Doctor Who season 11, episode 4 recap: Arachnids in the UK


Scared of spiders? What about giant truck-sized spiders? This week’s episode of Doctor Who will remind you why these creepy crawlers are an all-out nightmare.

Doctor Who made us feel itchy and gave us goosebumps this week as giant-sized spiders took over the United Kingdom, or rather a hotel. After multiple attempts to get Graham, Ryan, and Yaz home, the TARDIS finally lands in London. But everyone is not quite ready to go back home just yet, and when Yaz invites everyone in for tea, the Doctor is all over it.

But Graham wants to head home first which would mark the first time him being there after Grace’s death. Meanwhile, the rest of the group heads into Yaz’s home and meets her family which includes her eager father and sassy sister.

The central theme of this season has been family, and I have to say, I am loving it. We never have dove into the personal lives of the companions like this before, and now it seems to be the biggest driving force behind the narrative of this season–and it’s amazing.

Doctors of the past didn’t have any interest in being too involved with their companion’s family, but this one is different, unique, and adorable. The introduction of Yaz’s family in this episode of Doctor Who is fun and light-hearted because they love to make fun of her and are welcoming to her friends because it’s the first time she’s ever brought any over.

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Meanwhile, we get a glimpse of Yaz’s mom who just got fired from her job at a new hotel and calls Yaz to come and pick her up. And while her family is her heart and soul, it becomes apparent that Yaz is still being held back by them.

The focus of this episode is on spiders, huge, creepy spiders and something has gone wrong with them because they’re growing in size and suffocating people with their intricate webs.

When Graham returns home, he finds what looks like shed skin in the basement and runs to tell the others who have made a discovery of their own.

Yaz’s neighbor, Anna, has been missing and when a co-worker, Dr. McIntyre comes looking for her, the Doctor helps break into her apartment to see what’s going on.

It’s here they find a giant spider under the bed that spun its web all around the house and managed to kill the woman in the process.

If you’re freaked out by spiders, get ready to be frightened and scared out of your minds because this episode of Doctor Who has a lot of them–and they’re HUGE! The group learns that Anna and Dr. McIntyre work in a lab together that studies spiders and their behavior. Why would anyone willingly want to do that!? Eep.

Eventually, the Doctor figures out that the spiders are all coming from a hotel, the same hotel that Yaz’s mom worked at. The hotel is run by a politician by the name of Jack Robertson who is planning on running for President in 2020.

The parallels that Doctor Who has already made to the current state of the world is a big part of this season and it’s commendable given that the show has its first female Doctor. They’re keeping it real, and we are loving every moment of it! As the episode progresses, they learn from Yaz’s mom that the hotel was built atop a coal mine and is being used as a landfill.

With a mixture of toxic waste and residual stuff from the spider experiments, it’s caused an outbreak of monster spiders. But as the episode points out, the spiders aren’t evil, they’re just confused about what’s going on and lashing out as a result.

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While the team figures out how to lure the spiders to one place (by blasting rap music to create vibrations), Robertson doesn’t hesitate to shoot the mother spider who is dying because she’s too big and can’t breathe.

If only the Doctor would have taken him down because he’s the worst! But all’s well that ends well and the team heads back to go home, except it’s not exactly where they want to be. Instead, the three companions decide they want to continue traveling with the Doctor on her adventures.

Each of them has reasons to not stay behind, and after some real talk, the Doctor happily brings Team Tardis along with her. Yay, this is going to be a great season!

Doctor Who airs every Sunday on BBC America at 8 PM EST!