I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this special episode given that I’d been very unimpressed overall with the previous series. In short, too soap-opera-ey and not enough Who-ness.
Tonight’s got off to a slow start. And with no title sequence, I was wrong-footed immediately. But, as the episode progressed, this latest outing for our hero began to grow on me.
I didn’t like the soap-opera element (Ryan’s conflict with his Dad) but just like every series these days it seems, there HAS to be some emotional tension/resolution doesn’t there? For me, it's just so unnecessary.
On a positive note (and to confirm probably it's worst-kept secret) it was good to see a returning adversary in the shape of a (semi-naked) Dalek. Conversely, I was VERY disappointed that UNIT was ‘written out’ so unceremoniously!
The special effects were pretty good and certainly a lot better than some I’d seen on previous episodes. The final scene where they defeated the Dalek was totally cheesey, but left the audience with a warm rosy glow into this new year! Ahhh!
In conclusion, I’d say that Jodie Whittaker has, IMHO, really made the part her own now - and tonight’s outing sets up things nicely for the next series (apparently due in ‘early 2020’). This episode felt more Who-like than most of the previous series and I really hope it’s the next series will be more like this new year’s special.