‘Orphan 55’ – Thirteen CAN Be The Doctor

Yes! We finally got to see the Doctor! Thank you, Ed Hime, for writing an episode where the Doctor actually does stuff and saves the day! She doesn’t just stand around watching things unfold and following her companions around, she actually does stuff! Hooray!

The Good


As mentioned above, the defining quality of this episode is that it’s the first Jodie Whittaker episode where the Doctor has an active role. She’s not just a witness or bystander, she’s actually being the one who figures things out, makes a plan and then takes charge. The dialogue in this episode was sharp and even funny without being cringey on some occasions. There were some brilliant moments between characters, like when Ryan was saved by the Doctor after being attacked by a vending machine.

Furthermore, Graham didn’t annoy me in this episode. It didn’t feel like his character was forced. Bradley Walsh seemed a lot more comfortable in character in this episode, and there was no heavy material, just wholesome grandad moments.

Once again, the lighting, camera work and direction continue to impress me. I’m so glad that the quality of television-making hasn’t dipped after the high-budget two-part opener. I loved the sets in this episode, they were really well utilised and beautifully lit and shot. Nice.

The Bad

The story was boring and didn’t make a lot of sense. So there’s a girl who goes to her abandoning mum’s hotel on a dangerous planet to blow it up as revenge? But she’s not just using bombs, she’s also using little worm things to take control of the computer systems? It doesn’t hold water, and wasn’t interesting to follow.


Also, the old woman (“Benni!!!”) was a poor casting choice. I appreciate the representation of the elderly – there’s a severe lack of that in the media – but you could’ve cast someone less annoying.

Also, the Doctor and co. just straight-up abandoned the people that saved them.

The Future…?


I was kind of enjoying this episode until it went all “you should’ve listened to the scientists about global warming blah blah blah” on us. It was preachy, cringey, unoriginal and far, far too blunt. It also completely overwrote the cannon that planet Earth explodes with population and the human race spreads out across the Universe.

Featured image Copyright BBC.


  1. I found this one dull and tedious and then it was like a two-by-four to the side of the head with the message. One of the worst Who episodes in the canon.

    Liked by 1 person

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