I think that “Praxeus” is a much, much better episode than Pete McTighe’s previous story, “Kerblam!”. This one is credited as a co-write with Chris Chibnall. It looks great, with very nice locations and photography. This was the second season in a row that Who visited South Africa to shoot two episodes. More importantly, the supporting characters get a lot of definition and life, and the story has an interesting mystery and a lot of modern-day technobabble as the Doctor needs to use contemporary equipment and techniques to analyze the situation.
I’m not sure why it turns out to be so unmemorable in the end. He remembered it after it had been on for a few minutes, but when I told our son this one was the next up, it didn’t ring a bell to him. And to be honest, there were a couple of big pieces of the plot that I didn’t recall as well. That’s strange and a shame, because while there’s a lot about this story that actually doesn’t work for me and about which I could really quibble – like, couldn’t Gabriela and Jamila have found someplace to pitch their tent other than in the middle of a massive trash dump?? – the desire to make the supporting cast so much more real and believable than so many other stories in this era is the sort of thing I’d rather remember and applaud. I like Gabriela and Jake and Adam, and I feel like I know them more than anybody in “Tsuranga” or “Orphan 55”, so points for that. It’s important to me.