There’s a game the Tour sometimes plays, almost involuntarily, when viewing a new Doctor Who episode. Which story, more often than not, of the ‘classic’ series, do elements of the story in front of us, remind us of.
For Kerblam! that mental linkage led directly to The Robots of Death and the phrase “creepy mechanical men” and for perfectly understandable reasons. And beyond the superficial, there’s also knowing that these are essentially Manor House mysteries, of different sorts of course but there is a central mystery to be worked out.
But whereas The Robots of Death, and indeed all of the other stories so far in Series 11, had their own internal coherence, Kerblam! in the eyes of the Tour did not, and for reasons that didn’t necessarily have to do with who the terrorist turned out to be (although it must be said that didn’t help).
Like other stories with a twist this Series it turned out that the AI underwiring the Amazon stand-in was the victim and not the perpetrator, but the reasons (and resasoning) for the threat were not sufficiently backgrounded to make the end of Kerblam! more impactful.
Thus for us it sits at the bottom of our own Dynamic Ratings for Series 11 so far. It’s not ‘Sleep No More‘ bad, just not that good either.