‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’ – The Best Doctor Who Episode In 2 Years

Wow, wow, wow. Where do I begin? I was absolutely blown away by this episode. Not because it was particularly good TV, but because it completely blew the past 2 years of the show out of the water. If only it was up to this standard from the beginning!

The Good


For once, I’ve actually got more Good to say than Bad.

I absolutely loved all of the dialogue in this episode. It was delivered very well (even from Jodie 😱). There was proper edge to Thirteen in this episode and she actually showed her Time Lord side, deliberately placing herself above everyone else in the room. And you know what? I felt convinced. This is the first time that Thirteen has felt like a Time Lord and it makes me so happy!

I also liked the story in this episode. It made sense, it was actually scary and it wasn’t ruined by an unnecessary extra alien or a character puking out pages of exposition. I hate that that’s the bar we have to clear now, but I’m glad that this episode showed potential for this show’s future.

Also, I want to highlight the Doctor shutting down the guy that was leering at her from the very start. I love that Thirteen is the first female Doctor and she hates being oggled at (a far cry from the narcissistic sides of Ten and Eleven).

The Bad


Okay, some of the performances were still not great. That said, I don’t feel like anything felt out of place for Doctor Who. It’s nowhere near the standard I’m now used to seeing in high-quality drama like The Crown and Killing Eve, but it’s a good standard for Doctor Who.

Again, the camera work wasn’t particularly creative in this episode. They had the entire thing shot on one location, so you’d expect a bit more exploration with cinematography to keep the mystery alive.

The Scary


As I mentioned above, this episode genuinely created fear. It reminded me a lot of the episode ‘Hide’ – a ghost story in a large, periodic property – except the “ghost” turned out to be an actual threat, rather than just a young woman and a walking bag of bones.

I’m glad this episode was slated. And I’m glad Chris Chibnall had no involvement in the writing side. Please could we get this episode’s writer as the next showrunner?

Featured image copyright BBC.

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