The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), back in Sheffield, goes to visit Yasmin’s (Mandip Gill) family with Ryan (Tosin Cole) while Graham (Bradley Walsh) goes home to grieve over his wife Grace’s death. Yasmin goes to pick up her mother, Najia Khan (Shobna Gulati) and the Doctor and Ryan meet arachnologist Doctor Jade McIntyre (Tanya Fear). They find that the next-door neighbour has been killed by a large spider. Graham finds one at his house too, and they learn that McIntyre has been studying bizarre spider behaviour. The Doctor figures that the giant spiders are connected to a recently built luxury hotel. Najia had been fired by its wealthy American owner and possible Presidential candidate, Jack Robinson (Chris Noth).
Yasmin and Najia meet Robertson and find that they have been sealed inside the hotel by the spiders. Ryan and Graham capture a spider for examination and the others find that the spiders have come from abandoned mine tunnels where Robertson’s company has been dumping industrial waste. McIntyre realizes that the giant spiders are the offspring of something thought dead that came from her research. They try to kill them humanely and find that the enormous spider is dying of breathing problems because of its huge size. Robertson shoots it dead with his bodyguard’s gun. In the end, Ryan, Jasmine, and Graham decide to see more of the universe with the Doctor.
The episode was written by showrunner Chris Chibnall and directed by Sallie Aprahamian. Sharon D. Clarke reprised her role of the late Grace O’Brien in the form of a vision. We know Chris Noth mainly from the Law and Order series in 1990. Bradley Walsh (Graham) played a detective sergeant in Law and Order U.K. in 2009. The episode was met by positive reviews. Audiences liked the creepy-crawly story and it had a favorable vote of 87%.
The Third Doctor (John Pertwee) starred in a six-part series called Planet of the Spiders. Jack Robertson is not punished at all for his misdeeds and gets to reappear as a recurring villain later. His similarity to Donald Trump is intended. Robertson wants to run for President to defeat Trump. The title is a parody of Anarchy in the U.K., a song by the Sex Pistols. The opening displayed a new design for the time vortex, with branching time-tunnels. Chris Noth is a pretty compelling actor for this sort of role and appropriately hateful. The spiders are pretty good. They’re creepy as hell but you end up feeling sorry for them.