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January 12th, 2020 68 comments

What Did You Think of Orphan 55?

Now that the third episode of series 12 has aired what did you think? Was it everything you had hoped for or not what you expected.

The Doctor and her friends discover that the luxury resort where they are holidaying is hiding a number of deadly secrets. What are the ferocious monsters attacking Tranquillity Spa?




Please note there is no reply facility, single constructive comments related to the news article in question only, Attempts at Followups may be removed.


68 comments

  • The Moffat Paradox

    January 16th, 2020 - 11:09pm

    Following on from Tim M’s latest comment and the replies about ratings if, even on a consolidated basis, ratings continue to decline and overall reaction to series 12 is at best only a mild improvement on series 11 then maybe there’s a way to undo all of this as Hollywood seems to now be trying to do as in the case of the lesson learned from the female centric Ghostbusters 2016 box office flop and upcoming new Ghostbusters movie more along the lines of what people wanted all along.

    Erase the whole Whittaker time line if needs be and any plot inconsistencies with the Eccleston to Capaldi eras by a plot device such as a “Dallasesque” it was all a dream. Like with the psychic pollen the 11th Doctor, Amy and Rory were exposed to in “Amy’s Choice “which created in the Doctors head the “Dream Lord”.

    Then the real 14th (or 13th) Doctor wakes up whoever he or (sigh) she is for as long as the new actor is an improvement on the existing one and the showrunner is someone that casual and hard core viewers can unite around.

    Reply
    • Doctor Stu

      January 17th, 2020 - 1:38pm

      That’s never ever going to happen. Not only is is ridiculous ludicrous it’s also completely disrespectful to Jodie, Tosin, Mandip and Bradley, regardless of what I think about their acting ability, performance etc.

    • Pats86

      January 17th, 2020 - 5:42pm

      The Moffat Paradox, that is an excellent idea.

    • Jordan9364

      January 17th, 2020 - 6:15pm

      As unlikely as that would be would honestly be great. I love Who from 1963 – 2017 but I just can’t enjoy the new ones no matter how hard I try. Considering its supposed to be entertainment I shouldn’t have to be ‘trying’ to like it lol

    • Tim M

      January 17th, 2020 - 7:34pm

      Whenever Jodie leaves the show, and many would say sooner rather than later, I think she will always be the 13th Doctor whether we like it or not. The best thing to do as soon as the 14th Doctor comes along is for the Doctor to draw no attention to their previous incarnation, no mention, no flashbacks, no acknowledgement. The only thing the 14th Doctor could say with any nod to their immediate past could be “well, at least I’m no more unlucky 13”. And leave it at that.

  • Stanley Gleed

    January 16th, 2020 - 5:46am

    For me it had way too fast of a pace. It never slowed down and I hardly got a chance to know any of the characters and some of the characters were kind of annoying and childish.

    The editing is also bad. There was no time to breath and almost every time and character said something, another character would immediately start talking. I mean look at the scene near the end when everyone is in the safe room thing worrying about dying.

    There are subplots after subplots which came out of no where and we’re handled badly. I mean the mother reveal literally came out of no where.

    Also there was so much exposition. The Doctor explains what an Orphan planet and Graham immediately asks what an Orphan planet is and she explains again.

    Yes, Doctor Who has always had political messages in their stories and yes, sometimes it isn’t subtle about it’s political message like the Daleks and the Silurians but this stories political message was extremely on the nose and felt extremely forced in your face with no subtlety whatsoever and while it is an important thing to talk about (now more then ever with what is going on in Australia) it felt more like a lecture then a message and I felt felt really tacked on at the end. Also the BBC seem so proud about the speech that they made video where they praise themselves my saying that fans are calling the 13th Doctor “Space Greta Thunberg” which I’m sure no one outside the BBC has said and has also annoyed a lot of people as the video has a lot of dislikes and a lot angry comments. You can’t compare yourself to someone like Greta Thunberg who IS actually doing something about Climate Change and Global Warming.

    The characters were bland and boring, the pacing was way to fast, character decisions a lot of the time made no sense (seriously why did the kid leave the safe room at the end of the episode) and the editing was really bad.

    Reply
  • The Sonic Monkey

    January 15th, 2020 - 12:30pm

    This episode was just poor on every level.
    Its nice that they wanted to tackle climate change but come on, surely they could have thought of a better way of doing it.
    Monsters were good but…..Devolved humans?!?! Jumped the shark completely on that one.
    Hating the whole Vulcan mind meld thing, leave that to star trek. And why could a creature that had devolved from humans over countless centuries remember how the world got screwed up?
    And whats all this possible time line stuff. What happened to fixed points in time???

    If the they had left out the climate change stuff and made it just a random planet it would have been a more passable episode. Except for….

    Last thing…. Jodie is just awful, even my 10 year old daughter (who used to claim to be the biggest Who fan in the world, and has loved every episode of Who since its Resurrection) now refuses to watch the show. Even she thinks Jodie is terrible.

    Reply
  • Dalek Eye Stalk

    January 15th, 2020 - 12:09pm

    So where are we so far? Well, I thought ‘Spyfall’ was fairly decent, and probably Chris Chibnall’s best script as head writer, but it still wasn’t a 10/10. ‘Orphan 55’ was fairly weak and shallow, a return to dreadful series 11 storytelling. ‘Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror’ looks promising, so we may be back to some form of quality. However, I can forgive a couple of stories being poor per series, but series 11 had mostly poor stories in my opinion. With perhaps only a couple that were actually fairly good. I think there has only been one series in the entire run of Doctor Who (and this again is my opinion) where I could say every story was excellent, and that would be season 7 (Jon Pertwee), but this certainly isn’t the norm. The problem is, that when you even had a poor Pertwee, or Tom Baker or Tennant story, the lead actor would still make it enjoyable and watchable because of their captivating performance, and their unique acting gift of making some bad dialogue hardly noticeable. Jodie Whitaker does not have those qualities. So along with the writing she is the weak link of lifting any poorly written material.

    Reply
    • Doctor Mysterio

      January 15th, 2020 - 10:31pm

      Can’t say I entirely agree about Jodie. She’s a good actress but just isn’t being given the material (or direction) to work with. I don’t think anyone could have read some of her lines in this episode with any conviction.
      I also don’t think that the big ensemble cast helps, it leaves them all with not a lot to do. (Not that these new writers seem to know what to do with the Doctor when she is involved in the plot…)
      It’s also true to say the Bradley Walsh is stealing the show, much in the Frank Skinner or Bernard Cribbins did, or even Matt Lucas to an extent. When you have talented people on the show, and like it or not, Bradley Walsh is a star name, they stand out as good. Especially if the story requires comedy and tragedy. That’s why they have been around for so long and had such a varied career – they are good at what they do. But when others in the show can’t always compete it becomes an issue. Personally, I’d like to see the Doc and Graham go off without the kids and see the universe. This would be an interesting dynamic and free up time and plot. We’ve much more to see from Jodie – let’s just hope she’s given something meaty to work with.

  • The Moffat Paradox

    January 15th, 2020 - 1:20am

    We’ll at least with the Dregs we got a proper monster which the Pting could NEVER be considered to be. But its been done before and better in stories like “Inferno,, and “The Mutants”

    Even if its not the acting, the scripts or any agenda the constant problem will always be the lead actress if not played by someone with a range like Olivia Coleman for as long as the character is female. You have to be able to make the imaginative leap that behind that face and eyes is the essence of what were the former incarnations of the character and the authority that comes with it. (Better stories will at best mitigate this.)

    With Miss (Or is it Ms) Whittaker that’s impossible. She maybe cast as the Doctor but she is not in real sprit of the role truly the Doctor. No perception filter will change my sense at least of that.

    Reply
  • Dr Phiil

    January 15th, 2020 - 12:33am

    This was abysmal. Poor dialogue, poor story craftsmanship, and a doctor who is two steps away from a focal character in a cbbc show.

    Actuallly think the show should stop going forward. Do a prequel like Mcgann’s doctor up to the time war.

    Reply
  • Dalek Eye Stalk

    January 14th, 2020 - 3:43pm

    Hey Chibnall, how about bringing the Weeping Angels back into Doctor Who. Great opponents and very popular with fans and the public.

    Reply
  • Doctor Stu

    January 14th, 2020 - 2:26pm

    I watched human nature and family of blood last night. Cannot believe it’s the same show. What has happened to Doctor Who? Lame actors, lame stories, lame performances. They just need a nudge it feels like an amateur plate spinner who’s got all the components they’re just being juggled badly

    We needed better actors, slight alterations and cuts here and there to episodes and messages toned down and it would have be fine

    Reply
  • The Ergon

    January 14th, 2020 - 10:20am

    We need 5-6 2 parters with cliffhangers per series to pace the episodes out and add to the suspense, bring back seasoned writers who know Doctor Who inside out, the new lot haven,t a clue and i,m starting to wish Jodie hadn,t taken on the doctor in her own accent (Victoria Wood meets Coronation Street) and had left those unfunny trademark one liners behind. Its been a gaudy mess so far with only Bradley Walsh and The Master Reveal being the only highlights.

    Reply
    • The Ergon

      January 14th, 2020 - 3:11pm

      P.s- I actually enjoyed a few of those stories from last season. A few were actually better on the rewatch, and some had original ideas behind them. It was far from a triumph but have not seen much in the way of originality from this year so far.

  • Gordon

    January 14th, 2020 - 1:54am

    it will add on a couple of million on timeshift. The overnights aren’t as bad as it was for capaldi’s 2nd and 3rd series (3.7 m overnight for the third ep of his 2nd season). It still got about 20 percent of the audience share. Pretty much Everything was down yesterday from the previous Sunday not just doctor who. Call the midwife 900,000 down dancing on ice 630,000 down. Even The most watched show (ctm) only got 6.1 million on overnights. Even the much publicised return of celebrity love island only did a disappointing for itv 2.3 million. The only thing that got a ratings increase was countryfile which only gained 80,000. Even on a Saturday the most watched show is only getting 5.3 million. People just aren’t watching as much live tv these days. The way we consume tv is changing constantly with new streaming services appearing and more and more people watching via catch up. Sure there is the odd show that get a high rating like gavin and Stacy or the first ep of his dark materials but that’s the exception rather than the rule. For instance his dark materials dropped 3 million in overnights from the first ep and last. Doctor who has the advantage of being one of BBC’s biggest timeshifters. It’s still going to hit 5 and half million minimum maybe 6 in its final consolidated figure. Sure it’s down from last season but everything on tv is down from 2018.season 11 had the advantage of a new doctor/companions and a showrunner to lure in a casual audience that petered our week by week. Season 12 doesn’t have any of that to lure the casual audience back. It was never going to hit anywhere near s11 regardless of how good it was but in fairness the mixed response of s11 and lack of show in the past year didn’t help either. 6 million in 2020 is a respectable score. It’s higher than capaldi’s 2nd and 3rd seasons It’s still far from cancellation level. They will not cancel based on overnight figures. It’s the consolidated figures that truly decides a show’s fate. Also being 1 of the bbc’s biggest merchandise sellers (especially the classic era merch) plays very favourable in its decision to renew)

    Reply
    • The Bridgadier@2013

      January 14th, 2020 - 2:57pm

      Its not that easy to directly compare episodes like you are. Capaldi’s second series was on a much tougher Saturday night, and against much tougher opposition.

      This series is on a Sunday night, and up against much poorer opposition, but could only muster 0.5 million more on overnight that the episode you are comparing it to. Not great. Perhaps we need to start admitting that the experiment isn’t working anymore?

      The big jump in viewers when series 11 started was likely due to interest in seeing what female Doctor would be like. It was vital that the series maintained this. It simply hasn’t done so. I’ve tried and tried again to give it a chance, however, I just cant get beyond the poor writing and poor characterisation, especially from Whittaker’s Doctor. She just doesn’t bring anything new to the role at all. It’s like Chibnall sat her down and said, “Hey, Jodie! We want to make the shoe REALLY popular again, like it was when Tennant and Smith were the Doctor. So, what we want you to do is……be a female version of them!”

  • Pats86

    January 13th, 2020 - 8:23pm

    booboo I know you think some comments became too much last season and I myself did apologise for becoming too argumentative.

    It is quite clear all are committed to this show who post on here, but looking back at comments from last season we are in no way nasty like most other forums.

    I like to think that even though we won’t agree with each other all the time those on this forum are responsible and respectful, I see no harm in being passionate about the show we love.

    Hope the reply button stays, it’s good to talk 🙂

    Reply
  • Pats86

    January 13th, 2020 - 8:03pm

    One word can easily sum this episode but it will not be allowed so I will use two,
    Utter rubbish.

    How can we hit such a low after a promising start?

    Jodie continues to deceive us with her poor portrayal as the imposter Doctor, didn’t think she could get worse but here we have it.

    Everything I feel about this episode has already been said, beggars belief that some actually think this is good? Clearly expectations are at an all time low and that is very sad indeed.

    I thought we hit rock bottom last season but it appears not!

    Anyway at least Graham is worth watching:)

    1/10 and that is for Bradley Walsh.

    Reply
  • Davros

    January 13th, 2020 - 6:48pm

    Sorry, S11 not S12 @ Amazon.

    Reply
  • Davros

    January 13th, 2020 - 6:45pm

    In a couple of years time all these constant moaners will be constantly moaning about how much they miss DW when it’s cancelled or indefinitely rested again – most probably partly due to the ridiculous OTT negativity of these “diehard” fans.

    It feels like there’s a small band of “fans” with an agenda. Wasn’t there one person on Amazon last year with numerous accounts posting countless negative reviews for S12? Hmmm!

    The vote tally above shows that those who liked the episode are the silent majority, while the minority of moaners can’t wait to post their negative opinions.

    Last night’s episode wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the moaners would have us believe.

    Reply
    • booboo

      January 13th, 2020 - 7:35pm

      The poll reflects every other one I’ve seen on other sites, its split almost 50/50.

    • Anonymous

      January 13th, 2020 - 9:19pm

      I think people will be moaning when it’s gone because we want good Doctor Who. Heck, we’ll even take decent or average. This new era makes the bad Capaldi episodes look like masterpieces and that is saying something.

      I don’t want Doctor Who to be cancelled aha. But I would rather it be stopped than exterminated.

      Why do I keep watching? In the hope it’ll get better. Because I’ve watched it since I was a child. Because I love the show. But this isn’t the same show. It’s not just a different take on it, they are now getting their hands on the history and mythology of the show, ruining the Master and Gallifrey now.

      Some people will complain either way and are being negative for the sake of it. Some people will just never be happy. I’m an understanding person, and each to their own. But I do not understand how anybody thought that episode was good. I would like somebody to tell me what they liked because I’m confused.

  • whovian

    January 13th, 2020 - 6:16pm

    Very surprised by all the negative comments on this episode, Why couldn’t the writer for Orphan 55 have done this for his previous, absolutely awful story, the rubbish “It Takes You Away”.

    Very good message for every single last one of the population, the human race is destroying the planet. Nice that the Doctor added onto the message that the events that had caused Earth to become Orphan 55 were only part of one timeline.

    Next week’s looks good as well

    Reply
  • Tim M

    January 13th, 2020 - 12:22pm

    Overnight viewing figures for ‘Orphan 55’ are 4.19 million. Another drop from last Sunday. The Fifth most watched show on Sunday night. Even Countryfile had a million more viewers than Doctor Who, and that was on just before! Doctor Who is slip sliding away.

    Reply
    • Pats86

      January 13th, 2020 - 8:05pm

      It’s worrying, unless we get a new Showrunner and Doctor this show will be cancelled again and who could argue?

    • The Temporal Jelly Baby

      January 13th, 2020 - 11:13pm

      It’s concerning, but we’re still above series 10 levels at least. The highest overnight rating for series 10 is 4.64 million (The Pilot), and the lowest is 2.89 million (The Eaters of Light).

      After that, we got a massive increase with 8.2 million overnight for ‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’. Of course, it’s been gradually going down since then. I think the quality of the writing is partly to blame, as well as a noticeable lack of promotion for series 12.

      The main point here is that the downward trend doesn’t mean the show will be cancelled. Series 11 was a light reboot and resulted in a big ratings boost. Maybe the trick is another light reboot, but this time keeping up the quality and promotion. But let’s see how the rest of series 12 pans out first.

    • Voldermort

      January 14th, 2020 - 12:24am

      BBC News got 4.4m, so Doctor Who was actually 6th on the list.

      Below are how its consolidating so far:

      Ep1 4.9m to a final rating of 6.9m
      Ep2 4.6m to a final rating of 6.07m
      Ep3 4.19m (final rating likley to be around 5.6m)

      Based on how weak last nights ep was, I wouldn’t be suprised to see it slip below 4m and given the slot its in, that would be very dangerous. I really hope the rest of the series is stronger. Chibnall had viewers in the palm of his hands for series 11 ep1, but has mamaged to loose half those viewers.

    • Tim M

      January 14th, 2020 - 3:37pm

      If ratings and popularity for this latest version of Doctor Who drop further, then another reboot is essential. That means regenerating the Doctor, and probably getting a new showrunner. Neil Gaiman would be my ideal choice. Plus the casting of a male Doctor too.

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