A robot known as the ‘Kerblam-Man’ arrives in the TARDIS with a package containing a mysterious message. The Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yasmin head to the warehouse moon known as Kerblam (the largest retailer in the galaxy), and the Doctor begins an undercover operation to discover the secrets of this warehouse.
A few weeks ago we had a very hard-hitting story in ‘Rosa’, and what the writers did brilliantly was they made the following episode – ‘Arachnids in the UK’ – more light-hearted for the family to enjoy (a nice way to recover from the heavy stuff).
Well, after the very emotional tale we had last week in ‘Demons of the Punjab’, I felt like I needed to have some fun with this episode. And boy did I have a lot of fun with ‘Kerblam!’
This was a very funny, high-energy story that made me have a massive smile on my face from beginning to end, this episode was TERRIFIC!
‘Kerblam!’ was written by Pete McTighe (a new writer to ‘WHO’) and when he was announced as a writer in ‘Doctor Who Magazine’ I remember him saying how much of a fan he was of the show. And the script definitely demonstrates how much of a fan he is! Pete has sprinkled his episode with so many little winks to the fan-base that are so thrilling, but he does really well to keep them in the right moments, allowing the main part of the story to unfold and excite us.
There is a really good view into the world Kerblam is set in, giving us an insight into where humanity will end up if we’re not careful with our technology. And I absolutely loved the threat and its plan. It was a really dark and funny idea, and it fitted perfectly in the universe of ‘Doctor Who’. The pacing was really good, those 50 minutes just flew by.
Pete McTighe gets this show! He absolutely gets how the series works and how it has succeeded for so many years, and that is why I think this is one of the strongest scripts ‘Doctor Who’ has ever had. I really hope Chris Chibnall (the show's head writer) keeps a tight hold of Pete and brings him back to write more for the series.
Every single character was brilliant. They were all very well rounded, living, breathing people who I bought thanks to the script and the fantastic performances.
Jodie Whittaker is great as always as the Doctor, I loved her excitement when the ‘Kerblam-Man’ turned up in the TARDIS with a package for her (containing a present which was a lovely little wink to the past for Whovians). I also really liked how the Doctor stood up for Kira when she wasn’t being treated very well by her boss, it was a lovely moment that Jodie delivered really well.
Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole are still giving wonderful performances as Yaz and Ryan. The actors worked really well together in their scenes. I loved how human Yasmin was in the final scenes, and Ryan’s dyspraxia was brought up again in a nice moment. And Bradley Walsh has some great moments as Graham - there were many bits that had me laughing thanks to Bradley’s fantastic delivery. I really like the new details we’re getting every week about these characters in terms of their past and personalities, it just makes them very rich and believable people who I enjoy watching in every moment their on-screen.
The guest cast were all on their A game. Julie Hesmondhalgh was brilliant as Judy Maddox. She had a great screen presence thanks to the fun energy Julie gave to the role. And Julie worked really well with Jodie’s Doctor, creating some nice chemistry between the characters. Callum Dixon gives a solid performance as the unlikeable boss Jarva Slade. Lee Mack has a small amount of screen-time as Dan Cooper, but Lee’s performance is really good that is makes the character memorable. Claudia Jessie was fantastic as the loveable Kira Arlo. But my favourite guest star has to be Leo Flanagan as Charlie Duffy. Leo gives a really good performance here, he just shone in every moment he was in, and his final scenes were easily his best moments.
This is Jennifer Perrot’s second outing as director for ‘Doctor Who’ and she did a phenomenal job at making ‘Kerblam!’ very cinematic.
The world of Kerblam looked beautiful, the colours in the set design and the alien sky was stunning. And there was a fantastic action sequence which looked flipping awesome! The robots were really creepy with their smiles and moves, even when they were being friendly there was something really chilling about them. The music was another highlight for me, it served the alien industrial setting brilliantly.
This episode was just a lot of fun and is one I will remember for years to come. I think it’s definitely one I will watch to bring a smile to my face on a rainy day. Well done Pete McTighe (please write more ‘Doctor Who’!)
‘DOCTOR WHO: Kerblam!’ result = 10/10