“DOCTOR WHO” The Tsuranga Conundrum Review – A Visually Impressive, Frantic Episode

FIRST IMPRESSION

A busy episode that is a fine homage to "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and Chris Chibnall's own "42"
Directing
Acting
Writing
- Advertisement -

After the disappointment was “Arachnids in the UKDoctor Who returns to form with a more exciting adventure in deep space – even some bizarre moments.

The Doctor and her companions get injured when salvaging a junk planet. A medical ship crew comes to their aid, and takes them to a space station. But the ship has a stowaway that’s causing damage and may destroy the ship from the inside out. It is up to The Doctor, her companions, the crew, and the patients to work together. They have to stop this creature, guide themselves to their destination and cure their ailments.
Doctor Who
Back in Series 3, Chris Chibnall wrote the Doctor Who episode “42.” That episode described The Doctor putting a number of fires out at once. “The Tsuranga Conundrum” has a similar feel, making the episode energy as the Doctor faces a number of threats. “42” is often criticized by fans, and is not regarded as a classic episode. However, I thought it was perfectly entertaining and overly hated.

The best aspect of “The Tsuranga Conundrum” is its visuals. Like the episode “The Ghost Monument” “The Tsuranga Conundrum” shows a huge investment in the production values. Other modern Doctor Whos have episodes that show space travel to be dirty and gritty. Comparatively, “The Tsuranga Conundrum” ship is bright white, high tech and filled with touch screens. It looked like a futuristic Black Mirror episode.
Doctor Who
While the episode is stuffed with plot, Chibnall and director Jennifer Perrott balances them all out. The new characters especially shine. Mabli (Lois Chimimba) worries about stepping up. General Cicero (Suzanne Packer) keeps her brother (Ben Bailey-Smith) in the dark about her condition, as a way of protecting him. Ronan (David Shields) has some serious fatherly doubts. All these new characters are really compelling.

The episode is female-centric and reverses gender roles. The Doctor, General Cicero, Mabli, and Yaz take charge of the ship, while Ryan and Graham are assistant midwives. This will probably trigger certain viewers, but they’d be upset no matter what. A legitimate criticism, however, is the role of Ronan as a pregnant parent. The episode only used for some cheap jokes, which stretches plausibility, even for Doctor Who. If Ronan were an alien, it would have been more acceptable.
Doctor Who
“The Tsuranga Conundrum” has some little touches that added to the world building. Ronan was prepared to give up his baby because this time period is that brutal. This gives “The Tsuranga Conundrum” a connection to “The Ghost Monument,” where Angstrom says she grew up in poverty and warfare. It won’t be surprising if Chibnall looks deeper into this bleak future.

- Advertisement -

The new Doctor’s belligerent side comes out on the spaceship. It’s especially apparent when one of the ship’s medic takes her down a peg. It is strange to see, but it can be put down to The Doctor being injured and disorientated so not thinking straight. It is interesting to see Doctor Who explore all the sides of its character’s psyche.
Doctor Who
“The Tsuranga Conundrum” has the air of the classic Twilight Zone episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” That episode also featured a creature destroying a plane and potentially killing everyone onboard. The creature, called a P’Ting is too cartoony and cutesy, coming across a bit like Nibbler from Futurama. That said, the concept of a crew with limited resourcing having to stop a nearly indestructible creature is solid.

“The Tsuranga Conundrum” has received quite a beating from some critics, and it’s far from vintage Doctor Who. But it’s still an improvement over last week’s episode, and it looks stunning.

Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!

TRENDING THIS WEEK

New SUICIDE SQUAD Series Coming From DC Comics

For Suicide Squad fans, the hits keep on coming. Not only is James Gunn's movie sequel now underway, but now DC Comics has announced...

Review: THE FLASH #78 shows off the Terror of the Black Flash

The Black Flash Lashes Out Against the Forces The Forces are in danger of collapsing. As the Sage, Strength, and Still Forces continue to make...

Review: DAREDEVIL #11 Walks The Fine Line Between Right And Wrong

DAREDEVIL readers are undoubtedly still reeling after the explosive events that took place in issue #10. They saw Matt Murdock dive face-first into his...

Review: POWERS OF X #4: The Introduction Of The Sassiest Sinister

Jonathon Hickman’s House of X and Powers of X stories are proving to be classics and Powers of X #4 is no exception. Hickman’s...

Lobo’s Kid Snaps In Our Exclusive First Look At TEEN TITANS #34

Teen Titans #34 hits your local comic book store on September 18, but thanks to DC Comics, Monkeys Fighting Robots has an exclusive five-page...

Review: RONIN ISLAND #6: Will Hana Fight For The Island?

Hana and Kenichi—the dynamic duo who put aside their differences to fight the monstrous Byonin—have been separated for quite some time. After the warriors...

A New Team Forms in IRONHEART #10

Ironheart #10 is full of twists and turns, humor and tension. It’s a perfectly balanced issues, and one that will be remembered for some time.

A Dark and Deadly Tale Begins In NOMEN OMEN #1

Nomen Omen #1 is the start of a dark and disturbing series from Image Comics. It's a tale of the supernatural coming after what is their due, and so much more.
Avatar
Kieran Freemantle
I am a film critic/writer based in the UK, writing for Entertainment Fuse, Rock n Reel Reviews, UK Film Review and Meniscus Sunrise. I have worked on film shoots. I support West Ham and Bath Rugby. Follow me on Twitter @FreemantleUK.

SPONSORS

If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

"DOCTOR WHO" The Tsuranga Conundrum Review - A Visually Impressive, Frantic Episode 3

CONTACT US

"DOCTOR WHO" The Tsuranga Conundrum Review - A Visually Impressive, Frantic Episode 4

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.

JOIN THE TEAM

Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

"DOCTOR WHO" The Tsuranga Conundrum Review - A Visually Impressive, Frantic Episode 5

MEET THE TEAM

COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!