Let’s be precise about something here, shall we? “Conundrum” refers to a problem that is both challenging and confusing. If you’re missing the challenge, it’s just confusion…sort of like freshman year of college. If you’re missing the confusion, it’s just an extremely difficult task…let’s say, landing a NASA probe on the side of a moving asteroid. When you have both, that’s your conundrum…like doing your own small business taxes.
Trying to discern how to deal with a virtually omnivorous, nearly indestructible invasive alien aboard a self-guided ship that cannot deviate from its trajectory else it be remotely destroyed, while dealing with one passenger who is terminally ill and another going into labor? CONUNDRUM.
So, with that out of the way, let’s eat!
This week, we tie on our bibs and tuck in to a heaping coil of antimatter with “The Tsuranga Conundrum”, marking the midpoint in Series 11. We’re all in agreement that this is stock-in-trade, dare we say ‘classic’ Doctor Who, involving a complex set of interwoven challenges, limited time, interesting but not distracting supporting characters, and a blend of scientific wonder and oddball humor from our Doctor. Was there a bit much packed into one story? Were there one or two characters too many? Was the Pting really what happens to Stitch when Lilo feeds him after midnight? Perhaps. But all things considered, we had a blast with it, and can itemize what we enjoyed while (simultaneously!) acknowledging those aspects which might have increased our appreciation.
That’s a nearly trademarked midseason Doctor Who episode, everyone: not the end all, be all; not the nadir of television. Just good old, rollicking, spaceships-and-sarcasm drama. Yes, please. We’ll take a few of those.