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Doctor Who Series 12 Review

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Doctor Who Tours have arrived! For information about our upcoming Doctor Who walking tours of Cardiff on August 15th and 22nd 2020, please visit the tour page.


Doctor Who Series 12 is a curiosity. It is certainly a steady progression upon the previous year, and it feels like a natural and consistent improvement as well, but still contains flaws. Nonetheless, there are a lot of positives despite the ups and downs, and there are some stellar episodes and performances throughout.

Series 11 gave us a blank canvas, from which we got a lot of promising moments, a host of new characters and some decent stories. However, for all of that potential it never hit any high notes and was let down by some cheesy writing, bland performances and not-so-subtle moral preaching.

Series 12 still promised a lot though. By the Series 11 finale we had finally got to know the Doctor a little deeper, and by the end of the New Year’s Day special, ‘Resolution’, we were set up nicely for the new series. Regarding any dangling threads from the end of Series 11, there were no major stand-out questions from a narrative perspective. However, we still do have questions nonetheless, such as ‘Who is the Timeless Child?’, which was mentioned as far back as ‘The Ghost Monument’ in early Series 11. Otherwise, are we going to meet the Stenza empire following “Tim Shaw’s” two appearances up to this point? Also, surely the Cybermen are going to turn up this year, seeing as they were excluded from Series 11, but in what form will that be? So, we have questions, but nothing that strictly needs to get answered, and nothing that was dramatically left hanging over from either ‘The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kalos’ (hopefully the episode names improve) or ‘Resolution’.

More than any of that stuff, what we really want is to get to know all of the characters better. Firstly, Yaz could do with some more storylines and with more to do, while Ryan’s acting could use some improvement as well. If this could all happen while also allowing the audience to experience more of the Doctor being the Doctor then that would be great. If anything, Series 11 left people wanting more, because there was so much unrealised potential and character development, so this is an important year to get things right and to deliver on the sliver of potential from Series 11.

Before we get into the episodes, for those of you reading these reviews for the first time, they are being written in light of our upcoming Doctor Who tour of Cardiff filming locations. The Welsh capital has served as the backdrop to most of the new stories filmed this century, including parts of Series 12, be it in studios in Cardiff Bay or around the city’s streets and buildings, and a tour of those locations will become a reality very soon, now that tours are possible again. Series 12 is no exception, especially in, for example, ‘Spyfall’ (Cathays Police Station), ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ (Bute Dock Feeder Canal), and ‘Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror’ (Custom House in Cardiff Bay). In the meantime, consider these reviews a light introduction into what may or may not feature on those tours in the future, and a fun look back on the individual series’ as well.

Finally, that tour is able to become a reality, and the first running of our Doctor Who Cardiff Tour will take place on the afternoon of Saturday August 15th at 2:30pm, from Alexandra Gardens in Cathays Park (pictured below). The second running will take place at the same time on the following Saturday, August 22nd, before returning more regularly from September. For these initial two tours there will be an introductory price of £10 per person, and a maximum of 12 spaces available on the tour. So, for more information about the tour and how to look, just visit the Doctor Who Tour page of our website.

With the set up and changes all noted, finally, it’s time to dive into the stories.

The Stories