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Doctor Who Isn't Killing Its Villains - Is This The Secret Season 11 Arc?

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Could the overriding plot of Doctor Who season 11 lie within the fact that none of its villains have been killed off? While The Doctor is largely a pacifist, she has not been above tricking enemies into killing themselves in the past, after offering them a chance to give up their wicked ways. This season, however, has seen every villain escaping the conflict of the episode, suggesting they might return for revenge later.

The first episode to feature Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor, "The Woman Who Fell To Earth," saw The Doctor pitted against a warrior of the Stenza, whom The Doctor mockingly dubbed "Tim Shaw" and sent running back to his home-planet after the Doctor thwarted his efforts to cheat at a rite of leadership while hunting an Earthling. "The Ghost Monument" found The Doctor and her new friends stuck in the middle of a booby-trapped planet by Ilin - an eccentric rich being, who organized a deadly game that combined The Amazing Race with The Hunger Games. While The Doctor successfully forced Ilin to award his grand prize to both of the surviving contestants despite his insistence there could be only one victor, Ilin still took his revenge by leaving the Doctor and company stranded on the world called Desolation as he teleported away.

Related: Doctor Who Theory: New TARDIS Design Created By Season 11's Big Villains

"Rosa" saw our heroes thwarting the plans of a time-traveling racist serial killer named Krasko, who tried to stop Rosa Parks' famous bus ride from occurring, thus preventing The Civil Rights Movement from ever gaining a foothold in The American South. Ironically, he was defeated after Ryan used Krasko's own temporal displacement gun against him, sending the serial killer thousands of years into the past. Finally, "Arachnids In The UK" revealed that the giant mutant spiders plaguing Sheffield were the result of the business practices of Jack Robertson, a corrupt American tycoon and aspiring politician, who had been building his famous luxury hotels on disused mines that he had turned into toxic waste dumps. Robertson was allowed to walk away scot-free, without any repercussions for the pollution that created a horde of giant mutant spiders or his indifference to the deaths he had caused.

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Apart from the villains' escaping, there are other little notes that hint at a holistic connection between the events of the season so far. There was a second mention of the Stenza in "The Ghost Monument", for instance, when the Doctor noted that the planet Desolation showed signs of having been razed by the Stenza in the past (their tech also has some connection to the new TARDIS design). Krasko was also established as having a connection to the Doctor's wife, River Song, having been confirmed as a former inmate of the Stormcage Containment Facility; this was the same high-security prison where Melody Pond had been sentenced to serve a life sentence for murdering the Doctor. The plot of "Arachnids In The UK" greatly resembles that of "The Green Death" - a classic Doctor Who episode from 1973, which also involved animals mutated by toxic waste dumped in a mine by a corrupt company, though in that case it was maggots, not spiders, which were enlarged.

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It is entirely possible, however, that this is all just a coincidence. When "Tim Shaw" fled, he was suffering the effects of a number of DNA-rewriting bombs and it is highly unlikely his proud warrior race would allow him to live once his efforts to cheat at his leadership rite were revealed. It seems equally unlikely that Krasko might ultimately survive being sent to the distant past, having had all of his other equipment confiscated or destroyed. Still, "Time will tell," as the Doctor once said. "It always does."

More: Doctor Who Season 11 Is Fixing Tired Formula Problems

Doctor Who continues on BBC America on Sundays.

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