Summary: You shall know the truth and it will set you free, from life.
Plot: The Still blind Doctor is visited by representatives of the Vatican (On the recommendation of a Pope from 1000 years ago) concerning an urgent matter.
A document in a lost language called the Veritas has once again been translated and every person who reads it commits suicide. At the personal request of the Pope the Doctor asked to come to the Vatican archive of heritical books and read the Veritas, what does it say? Can the Doctor read it and live, and what does Missy’s Apparent execution on a distant planet at the hands of the Doctor have to do with it all?
Writing: After a season memorable for unmemorable stories Stephen Moffett reminds us all that when he’s capable of. The story is a masterpiece, completely engaging, excellent plot, excellent story and as the first part of the three part story promises more to come. While he takes some liberties with the history of the church he does so without disrespecting the institution as well. This episode is simply Doctor Who at its best.
Acting:  : This episode shows what can happen when you pair the fine acting that we’ve seen this season with a script worthy of the performances. Every single person here shines from regulars Capaldi, Lucas and Mackie to semi regulars like Michelle Gomez to the entire supporting cast particularly Corrado Invernizzi as Cardinal Angelo. Brilliant jobs all around
Memorable Moments: I’m dying here, why didn’t the pope come, confession, you’re all going to hell. The scene with Bill, her date and the Pope walking in on them just as she’s explaining that she has nothing to feel guilty about is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
Doctor Who Flashbacks: the Doctor at the Master’s execution (7th Doctor Doctor Who movie) I deny this reality (The Deadly Assassin 4th Doctor) I’ll turn good vs I haven’t turned Good (Capaldi The Magicians apprentice ) unreal things feeling pain. Big Finish Flashback to the 6th Doctor Frobisher adventure The Holy Terror
Oddities: Several rewrites on history concerning Pope Benedict the IX (and didn’t that picture look like Missy?) plus why didn’t the TARDIS translate the Pope’s speech to Bill? (ther is a logical reason but can’t specify it because it is a spoiler to the plot resolution.
Pet Peeves: One thing: The writers had no problem re-writing Catholic history for the sake of the plot and changing the gender and rehabiliting one of the worst Pope’s in history, They would never dare to this with Islam but to Catholicism, no problem.
Great Quote(s) Just too many to list them all so I’ll settle for five via chakoteya.net transcripts
Bill: Alone at last. [Sound of TARDIS in Bedroom]
Penny: Oh God, what was that?
Bill: The pipes. It’s, it’s the, the pipes in, in my bedroom. Be warned. Sometimes I shout at them.
Bill: Are you okay?
Penny: Yeah. Sorry, I’m just not quite used to all of this.
Bill: Well, whatever this is, and actually it’s not anything yet, it is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. Okay?
Pope Francis: [Enters] <speech in Italian basically asking how he got here from the Vatican> [re-enters the bedroom]
Penny: That was the Pope! Bill, that was the Pope!
Bill: Yeah, yeah, give me a minute. I am about to have a truly awesome word with someone.
Cardinal Angelo: Pope Benedict said that you were more in need of confession than any man breathing. But when the offer was made, you replied it would take too much time. On behalf of the Catholic Church, the offer stands. You seem like a man with regret on his mind.
Rafando: The executioner may now discuss his immortal soul and any peril thereunto.
The Doctor: I never sent for you.
Hooded Figure: Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage. Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit without hope, without witness, without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis. This is what he believes, and this is the reason above all, I love him. My husband. My madman in a box. My Doctor. [Reading from River Song’s Diary then takes down his cowl to reval himself as Nardole)
Nardole: Your missus wouldn’t approve.
The Doctor: How the hell did you get here?
Nardole: Followed you from Darillium, on the explicit orders of your late wife, River Song. Warning, I have full permission to kick your arse.
Nardole: Uh-uh-uh, Bill. You’re to walk behind me now, like the Doctor said.
Bill: Yeah, totally not happening.
Nardole: Okay, Bill. Miss Potts. [voice suddenly low] I am the only person you have ever met, or ever will meet, who is officially licensed to kick the Doctor’s arse. I will happily do the same to you, in the event that you do not align yourself with any instructions I have issued which I personally judge to be in the best interests of your safety and survival. [suddenly voice back to normal] Okay, Bill?
Bill: Nardole, are you secretly a badass?
Nardole: Nothing secret about it, baby doll.
The Doctor: I know. So did I. The trouble is, when simulants develop enough independent intelligence to realize what they are, there’s a risk they’ll rebel. Those deaths, they weren’t suicide. Those were people escaping. It’s like, er, Super Mario figuring out what’s going on, deleting himself from the game because he’s sick of dying.
Bill: No, I’m real. I feel real!
The Doctor: Those pretend people you shoot at in computer games. Now you know.
Bill: Know what?
The Doctor: They think they’re real. They feel it. We feel it.
Final Verdict: 5 stars If this one is this good I can’t wait for parts two and three.
Ranking of Season: 1st of 6 This episode make the rest of a mediocre season look even more pathetic by comparison.
Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 4th. I really had to think if this was better than the Caretaker but frankly if you had them change places it would not be an unreasonable choice. However I give the Caretaker the nod because it’s a stand alone story vs multi part.
1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
5th. The Return of Doctor Mysterio
6th. The Girl who Died
7th. The Witch’s Familiar
8th. Hell Bent
9th. Mummy on the Orient Express
10th. Face the Raven