You don't have to be perfect. You just have to be there.
The good news about having watched the worst episode of the season is that, by definition, everything after that is better by comparison. This one may not be the best, but it is thoroughly enjoyable.
The Tsuranga Conundrum
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
This story uses one of the very most Doctor Who of themes - the Base Under Siege. In this case, the "base" is a medical ship aboard which the TARDIS Team ends up as patients after an unexpected run-in with a sonic mine. The TARDIS is back on the junk world where they were injured, the ship is fully automated with only two medical staff as crew, and is populated with your standard menagerie of other patients bound for hospital. Oh, and a cute little alien beast (basically Stitch from Disney's Lilo and Stitch) is methodically eating away the entire ship out from underneath them -- starting with the escape pods. Oops.
When I watched this one on its initial broadcast, there was something about the underscoring that really annoyed me. I think it was the speaker of the particular television I watched it on, which muddied up the dialogue constantly while the soundtrack droned away underneath. Thankfully this time around the sound design worked much better for me. I suspect on a proper 5.1 surround sound system with good spacial audio placement it would be amazing, but going 100% in the other direction with a single little Bluetooth speaker also worked to un-muddy things and make it much easier to parse.
Surprisingly for this kind of story, there was quite a bit of backstory on Ryan's deadbeat dad. This is largely driven by having one of the patients on the ship being an extremely pregnant man who is intending to give up the baby for adoption because he doesn't believe he can be a good father. Ultimately Ryan is able to convince him that most of fatherhood is about just showing up.
Meanwhile the Doctor does your standard Doctor-ish things, and disposes of
Stitch the Pting by feeding it a very large bomb which it digests happily as it is tossed back into space. A happy ending where everyone lives! I mean, aside from the two people who don't. But what can you do?
The main budgetary advantage of a Base Under Siege story is that you can build a single set for the entire episode, and this one does that in spades. The whole thing is set inside the beautiful stark white corridors and rooms of the tiny ambulance ship, and it pretty much looks like a Stormtrooper had a baby with an iPhone. But pretty.
Mostly, though, I just enjoyed the fact that it was so much better than the stupid spider episode that preceded it.
Tomorrow: My other favorite episode of the season.
Companion(s): Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan
Episode(s): The Tsuranga Conundrum
Steps Walked: 7,697 today, 4,428,929 total
Distance Walked: 4.31 miles today, 2,320.00 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 10,900 total
Sit-ups Completed: 200 today, 5,465 total
Weight: 263.64 lbs (five day moving average), net change -43.66 lbs