When I first heard that Doctor Who would be visiting Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama, during 1955, I was a bit nervous. The show has a tendency to go wild with the sci-fi elements when meeting historical figures (such as HG Wells meeting lizards known as Morlox or Shakespeare fighting alien witches). At times, this can be fun; although, it could easily disrespect her contribution to the Civil Rights Movement.
“The Ghost Monument” gave us our first look at Doctor Who’s new opening credits and theme song (which were both absent from last week’s episode). Keeping with the throwback to the classic Who aesthetic that Chris Chibnall has been cultivating, both feel very reminiscent of their counterparts in the early years of the show. There was a massive regime change behind the scenes this season, and I was most worried about previous composer Murray Gold’s departure from the show; however, his replacement Segun Akinola is off to a fantastic start. Gold’s music brought a full orchestral sound to the show, but Akinola’s theme shifts to the more alien and ethereal qualities present in the beginning of the show’s long run.
Before I begin my review, I feel the need to lay out some ground rules as the use of pronouns in Doctor Who have become much more complex. For the sake of simplicity, I plan on using the current Doctor’s gender when referring to the character in general, but when discussing a specific iteration of the Doctor, I will use that regeneration’s gender.
Welcome, True Believers, to the penultimate episode of season two. The phrase “Vanishing Point” means two things. The first is the art term (shades of “Les Écorchés,” two episodes ago), in which in a perspective drawing (an invention during the Renaissance) it is the point at which receding parallel lines appear to converge. In other words, it is an art concept that allows three dimensions to be viewed in two. The second is the more general conceptual definition: the point at which something that has been growing smaller disappears altogether. Both definitions apply to this week’s episode.