Television Review

Doctor Who: ‘Empire of Death’ — bombastic, brainless resolutions salvaged by an emotional reunion

The Doctor has lost, his ageless enemy reigns supreme, and a shadow is falling over creation. Nothing can stop the devastation… except, perhaps, one woman.

Dan Owen
Frame Rated
Published in
7 min readJun 22, 2024

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TThis finale showcased the strengths and weaknesses of Russell T Davies’s writing. The sci-fi plot mechanics made little to no sense, while everything that was down-to-earth and based on interpersonal relationships worked brilliantly. Unfortunately, the latter was wrapped up in an extended dénouement that finally revealed Ruby’s (Millie Gibson) mysterious mother. As a result, the vast majority of “Empire of Death” was bombastic nonsense.

RTD is known to be a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has borrowed elements from that franchise for his second stint as Doctor Who showrunner. The most obvious one is UNIT’s swanky London skyscraper HQ being modelled on New York City’s iconic Avengers Tower. Here, the “dusts of death” that Sutekh’s henchmen disperse across the universe…

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Dan Owen
Frame Rated

Freelance writer and TV addict raised on films • Socials and links: https://linktr.ee/danowen