The Universe of Doctor Who has taken many different forms throughout its history, be it Adventure, Romance, Mystery or even Horror, every genre has been tackled in a way only The Doctor seemingly can. After last week’s highly insightful examination of Rosa Parks, Arachnids in The UK presented showrunner Chris Chibnall with the opportunity to not only have some fun at the expense of the characters but not so subtly shine a light on the political misgivings of worlds much closer to home.
Arachnids In The UK starts with a less than convincing farewell from The Doctor and her friends. After eagerly accepting the invitation to meet Yaz’s family for dinner, the team (except Graham) head off on their merry way.
As the episodes continue, it becomes apparent that the local Spider population has grown in more ways than one. Ranging in size from “nope” to “oh hell no”, the gigantic arachnids begin to terrorize the poor inhabitants of Urban Sheffield.
With regards to continuity, Arachnids in The UK does present a bit of a head-scratcher. Apparently taking place just 10 minutes after the first episode, that would mean the spiders were already at large in this area. So what would’ve happened if the Doctor hadn’t have shown up? These are the questions that need answering! Right?
In a more political sense, Sex and The City’s own Mr. Big (Chris Noth) plays industrial tycoon and all around nice guy, Robertson. Robertson, as I’m sure you can imagine, is this episode’s human foil. His neglect towards health and safety, his staff, and the general wellbeing of literally anyone but himself makes for one hell of a disgusting heel, and boy is it entertaining!
The constant beratement of Yaz’s Mother (Shobna Gulati) mixed with a more than obvious parallel of one incumbent US president does, in fact, generate some fairly humorous scenes, scenes more than necessary when there are giant spiders wrapping people in webbing and eventually eating them
Overall, Arachnids in the UK is another interesting addition to this ever-growing wave of peculiar Doctor Who episodes. Without blowing your socks off, it manages to crawl quickly up your arm and on to the hairs on the back of your neck. Without singeing your senses, it festers in your mind for days afterward, slowly piecing together the awe and wonder on display. Fast, frantic and freaky to boot, definitely one to make those afraid of spiders that little bit more anxious.