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(Review) Doctor Who: Dot and Bubble

Having reset her timeline, following an adventure with a fairy circle last week, Ruby Sunday and the Doctor are now trying to save the inhabitants of a planet who are oblivious to the dangers right in front of them.  However, by the end of the episode, it appears that was a mistake.

Warning:  Spoilers ahead

This week's episode, "Dot and Bubble," focuses on the residents of a moon called Finetime.  It's populated by the children of another world's wealthy white citizens, and these kids live their lives completely dependent on a VR/social media bubble that directs their every move.  We start by meeting a young woman called Lindy Pepper-Bean, who mindlessly yammers away to her online friends first thing in the morning.  (Think of a blonde Donna Noble, but dislikable.)

That is, until the Doctor and Ruby Sunday (virtually) interrupt Lindy's group chat to warn her about the monsters who are eating everyone alive.

The Doctor and Ruby do their best to guide Lindy and her friends to safety.  However, survival requires these kids to break free of their technology addictions long enough to save themselves, and most of them aren't up to the task.

Lindy does eventually reach a safe place away from these gigantic slugs, but she does so by betraying an ally.  Saving her feels like it was a bad call, and when she finally meets the Doctor and Ruby in person, it's clear that this white nationalist and the rest of them were a waste of time.  There is no happy ending this week when the the Doctor finally closes the TARDIS door, as the final credits hit the screen.

"Dot and Bubble" is a mixed bag.  On the plus side, Russell T. Davies once again has some strong thoughts about social media and how it is turning society to mush.  These people can barely walk without being directed by their bubbles.  There's also some warning about what could happen if AI eventually takes matters into its own (figurative) hands.  However, once the Finetime residents reveal their true nature, you could argue the AI is right.

This is the first time this season it's been addressed on-screen that Ncuti Gatwa isn't white.  That exchange hits hard.  Blind hatred will cost a lot of people their lives here.  Also, this week's monsters are some of the nastiest creatures we've seen on this show in a long time. They really are the stuff of nightmares, so kudos to the special effects team.

(We also have another Susan Twist sighting, but no magical snow.)

On the flip side, the script feels a little rough, as if it was the third of five drafts.  Finetime's backstory could have used a little more work.  Who exactly runs the planet?  It's not clear why the Doctor and Ruby are unable to land the TARDIS on Finetime at first but eventually find a way.  Plus, how did they come across this whole situation in the first place? 

There's also the issue that this is the second straight episode that doesn't feature that doesn't feature much of the Doctor.  He's more present than he was in "73 Yards," but Lindy gets much more screen time than anyone else.  (Perhaps Ncuti Gatwa was still finishing up Sex Education while this episode was being filmed.) 

We're loving #15 so far, and we still want to learn more about him before the season finale.  Fortunately, it looks like we can expect a greater presence from the Time Lord next week.

See you then!


What Happened To Lindy's Homeworld In Doctor Who's "Dot & Bubble"

The Doctor and Ruby do their best to save everyone.  (pic via


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