Summary: Don’t Worry be happy, or ELSE
Plot: The Doctor and Bill sneak out from under Nardole’s nose to visit one of the first human colonies where they discover a bunch of robots that run on emojis but the Doctor notices the people are missing, it turns out that being unhappy can be fatal, which might be a problem when the rest of the colonists awake and find out what’s going on.
Writing: The first TARDIS trip is always interesting in a sense and Bill’s questions are promising. As has been the case over the last few years there is a heavy indication of the long term season plot. The concept of the villain is interesting as is the conflict in Bill’s practical lower middle class mind about escaping and staying escaped. It’s a leg up over the previous episode but give how poor the previous one was, that’s not much of an accomplishment.
Acting: The only thing wrong with the acting in this episode is Nardole in the sense Matt Lucas isn’t in it much Peter Capaldi again shines and Pearl Mackie seems to be clicking with him n s does a more than adequate job as Bill with strong hints of even better to come but it’s Matt Lucas’ Nardole again in a lesser role really makes it all come together.
Memorable Moments: You’re the Help line, I’m not making tea for her, the pound signs in the eyes.
Doctor Who Flashbacks: The Help line reference (1st Doctor Clara #3) Landing at the site of the next episode (shades of Season 1 of of the original series) Migration from Earth Ark in Space (4th doctor) Beast Below (11th Doctor)
Oddities: What exactly would the Vardis use as currency?
Pet Peeves: Given that the Earth is being evacuated the idea that they never thought of programming the robot vardies to recognize or deal with grief or death is not credible.
Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts
Bill: It’s a beautiful place.
The Doctor: All traps are beautiful that’s how they work.
Bill: You can’t reach the controls from the seats. What’s the point in that? Or do you have stretchy arms, like Mister Fantastic?
The Doctor [OC]: Once, long ago, a fisherman caught a magic haddock. The haddock offered the fisherman three wishes in return for its life. The fisherman said, “I’d like my son to come home from the war, and a hundred pieces of gold.” The problem is magic haddock, like robots, don’t think like people. The fisherman’s son came home from the war in a coffin and the King sent a hundred gold pieces in recognition of his heroic death. The fisherman had one wish left. What do you think he wished for?
(The colonists start waking up again.) Some people say he should have wished for an infinite series of wishes, but if your city proves anything, it is that granting all your wishes is not a good idea.
Bill: It’s okay. It’s not going to hurt you. Actually, it doesn’t even know who you are.
Steadfast: What happened? What have you done?
The Doctor: In fact, the fisherman wished that he hadn’t wished the first two wishes. You see, in a way, he pressed the reset button.
Final Verdict: 3 1/2 stars I liked it better the 2nd time I watched it but it still seemed kinda average, particularly for a first trip episode.
Ranking of Season: 1st of 2. Given how bad last weeks’ episode was that’s not a surprise
2nd The Pilot
Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: Doesn’t place but again that’s because the previous seasons were so good.
1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th. The Return of Doctor Mysterio
5th. The Girl who Died
6th. The Witch’s Familiar
7th. Hell Bent
8th. Mummy on the Orient Express
9th. Face the Raven
10th. Into the Dalek