Was The Doctor Who Finale's Villain Really Stopped?

doctor who season 11 finale

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Doctor Who Season 11 finale "The Battle Of Ranskoor Av Kalos". Read at your own risk!

Doctor Who closed out Season 11 with the return of a familiar and not particularly lovely face, and also not one that's been seen in previous seasons. The Stenza warrior, known as Tim Shaw/T'zim-Sha by the Doctor and her companions, made his return as a world-stealing false god harboring bad intentions. Fortunately, Graham and Ryan were able to lock him in a stasis chamber, although it's up for debate whether or not they really succeeded in stopping him indefinitely.

Ryan and Graham took down the Stenza baddie just before he was going to zap Graham into oblivion with a device on his hand. Ryan distracted Tim Shaw long enough for Graham to shoot the villain in the foot, which he thought the Doctor would be fine with, seeing as it wasn't a kill shot. The two then locked Tim Shaw within the stasis chamber, with the plan to indefinitely keep him in suspended animation for his wrongdoings.

Tim Shaw Doctor Who BBC America Samuel Oatley

Though,Ryan and Graham trotted off confidently with their heads held high, both thinking they'd effectively avenged Ryan's nan and Graham's wife, Doctor Who gave a massive clue that their plan wasn't so successful. The alien warrior was seen slowly moving his hand towards the glass, perhaps reaching out in vain for Graham and Ryan's mercy. However, he may have actually been putting his hands on the glass in order to break free using his device.

The destructive weapon was seen making short work of a hostage crew member earlier in the episode, so one would think the Stenza warrior could use it to break that glass chamber. Without his life support systems, however, Tim Shaw probably realized he couldn't do it in front of Ryan and Graham and miss a sure shot at escaping. With everyone gone and convinced the threat is over, the villain could escape and live to fight another day in Season 12.

That said, Tim Shaw probably couldn't do much once he was free of the chamber. The DNA Bombs within his body make it seemingly impossible to leave the planet, and he's apparently in need of some form of life support to keep functioning. So making the escape permanent would be more of a challenge. Even if the Stenza beast did escape, we're not even sure what he could do next to continue his quest of revenge against the Doctor.

Of course, Doctor Who is always full of explanations of when it comes to the improbable, and with the Stenza race being one of the only frequently mentioned aggressors of the season, it seems as though their likelihood of re-emerging in the future is high. The question is, will it be Tim Shaw the next time the Doctor makes contact, or will it be another member of the villainous creatures coming to investigate his whereabouts?

Unless they emerge in the New Year's Day special, it will be a while before fans find out as Doctor Who Season 12 isn't coming to BBC America until early 2020. For a list of what else can be watched on television until then, be sure to visit our fall and midseason premiere guides.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.