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Smokey and The Bandit introduce The Doctor and her companions to the Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World of rubbish snipers and sentient offcuts

Having teleported herself and her new chums into the depths of space, The Thirteenth Doctor must surely think the Gumball Rally’s over and lost. As luck would have it, though, they Cannonball Run right into Smokey and The Bandit, the last two participants of an interstellar treasure hunt.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, think Yaz, Ryan and Graham, but this isn’t the slow lane, no, siree Bob, this is the Speed Zone, and best do whatever she says because what is she again? Gallifreyan? Sure, sounds like an Amazing Race.

They soon learn that at the finishing line awaits the TARDIS, so now they must battle rubbish snipers and sentient offcuts to reach it, because then, and only then, Doc will be able to bring her new companions back home. — Really? If we get there, you can bring us back höme? — Yes, Yaz, that’s literally exactly what we just said.

Plus a couple of Art Malik pics, courtesy of Daniel McGinley — Cheers, Dan!

(Listener minis will be added below soon, promise!)

Here's what we think of N146 The Ghost Monument

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Here's what we think of N146 The Ghost Monument

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Here's what you think 8 Responses to “N146 The Ghost Monument”
  1. Tracey from America | @yecartniatnouf

    Quick first thought: Has Yaz been dressed as Homestarrunner this entire time??
    On the Who-is-this-Doctor front:
    She likes to throw in a name drop. This ep she references Audrey Hepburn and Pythagoras.
    Next I will skip to the end to talk about the new TARDIS. I don’t mind the glowing beehive or the mighty stone hand the console sits in the palm of. Ehhh I’m on the fence about the crystal spinning mini TARDIS. And I think the cookie dispenser is a nice touch, but I want a more appetizing cookie. (Shrug) To each her own.
    Now let’s talk for a minute about sexist writing. Overall, this Doctor has been given far too many moments of confusion, silence, meekness and defeat. Now, I’m not saying the Doctor as an entity cannot have a spectrum of moments from triumph to despair. But to have it swing so far so often in the direction of lame and toothless is problematic for the first portrayal of the Doctor as a woman. This episode sees evil paper taunting her over things she doesn’t know, whilst calling specific attention to her fear. Has any previous Doctor been subjected to such without giving a resounding speech in response? Also, note the curious despondency when the TARDIS isn’t where she expects to find it. With a day to come up with a rescue plan, it feels strange for her to give up. Doc Eleven had minutes left in Let’s Kill Hitler and still managed optimism.

    Rating: Oh wait did I review the story at all…?

  2. Daniel McGinley

    Welcome to Doctor Who does Tomb Raider. Or as it’s commonly known, The ghost monument.

    The episode opens with new titles which are just about passable. The theme would be sooo much better without a four-year old child wildly smashing out the baseline on a snare drum. Note to self: must try not to compare everything with the brilliance of the Capaldi era. Oh wait, that’s the point of a review.

    Once again Graham shows ALL the personality and the rest of fam are fleshed out by dull conversations in an attempt to give them character. Compared to the energy of Rose, or Donna [yes Leon], Ryan and Yaz are lethargic and flat. Apart from Ryan’s ridiculous sugar-rush induced Call of Duty moment. He flips between paralysed with fear or extreme confidence. Consistency please.

    Despite shoe-horning in emotional back stories, I didn’t care who won the rally and the joint winner was bleugh.

    We have the first mention of The Timeless Child. Oooh what could it mean? Hopefully it’s a super rewarding series arc like Badwolf or Torchwood that the fans are going to LOVE when it’s finally revealed 😍.

    Talking paper monsters? Maybe I was a bit harsh on Tim Shaw last time.
    Obscure geek reference: Ark Malik in the tent a homage to his role in The Living Daylights?

    Moralising lecture count: 1, Series total: 2

    Whilst an improvement on the opener, this was just alright, the lovely moment with Doc outside the Tardis bumps it up by half a point for a total of 2.4.

  3. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    Ah, finally a title sequence. Dunno, I think for me the colours are off. I’ve seen someone recolour them in mainly green and do think that’s a better colour for them. Or even red-orange like how the Pertwee ones start off. As it is, it just doesn’t look quite right. The music itself is fine enough, a bit moodier than some of the previous versions. Not having a cold open feels strange for new Who now after so many years of having them.

    Anyway, a convenient rescue spoiling the cliffhanger reprise. And uh, this is a bit…dull isn’t it? The pair fighting to win the race ending up realising that they only really have each other left. It feels a little played out. The Ryan v Sniper Bots scene is very cringe (well to me at least). And ‘good old acetylene’…erm, sure…I use hydrogen most days in the lab but fuck no for acetylene.

    Well, at least it looks nice. The cinematography is very nice and the location filming is good as well. A reference to the TImeless Child? Well I’m sure that’s going to pay off well…

    Hmm, bit of a misstep after last time’s opening story but nothing really bad as such in it, though I won’t be rushing back to watch it. Art Malik feels a little wasted. 2.4/5 strangling rags



  4. Tanz Sixfingers | @tanzsixfingers

    Greetings Who Back When Fam!

    I found this week’s episode, The Ghost Monument, enjoyable, but with a number of issues. Chibnall really seems to have a lack of understanding of how science works, and it lowers my ability to suspend my disbelief and stay in the moment of the story.

    First of all, everyone is allowed ONE life-saving or life-altering coincidence; that is why they are in the story to begin with. Beyond that, it stretches believability.

    Why didn’t Graham notice there were three suns before they landed?

    Chibnall doesn’t understand scale. He seems to think galaxies are the size of a solar system. This was part of a race across twelve galaxies. Galaxies are hundreds of thousands of light-years across, and millions of light-years apart, and contain billions of stars. It is almost as bad as last week’s aliens having come past 5000 galaxies to have a grudge match on Earth.

    Even though he is supposed to be a mechanic, or learning to be one, once again Ryan shows absolutely no interest in trying to repair, or even examine, alien technology.

    There is some back story or character development for all three companions, so we are on track to have well-rounded characters. I did like the CGI, but I was expecting the sunglasses the Doctor gave to Graham to be the Sonic ones from Twelve.

    I was disappointed in the ending. It felt like this should have been part one of a two parter, or the setup for a season-long story arc, but sadly (spoilers) I know it is never referenced again.

    I give this a 2.6 out of 5.

  5. Justforwhoo

    HEY HEY!! HUZZAH!! Not only do we have a title sequence this week but a jingle in the works from my favourite doctor who podcast (I can now die a happy human).

    Ah yes so let’s talk about what happened after the title sequence – you know – the episode!

    Firstly the VISUALS WERE STUNNING! Almost make up for the toilet paper baddie of the week. Actually, they were pretty evil now that I think about it – spoiling the whole plot of series twelve by taunting us (and the doctor) with how “she doesn’t know” that “she’s the timeless child”. Can you think of a worse baddie than someone who spoils things? The AUDACITY!

    Also, this episode was pretty darn funny! Jodie has great comedic timing, honestly – they all do. It was also nice to get more into the arc/theme of family, exploring different family dynamics and the impact that has on self-identity. This is the second time this series we witness an example of cruel/bad parenting. Epzo’s story about his mother reminded me of Tectenn and got me thinking about how many other things there are in series eleven that allude to future series. Like for example “I was a hologram for three weeks” *laughs Chibnall* make that three years doc (talk about a new personal best).

    BEST BIT: come to daddy, I mean mummy, I mean get you a time machine that makes you custard creams!

    WORST BIT: ryan’s call of duty comment (I just know if Ryan was younger, that comment would’ve been about fortnite and I don’t think I could cope with that existing in the DWU)

    I’d rate it 3.6/5.0.

  6. Maxwell Rayner

    Who Back When Podcast Release Date (13 March 2022)
    BBC Broadcasting Date (14 October 2018)
    Directed By: Mark Tonderai
    Written By: Chris Chibnall

    I’m Back. A few things: Yes, you can call me Max, And I Accept the title of King Of Segway’s, And Third I loved being the last review so if you could do that again that would be great.

    Anyway, The Ghost Monument was a straight let down for me. Specifically the title sequence and Tardis interior. The last episode was better with none of that. Also no cold open, very sad. Splitting up the group was the best decision of the episode (If only they killed off Graham and Ryan in a spaceship “accident”). Boat, boring. Give me less dialog and more running. Also useless tent dude (ughh) and the reveal of The Tardis being the ghost monument (ughhh). This episode feels way worse watching it the second time.

    What annoyed me this time was all the bloody questions. And then finally running (ayyy). And then the doc says no guns and my smile disappeared. But then we got Ryan and his stupidity and another chance at killing him, but no. I wish Clara was here she would have just done a thing and saved the day (but Yas is no equivalent). And something I hate to bring up is the overuse of the sonic. The stenza part 2 but flammable (That seems flawed). And the first mention of the Timeless Child (ughhhhhhhhhhhh). I give this episode a 2.6/5 ruined “oh you’ve redecorated, I don’t like it” lines. See you in N147 Rosa (it better be better).

  7. Andy Parkinson | @caffreys71

    Hi Gang,

    Doctor Who goes full on Hunger Games here in Jodie’s second outing.


    • The locations look amazing. It certainly beats the generic quarries of Who of old.
    • Venusian Aikido is back!
    • The girly screaming from Ryan when his Call of Duty moment goes wrong
    • “Do you practise those lines in the mirror?”
    • The call back to “You’ve redecorated”


    • Water filled with flesh eating microbes – but they never make a difference to the story. Also, if there’s no living thing on the planet, what are they surviving on?
    • More Killer Robots that are awful shots.
    • Chekhov’s cigar – did anyone not see that coming?
    • Why does the TARDIS reappear on this planet? – some kind of explanation would be nice.
    • The Doctor deciphers the HUGE writing on the floor – what kind of alien overlords allows its captives to leave massive clues all over the place?
    • How much better would it have been not to have the huge TARDIS spoiler in the tent and instead have it revealed at the end?

    Companion watch:
    The old saying of three’s a crowd is very evident here. Graham certainly shines, Ryan is still in full sulky teenager mode, but sadly Yaz is reduced to the “What is it Doctor” role.

    Overall, the cast do a pretty good job, although Art Malik is criminally underused. However even they can’t save this story from the obvious plot points and Chibnall’s less than stellar writing – something that will plague Jodie’s era. Stunningly directed and great location work help salvage it somewhat and I award this story
    2.9 flesh eating microbes out of 5

    Andy Parkinson

  8. GP Haynes

    Hello again,

    Thought I’d venture into new who with my latest review:

    I quite liked this follow up to Jodie Whitakers strong debut episode.

    Production, costumes and support cast were all top notch. And it was genuinely hilarious when the competitors tried to explain the different currencies to the Doc!

    The plot was interesting up until the bandage/ cloth aliens which for me was probably the weak part of the story.
    Who are they? Where are they from? What do they eat? Are they leftovers from the Charity Op Shop?

    This was not adequately explained!

    The good points:

    • The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy rescue at the start
    • Art Malik was great, but Shaun Dooley for me was just soooo obnoxious, and great in his part as the male competitor. I loved the story he told of his mum.
    • The planet scenes were well filmed and the robot guards were super cool.
    • Loved the scene when the Tardis reappeared

    The Bad Points:

    • Those robot guard can’t shoot for Sh#t!
    • Don’t get me started on Ryans “ Call of Duty” moment
    • Venusian Aikido? Um no, Jodie is no Pertwee. You wanna see moves and noise? Can’t go past the 3rd Doc!!

    I enjoyed this a lot, but Chibnall needs to work on his plots which are often too disjointed.

    3.6 unfinished plot points

    GP Haynes

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