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A proper ghost story that strikes the perfect balance between horror and history, "The Haunting of Villa Diodati" is Doctor Who at its best.
The resolution is tidy, as well as open-ended. It's just a shame the lead-up is such a muddle.
A classic ghost story unfolds in a classic haunted house, and we get the sort of history lesson that should always form part of Doctor Who's MO.
It's an almost weekly gripe but there wasn't quite enough for the three companions to do here, except creep around looking scared - which jumpy Ryan did particularly well.
We've gotten to know the Thirteenth Doctor as largely happy-go-lucky and optimistic, so it's exhilarating to see Jodie Whittaker deliver a little more of that Doctor angst and grit.
The Thirteenth Doctor hasn't had to deal with this classic Doctor staple before, so it's fascinating to see how she handles it. The result is one of the strongest moments for the character, and Jodie Whittaker, we've ever seen.
Thanks to some snappy dialogue delivered by a solid guest cast, a good villain and a highly atmospheric soundtrack from composer Segun Akinola, however, "The Haunting of Villa Diodati" comes together as more than the sum of its ill-fitting parts.
'The Haunting of Villa Diodati', was definitely one of the highlights, bringing a heady mix of history, scares, knowing chuckles, a link to a wider arc, and for the second time this season, a starring role for a member of the Byron family.
It's a creepy gothic horror, it's one of the best Cybermen stories we've seen in a long while, and it not only has a good handle on the Doctor and her companions but moves their relationship forward.
While I'm concerned for the Tardis fam, they presented an interesting historical plot using a narrative style that works, and have given the Doctor a moral conundrum that will carry her into the home stretch of her second season.
There's certainly a lot to love about this installment, which is beautiful to look at and thoughtful in its themes.
Lustrous, spooky, hitting every note, this episode is finely directed by Emma Sullivan, and has enough confidence and generosity to unwind with an almost minute-long poetry reading as the young Romantics loll in an idyllic setting.
Though their last outing was decently horrific, "The Haunting of Villa Diodati" does for Cybermen what the season 1 episode "Dalek" did for Daleks: make them feel like a real, terrifying threat.