Doctor Who Recap: Arachnids In The UK Is The Perfect Halloween Episode Of Who

The official Doctor Who Twitter account has been teasing us with spidery posts all week. Last night, we found out why: a heartless, cowardly, loudmouthed American hotel magnate with presidential ambitions has been hoarding toxic waste under his tacky, gilded hotel. No, it isn’t Trump… and that’s the scariest part: that there’s two of these men. Mr. Big himself (Gone‘s Chris Noth) guest stars as Trump 2.0 and though his character professes a hatred of the current, orange POTUS stemming from a bitter and long-running business rivalry, he displays a disconcerting number of Trumpian characteristics (including a penchant for barking ‘You’re fired!’ at random underlings).

One of the people he’s recently fired is Yas’ mum. While her dad makes the new Team TARDIS tea to mark their return to Sheffield (not that anyone noticed they were gone), Yas gets a call from the freshly sacked Najia asking for a ride home. At the hotel, mother and daughter quickly discover what looks like an infestation: super-strength and super-sized cobwebs cover brand new hotel rooms. Back at Yas’ flat, the Doctor, Ryan and Jade, a university researcher who’d popped by to check on a friend, discover said friend cocooned in cobwebs in her own bed. Is it a conspiracy? Because the Doctor loves a good conspiracy.


Soon, the web-slinging creatures themselves appear—they’re a regular species (no alien spiders here) but they’re giant. Could it be connected to the life-extending, web-strengthening arachnid research Jade’s been conducting at a local lab? Of course it is. But there’s more to the story. The Doctor deciphers a spidery pattern that indicates the new hotel as the hub of overgrown spider activity.

The entire crew convenes at the empty hotel and soon finds themselves trapped inside by impenetrable cobwebs. While trying to come up with a plan to a) not die; and b) humanely deal with the giant spider infestation, the Doctor and her companions discover the source of the problem. There’s a festering toxic dump under the hotel—put there by the company tasked with safely disposing the lab waste produced by Jade’s research. The owner of that company? The same offputting man who owns the hotel.


Using the vibrations from Stormzy’s “Know Me From,” the team lures the giant baby spiders into the hotel’s panic room containing a six month supply of food that should sustain them for the rest of their natural lives. All that’s left to do is deal with the van-sized mother. Sadly, her size is already killing her. She can’t absorb enough oxygen to sustain herself and she’s suffering. Before the Doctor can come up with a way to help her, Trump 2.0 shoots her and calls it a mercy killing. Ed Sheeran would never be that cruel.

5 questions we have about this week’s episode of Doctor Who:

1. Will we be seeing Noth’s character again this season? He seemed to get off a little too easy after creating this disaster.

2.  Has a single hour of TV ever taught us more about spiders?

3.  Travelling with the Doctor definitely delays the decision, but will Ryan reconnect with his dad or is Graham his family now?

4.  Are the writers prepping us for a real Ed Sheeran cameo later this season? He was on Game of Thrones, after all.

5.  So…is the Doctor going to wear that outfit, like, all season?