Browse the WBW Podcast
Browse the WBW Podcast

The tooth fairy returns with an oversimplified god complex and acolytes who don’t seem to realise THEY’RE the creators

The Doctor is astounded to receive very nearly 10 distress calls from the planet whose name means Disintegrator of the Soul. Turns out a mere three and a half millennia earlier, everyone’s least favourite impacted molar, Tim Shaw, Terminatored in there and convinced a two-person telekinetic sect that he was their Creator come to manifest with them awhile.

Armed with the gospel of checking in advance if it’s OK whether she does something, Thirteen, plus gung-ho Grandad, his now openly loving grandson, and a kind of investigative screensaver, must kill Tim Shaw – or not, save the inhabitants of five planets – or not, and prevent Earth being encased in cheap plastic all in the name of revenge, for Ux’ sake.

Here's what we think of N154 The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

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 N154 The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

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 7 Responses to “N154 The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos”
  1. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    What is it with the titles this series? What a mouthful of a latter half and let’s be fair, it’s hardly a battle in the ep. A mild skirmish? And still no cold open, so we’ve had the entire series with one which is very strange for the modern series.
    Shrunken planets held in stasis? Chris, you’re just copying The Pirate Planet but have forgotten the robot parrot. By the Sky Demon!
    Other than that, it feels a little bit generic. Like I’m sure we’ve seen this kinda story before. In fact Tzim-Sha is doing a Master plot, see The Daemons and The Time Monster to name two. I will say, I didn’t find it as bad as I thought it was on rewatch. Like, it’s not good or great but not terrible.
    Yeah, I don’t really have much to say about this one other than it’s a little dull but seems to be relatively well made. Not great for your season finale though.
    2.9/5 frozen planets for your collection


  2. Daniel McGinley

    Yas asks “Ranskoor Av What?” Never were wiser words said by a companion. I’ll tell you what it is, Yazmin; the worst season finale of New Who. (So far). Remember when it was a blockbuster event that got the nation and fandom excited?
    Upon hearing the baddies voice – who is it? The Master? The dream Lord? No my friends, it’s Tim f*ing Shaw. Surprisingly the fam recognised him. Would be a minor miracle if anyone watching did. Deciding not to bring back previous enemies is fine IF you then create new, interesting ones. If I were playing Top Trumps of Dr Who Monsters and was dealt any card from this season, I’d throw in my hand and go home as I’d have no chance of winning a single round.
    Doesn’t time fly, Ryan has gone from begrudging acceptance of Graham to full on love affair.
    Loved the line “Universe provide for me, I’m working really hard to keep you together”
    Good to see an homage (exact copy) of the shrunken worlds from the Pirate Planet. Could have done with the Captain to inject some much-needed energy here. Mr Fibuli!!

    In conclusion, it’s easy to slate this when comparing to any other finale but it’s the actually perfect ending, encapsulating the sheer mediocrity of the season.
    – Low stakes; check
    – Zero tension; check, not helped by the elevator music soundtrack; check
    – Crap baddie: check
    – Endless exposition, check
    – Concepts introduced, never referred to again; check
    – Overuse of the sonic; check.
    – Graham the best and only interesting companion; check
    Luckily only one moralising lecture, thus ending the regular season on 19. Hope you’ve all learned something.

  3. GP Haynes

    This is the one with the lady from “ Downtown Abbey”
    People with glowing eyes
    The return of Tim Shaw ( Tzim-Sha )
    Ryan and Sniper bots being totally stupid…..again
    The Doctor lays down the rules
    Graham vows revenge
    Yaz does……”Yazzie things”
    And 3407 years have passed, the last 7 really dragged though…

    A bit like this episode.

    For the most part Jodie’s first season was pretty good. It’s a shame it ended with a fizz.

    Even the production was down on this last effort, coupled with a rather average story. Even the normally brilliant Graham was slightly below par.
    I didn’t mind our villain in his debut effort ( eat my salad Halloween! ) But this was a tired, lazy effort on the part of the writers.
    The Ux are never fully explained, nor how they can use their “ Psychic” Powers. Why are there only two? Do they even reproduce? How did Tim Shaw even convince them
    to help him? I must have missed something as I was half snoozing….

    And as a result, it’s a boring, predictable ending.

    I’m still rating this as average though, because Dr Who is like sex, even when it’s bad, well, it’s still pretty good..

    Rating: 2.4 More rules that the Doctor changes

    GP Haynes


  4. Justforwhoo

    Well well well, if it isn’t me about to backtrack on all my negative opinions about this episode because (and I can’t believe I’m saying this), I actually really enjoyed this episode. Were there a few mishaps – maybe, but let’s do the positives first!!

    The pile of good things:
    1. THE DOCTOR HAS ARRIVED. Something about Jodie in this ep really set in stone for me who her doctor is meant to be.
    2. Bradley Walsh putting his entire WALSHussy into Graham – the man can act !!
    3. The whole false gods and faith aspect. I’ll eat it up every. single. time. (except for maybe the rings of AKHAAAAAAAATEN).

    The pile of bad things:
    1. “Nobody can do what we do” say the Ux as they smash a bunch of rocks together… literally any four year old would beg to differ.
    2. Realising this episode is basically just Stolen Earth but with visuals that are a gazillion times better.

    All in all from what I saw: Tim Shaw the dentist got forced into retirement, Ryan said he loves his grandad, Yaz swore to stick by the doctor no matter and the fam saved the day.

    Was this an episode – yes! Was it a finale – of sorts!

    BEST BIT: Twas a pretty funny one considering the plot.
    WORST BIT: The title – because what the fuck Chris?

    Giving this one a 4.0/5.0!

  5. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club


    • An old school quarry. Harrah!
    • Tzim-Sha as a false god on a spite-fuelled Planet killing rampage.
    • Some interesting religiousy stuff that no doubt Team Who Back When have theologically decimated by time of reading.


    • The Ux are so gullible. How did these morons become all-powerful beings?
    • Why will the Ux have to “sleep on the floor”? They’re Master Builders from the Lego Movie: build a bed! Better still, take the beds of Paltraki’s two dead crew! Salvage some beds from the massive spaceship graveyard!
    • Why are the Ux so surprised at the Tardis? They’ve seen tonnes of high tech.
    • Why is this Doctor such a wuss about killing baddies? I miss brutal Doctors: the Tenth Doctor drowning the Racknoss’s sprogs; Six chucking people into vats of acid with a quip; and the Seventh Doctor tricking everyone into killing themselves.
    • A lost opportunity for both a satisfactory end to Tzim-Sha and a morally compromised companion. Graham could have developed a bloodlust and become Hannibal Lector in the Tardis.

    Rating: 2.6/5 planets shrunken into amber, or something. Did everyone come back to life on them at the end? If not, the Ux are still massive genocide criminals, right? They can’t just pull the Albert Speer defence! How was this all resolved? It seems like a tonne of technobabble. Deducting this tripe to 1.6/5.

  6. Weakling Scum

    I suppose one could be forgiven for this slipping through the net, as he was killed off mid-way through Season 1, but I was surprised not to hear Mark Addy’s role as King Robert Baratheon, from zeitgeist-shattering mega-hit ‘Game of Thrones’ on your rundown of his notable credits

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