Ravalox Redux

Series 12 has been embedded with an interesting set of callbacks to classic Doctor Who if you, as a viewer and long-time fan, choose to read it that way.  Bringing back the Master in Spyfall is an obvious example of this.  The Tour thought we saw echoes in Tobias Vaughn from The Invasion in Lenny Henry’s Daniel Barton from the first part of Spyfall, although that dead ended quickly in Part 2.

The callback in Orphan 55 was, somewhat delightedly, to the first story from Colin Baker’s ‘Trial of a Time Lord’ season commonly known as The Mysterious Planet wherein it is discovered that the planet Ravalox was actually a displaced Earth, moved by the TimeLords along with the rest of  the Sol system to another part of Mutter’s Spiral at some point in the far future.

Orphan 55 also takes place in some indeterminate future, but one where Earth has been devastated by some cataclysmic event, which, as the Doctor’s final address to the Time Team indicates is a man-made result of some sort.  But Doctor Who has implied Earths destruction so many times as plot points (The Ark in Space has this, doubtless others will spring to mind after posting this) that this is interesting, but in the view of The Tour, not all encompassing.

Orphan 55 was bumping along nicely, albeit a little too frenetically for us, when Bella became an agent of chaos 2/3 of the way through the story.  It seemed to be an unnecessary heel-turn that the story did not need, or at the very least, should have had the elements for the eventual turn sown earlier on to give it more weight when it happened later on.  It took us out of the story.

The Tour has had the caps and images for Orphan 55 online for several days as of this posting, but just didn’t know what to say about it.  Perhaps we’ll be more chatty next week.