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Russell T Davies channels Black Mirror in a story of AI, shallow social media, and posh white supremacy. But, naturally, with added slug monsters

“Oh my hopscotch!”, as Lindy Pepper-Bean might say. The on-screen lead for much of this episode, Callie Cooke, is surely one of the most dislikeable human characters Doctor Who has ever produced. She is vain, shallow, self-absorbed and manipulative, and not afraid to cause her idol, Ricky September (Tom Rhys Harries), to die, and then lie about it. Regardless of the presence of the slug monsters, she is undoubtedly the villain of the piece.

It was strikingly stylised, and unusual to see an episode of Doctor Who mostly colour-graded to be pastel pinks and blues until the final subterranean act. The obvious target was the vacuousness of much of social media, but writer Russell T Davies struck out at wider themes, including the idea that AI might come to hate humans, and the arrogant privilege that comes with being, as Ruby Sunday put it, the “rich kids”. The inhabitants of Finetime had been sent off to a posh offworld boarding school and apprentice scheme for the wealthy and conventionally attractive, where they mostly partied. “Some of us get eaten” was both factually true for the story, and a bleakly observant pun for the viewer. Some people do get Eton.

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​ Russell T Davies channels Black Mirror in a story of AI, shallow social media, and posh white supremacy. But, naturally, with added slug monsters“Oh my hopscotch!”, as Lindy Pepper-Bean might say. The on-screen lead for much of this episode, Callie Cooke, is surely one of the most dislikeable human characters Doctor Who has ever produced. She is vain, shallow, self-absorbed and manipulative, and not afraid to cause her idol, Ricky September (Tom Rhys Harries), to die, and then lie about it. Regardless of the presence of the slug monsters, she is undoubtedly the villain of the piece.It was strikingly stylised, and unusual to see an episode of Doctor Who mostly colour-graded to be pastel pinks and blues until the final subterranean act. The obvious target was the vacuousness of much of social media, but writer Russell T Davies struck out at wider themes, including the idea that AI might come to hate humans, and the arrogant privilege that comes with being, as Ruby Sunday put it, the “rich kids”. The inhabitants of Finetime had been sent off to a posh offworld boarding school and apprentice scheme for the wealthy and conventionally attractive, where they mostly partied. “Some of us get eaten” was both factually true for the story, and a bleakly observant pun for the viewer. Some people do get Eton. Continue reading… Doctor Who, Culture, Fantasy TV, Television, Television & radio, Ncuti Gatwa, Russell T Davies, Episode recaps 

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