The free holiday of a lifetime! But what does exposing the terrible truth of Orphan 55 reveal about our companion family?

This week on Doctor Who the Doctor and her companions are still feeling the emotional bruises of Spyfall. But in going along with Graham’s plan to cheer them all up with a holiday to Orphan 55, do they only reveal further how battered they’re feeling?


Doctor Who - Orphan 55 - S12E03 - Graham (BRADLEY WALSH) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ben Blackall
Graham (BRADLEY WALSH) reveals himself as a galactic class couponer – (C) BBC – Photographer: Ben Blackall


  • He loves a coupon. Considering that he has access to a time machine that can take him to any beach on any planet in history, free of charge, he’s absurdly pleased with himself for collecting enough tokens to get a free holiday at Tranquility Spa
  • Graham’s idea of the perfect holiday: “I am going to sit over there for three hours, then I’m going to get up and sit somewhere else, and then cocktails.”
  • He has no idea how to open the drive core and isolate the syrillium 3. After all, he’s a bus driver, not an engineer, Jim.
Doctor Who - Orphan 55 - S12E03 - Yaz (MANDIP GILL), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ben Blackall
Yaz (MANDIP GILL) is quick to challenge the ‘mardy mood’ the Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) has been in lately. – (C) BBC – Photographer: Ben Blackall


  • Yaz seems to be genuinely finding TARDIS travel rough going these days. This is the second story in a row where her experiences have brought her to the edge of tears. And she’s deeply shaken by the truth behind Orphan 55 and the Dregs.
  • She’s also deeply amused by Ryan’s love life. She inserts herself into Ryan and Bella’s flirting with a sing-song “Yeah, Ryan. What’cha takin’ about?” in classic playground style. But then in Spyfall she also got in the way of Ryan’s attempts at dating by banning him from seeing her sister. So maybe she actually likes Ryan more than she lets on.
  • Yaz continues to the most perceptive of the companions, and the one most likely to challenge the Doctor. Last week she was the leader of the little mini-rebellion where the Fam demanded answers about how exactly the Doctor was. This week, she confronts the Doctor about her “mardy mood.” It seems possible they’re laying the groundwork for Yaz’s reaction when she learns the Doctor’s been lying about Gallifrey.


Doctor Who - Orphan 55- S12E03 - Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Bella (GIA RÉ) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ben Blackall
Ryan (TOSIN COLE) and Bella (GIA RÉ). Even her being a homicidal bomber who causes dozens of deaths doesn’t entirely put him off – (C) BBC – Photographer: Ben Blackall


  • The flip side of Yaz’s sabotaging Ryan two stories in a row, is that this is two stories in a row where Ryan has been attempting to find himself a girlfriend. He even gets a snog this time, albeit it of the ‘goodbye, I’m about to sacrifice myself in a hopeless battle against an army of flesh eating monsters’ sort. But will Ryan’s Doomed Love of the Week become a regular fixture now?
  • Dyspraxia watch: Ryan’s never looked more dyspraxic than when trying to shoo away a swarm of hallucinatory bats.
  • This season Ryan’s being showing an usually high regard for self-preservation, compared to most companions. After effectively leaving Yaz for dead in Spyfall while he escaped the Kassavians, here he simply follows Bella around as she plants her bombs. Defending himself against the Doctor’s shock he argues “She had a lot of bombs and a gun. I wasn’t going to argue!”


Doctor Who S12E04 - Nikola Telsa's Night of Terror - Nikola Tesla (GORAN VISNJIC), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), and her companions Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Yaz (MANDIP GILL), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ben Blackall
Doctor Who S12E04 – Nikola Telsa’s Night of Terror – Nikola Tesla (GORAN VISNJIC), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Yaz (MANDIP GILL), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Ben Blackall

Doctor Who continues at 7.10pm this Sunday on with Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror

The time: the earliest years of the 20th century. The place: New York City. Inventor Nikola Tesla is at war with his rival Thomas Edison. However, there’s an even greater threat in their midst… Doctor Who continues next Sunday 19th January with ‘Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror’ on BBC One and BBC America. Written by Nina Metivier. Directed by Nida Manzoor. Guest starring Anjli Mohindra, Goran Visnijc, Robert Glenister, and Haley McGee.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.