Doctor Who – Dot and Bubble

Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) and the Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) in Dot and Bubble (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)
Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) and the Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) in Dot and Bubble (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)

“Dot and Bubble” is an episode of the 14th season of the new “Doctor Who” series, also indicated as season 1, and follows “73 Yards“. It’s available in the UK and Ireland on BBC channels and in many other countries on the Disney+ platform.

Beware that in various adverts and marketing materials, this season is promoted as season 1, marking the start of production by Bad Wolf and distribution by Disney+, hence the double notation. On BBC’s website, “Dot and Bubble” is indicated as episode 5 of 8 while Disney+ indicates it as episode 6.

Note. This article contains some spoilers about “Dot and Bubble”.

Finetime is supposed to be a wonderful place to live but Lindy Pepper-Bean (Callie Cooke) starts seeing her contacts disappearing one by one. When the Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) enter her bubble to warn her that there are monsters inside Finetime, the bubble in which she lives is violated.

Someone is said to live in a bubble when they are only aware of some parts of the world that exists around them. That means not even knowing the existence of that bubble and being incapable of handling unexpected situations caused by factors external to that bubble. In the case of the inhabitants of Finetime, the bubble is an electronic system that creates an extreme social environment in which the inhabitants interact.

On a superficial level, this situation seems like a criticism of the social media society where especially young people can lock themselves in a virtual bubble. There are many types of analyses, not always in-depth and sometimes based on stereotypes, regarding this and other bubbles as defensive mechanisms, rejection of a society that seems to bring many problems, and more.

In “Dot and Bubble” the dangers outside the bubble are real and the metaphor of the inhabitants unable even to walk without the indications of the Dot’s electronic system is explored far beyond any boomer nonsense. This is not the first time that Russell T Davies uses narrative elements that seem to make an easy satire of our society and then digs deeper.

When Russell T Davies goes beyond a certain crude humor, he creates stories with deeper meanings that only slowly become clear. In this case, viewers slowly learn about Finetime and Lindy in particular. Only at the end, Lindy and other survivors fully reveal who they really are.

The ending is the perfect culmination of an episode built on certain appearances that slowly goes beyond the surface and bursts the bubble with surprises that seemed well constructed to me. To fully appreciate it, you have to pay attention to the details because the ending isn’t a twist that comes out of nowhere. The details include moments not directly connected to the central theme: look closely and see who Lindy’s mother is! Overall, “Dot and Bubble” offers Russell T Davies at his best in an episode that could become a “Doctor Who” classic.

Lindy Pepper-Bean (Callie Cooke) in Dot and Bubble (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)
Lindy Pepper-Bean (Callie Cooke) in Dot and Bubble (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)

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