when they’re with the Doctor? She could just transport them back to where AND when they left off!
But that’s obviously too complex for a TV programme showrunner to think about…
Meanwhile, as he’s back home, Graham is getting messages from some hot young woman – Rakaya (Clare-Hope Ashitey, from 2017’s I.T.… not Stephen King’s It, but an even worse film from that year), from god knows where… while others are getting a visit from a smiling Victor Meldrew, and Ryan’s friend, Tibo, has been taken, and as for Meldrew who took him, Ryan doesn’t know who he is, he doesn’t know what he wants, but he WILL find him!
The Doctor has an issue with some hair being in front of her, but the TARDIS is telling her that it’s not really there. That’s a bit like when I tried testing Facebook Messenger by messaging myself. I could see the message, I sent it and I received it, but according to Facebook, I hadn’t received it. It wasn’t there! Huh?!
As a whole bunch of random, nonsensical scenes followed, we learned that the Earth is burning. Oh, it’s Greta Thunberg time again!
Then came some Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy book-style exposition to explain the backstory, but it came so late in the day, most of us had long since fallen into a coma, and lazy writing showed that the way to solve everything was with the sonic screwdriver.
And is that woman Yaz met an older Yaz? Jeez, the comatose feeling is fighting the headache I’m getting from this episode. Still, the woman Graham dreamed about was hot…
Can You Hear Me? is available on the BBC iPlayer.
Out the same day, is the Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook.
Director: Emma Sullivan
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Writer: Charlene James, Chris Chibnall
The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker
Graham O’Brien: Bradley Walsh
Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole
Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
Rakaya: Clare-Hope Ashitey
Tibo: Buom Tihngang
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.