Home » ‘Physician Who’ Episode 4 Recap: Now You See Her

‘Physician Who’ Episode 4 Recap: Now You See Her

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Let’s get the simple bit out of the best way. “73 Yards” isn’t just the perfect episode of the season thus far, but in addition the strongest story “Physician Who” has produced in years — regardless of the Physician (Ncuti Gatwa) hardly that includes.

That’s to not say the decade-spanning story’s success will depend on Gatwa’s absence. Sure, Episode 4 offers Millie Gibson area to interrupt out of her companion function for the primary time, and he or she offers a nuanced efficiency properly past her 19 years.

However it’s Russell T Davies’s bold, unpredictable script that can guarantee a spot for “73 Yards” within the Whoniverse historical past books. The episode continually wrong-foots viewers, performs with folks tales and horror tropes, and finds a genuinely terrifying villain in a nuclear-warmongering politician.

“We’re in Wales. Spectacular!” shouts the Physician because the TARDIS materializes on a craggy cliff face. For worldwide viewers, it’s a swift introduction to a nation that has lengthy been related to “Physician Who”: Davies is Welsh, and the present is a former BBC Wales manufacturing.

In a seemingly throwaway remark, the Physician mentions a future prime minister, a Welshman named Roger ap Gwilliam, who will lead Britain to “the brink of nuclear conflict” within the 2040s. “Sorry, spoilers,” he says, taking pictures Ruby a smile.

Adventures within the right here and now are placed on pause when the Physician by chance steps on a witchy-looking net of threads and stones, generally known as a fairy circle, on the grass. Ruby reads the word connected — “Relaxation in peace Mad Jack” — however when she seems to be up, the Physician has vanished, the TARDIS locked behind him.

Ruby initially assumes it’s a prank. The unusual girl (Hilary Hobson) with fluttering grey hair who’s waving her arms within the close to distance? She have to be in on it, too. Ruby marches off towards the closest village, but when she seems to be again, the lady is at all times shut behind, within the model of the 2015 horror film “It Follows.”

A pleasant hiker passes by, confirming to Ruby that she, too, can see the mysterious girl. “I haven’t met you earlier than, have I?” Ruby asks the walker. She has: The actor, Susan Twist, has had a small function in all of Gibson’s episodes thus far, beforehand as a tea woman, a spaceship officer and a robotic ambulance. This echoes the “Unhealthy Wolf” arc from Davies’s first season in 2005, and it’s clear that the showrunner desires us to note Twist’s repeated presence — however why?

At Ruby’s request, the hiker goes to talk to the distant girl, and is quickly working away from Ruby. Feeling uneasy however brief on choices, Ruby treks to a close-by pub. She by no means sees the lady transfer, however the gray-haired determine isn’t far behind.

One of many locals from the pub additionally tries to talk to the lady, and equally sprints away in panic. Ruby leaves Wales, however the girl follows her again to London, at all times retaining 73 yards away, and turns Ruby’s mother, Carla (Michelle Greenidge), towards her, too. “Even your actual mom didn’t need you,” Carla tells Ruby. Because it has at factors of peril in earlier episodes, snow falls exterior their condo.

A yr later, Ruby meets with Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) from the United Intelligence Taskforce, or UNIT, Britain’s supersecret extraterrestrial job power that was first talked about on “Physician Who” in 1968. Kate was launched throughout Matt Smith’s tenure in 2012, because the daughter of the Physician’s previous buddy the Brigadier, first performed by Nicholas Courtney within the early “Physician Who” years. The UNIT crew additionally tries — and fails — to tackle the mysterious girl.

Deserted once more, Ruby accepts her destiny. Gibson’s efficiency thus far has been rooted in ache, however now a glance of clean resignation clouds her eyes.

Ruby’s life cycles ahead: mid-20s, 30s, 40s. Throughout a breakup in a bar, Ruby sees a populist politician (Aneurin Barnard) on TV: Roger ap Gwilliam, the Welsh politician the Physician warned her about.

The calmly assured Roger immediately evokes an all-time nice “Physician Who” villain. Within the 2007 episode “The Sound of Drums,” the Physician’s longstanding enemy the Grasp took on the type of a person named Harold Saxon (John Simm) and charmed his means into turning into prime minister, solely to make use of his platform for destruction. Roger isn’t the Grasp (so far as we all know, not less than), however the newer character is each bit as charismatic and sinister.

“I used to be a jack-of-all-trades. Mad Jack, they used to name me,” Roger says. Now, it’s Ruby’s time to avoid wasting the world.

Ruby joins Roger’s marketing campaign crew, and watches him develop into elected prime minister, promising a “greater, bolder Britain.” For a giant political rally, the crew congregates on the empty Cardiff Metropolis soccer stadium (the big venue is one other flex of the present’s newly bolstered finances). There, Ruby learns Roger’s plan: to purchase Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and declare Britain impartial of NATO.

She strides throughout the pristine pitch towards the politician, stopping 73 yards from him. Her mysterious follower is now standing beside him, and begins speaking to him. Just like the hiker, Carla and the UNIT crew earlier than him, Roger runs off shouting and instantly resigns, along with his deputy happening to vow “a extra lenient and listening authorities.”

Time skips ahead one other 40 years, and Ruby (now performed by Amanda Walker) dozes off at her high-tech care dwelling. She wakes to search out the lady there — not 73 yards away, however on the finish of the mattress. It begins enjoying out like a horror film: The lights flicker as the lady will get nearer, the shrieking rating muddling with Ruby’s audibly slowing coronary heart price and the screaming beep of her hospital monitor. Ruby reaches out her arms, and the scene modifications.

“We’re in Wales. Spectacular!” In entrance of the older Ruby, the Physician and younger Ruby step out of the TARDIS on the Welsh coast, all these years in the past. Every part turns into clear: The older girl following Ruby was herself all alongside, providing a warning from the longer term about Roger’s plans for nuclear destruction. Within the season thus far, Ruby’s origins have been a query mark, and this different future deepens the thriller.

When the 2 girls are in one another’s presence this time round, issues are completely different. Younger Ruby notices the lady and hears her whispered name of “don’t step.” She stops the Physician from breaking the fairy circle, and so they depart the word about Mad Jack unread. The pair skip off searching for journey, enterprise as regular.

There haven’t been many “Physician Who” episodes wherein the Physician’s companion drives the story. However this newest providing — arriving midway by way of the season — proves what’s doable when the present’s creators not solely prioritize daring storytelling, but in addition refuse to carry the viewer’s hand. Let’s hope they’ll stick with it.

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