‘Doctor Who’ 11×07 Review: “Kerblam!” is Making Everyone Side-eye Bubble Wrap

Doctor Who‘s “Kerblam!” gave us creepy robots and a new fear for bubble wrap. Neither being anything I wanted right about now around Christmas and present shopping & shipping. “Kerblam!” also made us take a step back and understand that technology isn’t the real danger. The real danger is at the hands of people and how they use the new tech available to us.

On a brighter and lighter note, Doctor Who also gave us more of Ryan and his dyspraxia. His developmental disorder has been hinted at here and there and I appreciate that it hasn’t stopped him from living, working, and saving the universe with the Doctor, Yaz, and Graham.

Without further ado, let’s dive into Doctor Who‘s “Kerblam!”

Bubble Wrap IS the Perfect Trap!

Making bubble wrap the weapon of our destruction is the evilest thing I can imagine. Doctor Who dared to take the sweet pleasure of popping those little bubbles, and turned it against us. How am I supposed to look at bubble wrap goodness the same way again? Should I call the cops the next time I get some? And what about those HUGE bubble wrap packages that come when you order fragile things? ARE THEY DANGEROUS TOO!

I applaud the evil genius that pitched, “Maybe the bomb should be bubble wrap? Silly humans can’t resist the popping goodness!” They were absolutely right! I can without a doubt say that I am always delighted when I get some bubble wrap in a package. It’s silly, fun, and puts a smile on my face. Hell, it’s the reason why Graham grabbed the bubble wrap at the end, even after Charlie went kaboom!

“Kerblam!” made it so things can never go back to the way they were before. Goodbye, you sweet plastic goodness of joy and wonder. We will no longer be friends, associates, or compadres. It’s not me, it’s you. And I don’t know if I can pop even a single bubble of your plastic sheet goodness without wondering if an evil genius is using what I love against me.

*dramatically exists room while one single tear goes down my cheek*

The Dangers of Technology Are In Our Hands


At first glance, this episode seemed like a commentary on Amazon. The behemoth company has been rife with organizations and groups calling out the way that workers are treated or how they are paid. As “Kerblam!” went on, I started to realize that it was about something completely different. Yes “Kerblam!” and Amazon need to treat their employees better, that goes without saying. But the true message of this episode, the real danger, are the human hands who wield technological advances.

As a millenial who loves her phone, computer, and subscription to Netflix, I’ve had people go on and on about how continued use of technology will rot my brain out. But just because some idiot is going to use their phone, computer, or subscription to Netflix for the purpose of evil doings, doesn’t mean that I will. People make choices with the things that are available to them and right now I choose to use my phone to call my friend thousands of miles away, my computer to create art, and my subscription to Netflix to get copious amounts of joy over cheesy Christmas movies.

Just because a technology exists out there, just because it’s part of our daily life, doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world or the beginning of Judgement Day via Terminator. We decide how we use ever new thing that comes our way. And Charlie, a human full of biases and so much anger, decided to twist something about and use “Kerblam!” to punish those who did not see things the way he did or were willfully ignorant to it.

Don’t be like Charlie. Don’t try to spread your message of fear or way of thinking because you are wary of technology. Change happens no matter what and it’s how we wield the new that is coming our way, that defines who we are and what comes next.

Ryan’s Disability Doesn’t Stop Him


As someone who’s never heard of dyspraxia, it’s amazingly refreshing to see Ryan make it through his day while experiencing this developmental coordination disorder. Too often, when telling stories about people with any condition, we focus too much on the actual condition. People that live, not suffer, through a developmental disorder still live productive lives. And Doctor Who is making sure that we know that.

Ryan’s dyspraxia is a part of him. He hasn’t let it stop him from getting a job, trying again & again to ride that bloody bike, or setting off to places unknown with the Doctor, Yaz, and Graham. Ryan is living his best life while just happening to have dyspraxia. This is the kind of material that we need to see more of when it comes to representation of disorders on TV.

We also need to have more people like Yaz, Graham, and the Doctor. They understand that Ryan has dyspraxia and they work with it. Ryan is a part of the team and they will lift him up, stand by his side, and help him as much as he helps them. They’re a community, a found family, that knows that together we can achieve the most marvelous things.

Considering that this is a family show, I’m hoping there’s a kid out there that watched “Kerblam!” and every episode this season of Doctor Who, will a new sense of self. Like Ryan, they got this. They can get up, live their own lives, and be surrounded by a community that understands them. And that right there, makes it all worthwhile!

Favorite Moment from Doctor Who’s “Kerblam!”:

No matter what anyone says, Doctor Who is not forgetting its past. It’s right there with her, in every step she makes, and every adventure she goes on. And in this instance, it’s right on top of her head. Long live the fez!


Check out the trailer for next week’s all-new Doctor Who titled “The Witchfinders”:

Doctor Who airs on Sundays at 8/7c on BBC America.

What did you think of this episode of Doctor Who? Let us know in the comments below!

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