Doctor Who 60th Anniversary: Wild Blue Yonder – Recap & Review

Wild Blue Yonder

We begin this next Doctor Who special in England, 1666. It’s a brief segment in truth, as the TARDIS crashes down right in the same spot as Isaac Newton. There’s some banter as Donna and Doctor talk about the “gravity” of the situation before zooming off to parts unknown.

The pair jump out in a spaceship as fire spews out the front of the TARDIS. The Doctor is not happy that it’s broken but at least he has his sonic screwdriver… and non sonic-screwdriver. Using his Screwdriver on the phone box so it’ll be “rebuilt”, the pair discuss why the song Wild Blue Yonder has been playing, given it’s a war-time song.

While the TARDIS regenerates, the pair decide to go and explore. At the end of a really long CGI hallway, they seem to find a strange figure in the distance. However, they’re in a world of trouble when they return to the TARDIS and find it blink out the way. Donna tries to convince the Doctor to bring it back, and blames him for what’s happened.

The Doctor promises to get her home, pointing out that the TARDIS has a mechanism on-board called HADS – Hostile Action Displacement System. If the TARDIS is in danger it goes away. He had it switched off for ages but only just turned it on.

Donna decides they should face whatever this threat is head-on. Whatever the language is onboard this ship, it’s not being translated. Anyone else remember The Impossible Planet? It’s basically the same deal right? Only, there’s no Ood here. Instead, The Doctor manages to conjure forth a transport to take them along, where they find a little CGI robot. Its place in the hallway is a mystery, as is its slow moving along to parts unknown.

After Donna berates the Doctor for his little Allons-y catchphrase, they make it along to what appears to be the control room. There’s no sign of life but it would appear that someone opened the airlock 3 years back… and then it closed. It’s apparently been empty for 3 years but given there’s a drone, the Doctor takes control and decides to take a look around.

They’re on a spaceship of some description but there’s no stars around. The ship has fallen through a wormhole and it’s taken them right to the edge of the universe. The absolute edge of everything. But how did the airlock open beforehand? That’s something they need to find out! And just like clockwork, the PA system booms “Coliss”.

Fenslaw and Coliss are the two words that have been uttered so far, and the Doctor manages to decipher this by finding a strange mainframe. Messing about with the insides, the pair find themselves isolated and with a strange mimic taking on the form of their companions, uttering “my arms are too long”.

These strange mimics start chasing Donna and The Doctor down the hallway as they grow to an impossible size. Donna starts bashing them with a steel pipe and in the end, the pair find themselves spiralling out of control and stop square in the middle of the hall. Thankfully, these mimics grow so big they get stuck in the hallway!

This seems to explain the “No-Things” and the airlock 3 years back. It would appear that they got in back then. They seem to have their memories and mass too but aren’t in the bargaining mood. Unfortunately, the walls start moving about and both Donna and the Doctor are separated. And once more they find themselves forced to facing the past as The Flux is brought up. Oh god, not the Flux.

These No-Things manage to get under the Doctor’s skin, pointing out his biggest flaws. They do the same for Donna too, until the pair eventually do find themselves confronting one another… with the No-Things right on their tails. These seem to be adapting, and it would appear that they want to change and become the Doctor and Donna completely. But why?

Well, apparently they arrived through passing no-time and want to play their “vicious games” with the universe. The Doctor and Donna do eventually make it to the control room and Donna questions just why they’re provoking them. It would appear that they’re “reading” Donna and The Doctor, determined to make them scared so they can copy faster.

Opening the shutters, the pair notice the skeletal remains of the captain for this ship floating about. Circling round and round but caught in the gravity field. This captain, whoever she is, did something to the ship. It would appear that she killed herself with the airlock 3 years ago to prevent these “No-Things” from taking control and causing havoc in our universe.

She killed herself to hide whatever she left behind. But what is it? They lost everything she knew when she died and there’s something in place. Something very slow that’s reconfiguring to become a very slow bomb. The robot out in the hallway? That’s the little figure that’s going to trigger this bomb and cause everything to explode! 

The TARDIS has taken them here so the countdown can be sped up and stop these No-Things before it’s too late. With its mechanical hand over the button, Doctor and Donna wrestle with their mimics but it’s too late. The countdown is initiated. However, it doesn’t really matter because the TARDIS rematerializes and picks them up to leave.

Unfortunately, the wrong Donna has been picked up, and the Doctor realizes this at the last second, so he returns, slips the wrong Donna out and grabs the real pone before flying off just in time. The ship is blown to smithereens.

In the peaceful tranquillity of space, the Doctor explains that the Other Donna was a 99.9% copy and almost completed her, hence why he struggled to find the difference. It turns out her wrist had an extra 0.06 millimetres so the Doctor switched the Donnas. Back on the TARDIS, the pair discuss what they’ve been up to, with the simple answer of “a lot”. The Doctor does admit that he’ll be okay but of course it’ll take a while.

As the episode closes out, Doctor and Donna make it back to Earth again, where they’re reunited with Wilf! He’s in a wheelchair and it’s amazing seeing him again… but only so far as to save Earth. It turns out the entire world is coming to an end. Planes are smashing overhead, there are giant robots about and it would seem that the Toymaker is back! But we’ll have to wait until next week for that one! 

The Episode Review

Well that was a massive improvement wasn’t it? Aside from some wonky CGI and the usual “volume screen” that Disney and the BBC seem to love using so much, this episode was actually pretty good.

There’s a nice amount of drama and familiar feeling with things like Midnight and The Impossible Planet rolled into an intriguing adventure with these mimics. Sure, it’s not perfect and some of the dialogue could have been sharpened up a bit, but this actually felt more like the Doctor Who of old. While it’s certainly nowhere near the heyday of this series, it’s at least a step in the right direction.

Everything now is left on a big cliff-hanger ready for next week, where it would appear that things are about to pick up in a big way.

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3 thoughts on “Doctor Who 60th Anniversary: Wild Blue Yonder – Recap & Review”

  1. Hey guys I do apologize you are absolutely right, there’s the next special this weekend coming isn’t there? I’ve just updated the article now and apologies once more for the mix-up! I’ve even got it written down in my diary and on our team worksheet as well so it’s 100% just me having a mad one there.

    Thanks again for the feedback and sorry again about the error.

    -Greg W

  2. You might want to get your facts right (particularly if you got paid to write this and especially given that the information has been in the public domain for months) – there’s another special to come before the Christmas Day episode.

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