Spyfall Part 2 brings the Series 12 two-part opener of Doctor Who to a close, and it didn’t really have anything to lose, given how bad part one was, in forcing The Master on us within the second time in a handful of years.
What I didn’t know, and learned from someone more learned in Who than myself, is that this is the first time since before the series’ resurrection, since the Master used the debigulator to show someone into a matchbox.
More surprising is how Lenny Henry has lost so much weight in recent years. Perhaps he followed the Tom Watson plan of using the NHS Eatwell Plate? He had the only decent line, about how he only uses Facebook if forced to do so, since it’s not a great platform… albeit sometimes essential.
The Doctor was stuck in that weird, green forest, while the Scooby Doo gang was about to crash in a plane. I’d save Bradley, but I couldn’t give two hoots about the other pair. Sadly, the all survived thanks to the ridiculous ‘big red button’ of using an app on Ryan’s phone. Huh?!
Staying on a cartoon theme, I kept waiting for the glowing white characters to be Mr Burns from The Simpsons, banging on, “I bring you love!”
In the next part of this review, I will mention elements of the episode, so do continue if you don’t mind reading spoilers. Quite frankly, if you are watching this, the odds are that you’ve seen the episode anyway.
The Doctor went back to 1834 for no apparent reason, met Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, famous for the ITV gameshow Family Fortunes, both of whom just seemed to be there to cram in someone from the past. Then she was brought forward to Paris, 1943, again for no reason. All to just show “We’ve got a budget and we’re gonna use it!”, and to bring in another person from the past – Noor Inayat Khan (Aurora Marion), the first female wireless operator to be dropped behind enemy lines.
There was way too much jumping about in time and space to highlight the lack of any plot, and it was almost as if they just had to fill sixty minutes…
The Master talked about how he went back to Gallifrey and there was nothing left… which we already knew. Or did it come back? I forget.
Either way, it just boiled down to the last ten minutes when Lenny Henry announced the old movie trope that his company had access to every device in the world, and told them by telling them they have 3 minutes before the end of the world, and wiping everyone out, etc etc.
Of course, you know everyone’s going to be fine because otherwise there wouldn’t be any further episodes. Did anyone understand how she sorted it out? Planting the silver lady throughout time just so she could do something in Lenny’s office? Perhaps I missed that when I dropped into a microsleep?
And as for locking up The Master in that green forest, if she could easily escape, so could he. And as for Gallifrey, why can’t she just go back to the time before the Master torched it? Marty McFly gave himself ten minutes in Back to the Future…. which wasn’t enough, so maybe half-an-hour just to be sure.
But it still found time to drop in a potential story arc about ‘The Timeless Child’, which will no doubt turn up before too long. Hope it’s more interesting than the nonsense we’ve had so far in Series 12.
And when all’s said and done, not even Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor mutterings about being caught inside someone else’s liver could save it.
If there was a single point of interest, it’s that the soundtrack started to have odd twang of The Last Of Us in it, even though it had nothing to do with zombies, nor did that last beyond a couple of notes and the pacing.
Spyfall Part 2 is available on the BBC iPlayer.
Out the same day, is the Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook.
Director: Jamie Magnus Stone
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Writer: Chris Chibnall
The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker
Graham O’Brien: Bradley Walsh
Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole
Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
Daniel Barton: Lenny Henry
The Master: Sacha Dhawan
Noor Inayat Khan: Aurora Marion
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.