Summary: Will the Doctor’s Failures cost him his life

Plot: Stuck on Floor 507  everyone’s world is in tatters.  The people there are slowly being assaulted by Cybermen, Nardole dealing with the Amorous advances of a woman, Bill is dealing with now being a Cyberman, the Master and Missy are dealing with each other while Missy deals with her conflicted emotions concerning the Doctor , oh and there are a bunch of rapidly evolving cybermen out to kill them all finally the Doctor is dealing with all of these things that are to some degree his fault.

———————————–

Writing:  I am of so many minds with this story, there are so many excellent plots running parallel ins and outs and emotions (I really like the parallel evolution Cyberman business) that make it almost a masterpiece, and then you get the resolution that is so bad, so ridiculous so lame that despite the emotional strings it tries to pull you have to say to yourself:  Really you got us all worked up all last week for this?    What an absolute joke.  One half expects that the very surprise ending leading to the Christmas special was just about defecting us from how absolutely lame the resolution was.

Acting:   With the quality of this cast this is pretty much a no brainer.  Everyone pulls his weight and then some Mackie doing well with the split role and Simm and Gomez working well together but  I really think there needed to be at least one more Capaldi Gomez scene

Memorable Moments: Stabs in the back, scary lady, the mirror, willing to try anything once, he’s dead and never liked you, yes it’s wrong.  Do you want to be alone.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  Too many to name from dematerialization circuits (the three doctors), to not accepting reality (Clara in Asylum of the Daleks) 11th Doctor , to different faces in the mirror (regeneration of 2nd doctor Power of the Daleks) to final words, particularly at the end.

Oddities: While I actually expected things to end this way for Missy’s regeneration it seems to me that knowing that there is a variation in personality after regeneration the Master’s decision is a bit rash to say, don’t regenerate. However this episode illustrates why the timelords instituted the 1st law of time. The Doctor says they can’t get to the bridge because of the time difference, but the closer to them they get the smaller said time difference becomes thus as they get closer it becomes harder for them to catch them.
Pet Peeves:Quite a few actually the big one is the same pet peeve as in The Pilot, the concept is lame, the use of it is lame and the use of it as a resolution is the worst copout in a long time. It’s like that three step cartoon where the scientist shows step one, in the middle has “then a miracle occurs” and then step 3 and the guy looking says: “I think you need more detail in that middle step”. Furthermore is squishy water lady was able to save the day this way where was she when bill was dying in Oxygen or every other time when she was about to die? The Master says he will never stand with the Doctor but then spared him in the end of time when he could have killed him and let him die. Can someone explain to me how the doctor is able to hold back his regeneration and if he’s holding it back, how is he not just dying?

Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Again lots of great quotes we’ll again stick with just a few FYI posted this before the transcripts got up as the show was being broadcast so I reserve the right to fix anything I got off by a word or two.


*************************************************************************************************

The Master:  I can do this, they’re not difficult, they’re Cyberman.
The Doctor:   Go Ahead, knock yourself out
Missy:  Your wish is my command (cold cocks the Master)  I’ve secretly been with you all the time
The Doctor:  Is that true?
Missy:  Don’t spoil the moment
The Doctor:  I’ve got to know
MIssy:  It’s hard to say I’ve of two minds fortunately one of them is unconscious

*************************************************************************************************

The Doctor: I’m sorry but you can’t be angry our temper is a luxury you can no longer have.
CyberBill: Why can’t I be angry?
The Doctor: Bill Please
CyberBill: You left me alone for 10 years why can’t I be angry (shoots a beam out of her headpeace and blows up the barn door)
The Doctor: because of that, that’s why, because you’re a cyberman
Nardole: Right everyone back to work, nothing to see here, just somebody broke the barn no biggie.
*************************************************************************************************
The Master: I had some trouble taking off
Missy: The black hole?
The Master:Too close to the event horizon.
Missy: And you screwed up you went too fast.
The Master: I blew the dematerialization circuit
Missy: Which reminds me a funny thing once happened to me once.
The Master: What?
Missy: [Throws the master to the all pressed against him] A very long time ago a very scary lady threw me against the wall and made me promise to always ALWAYS have a spare dematerialization circuit. I don’t remember much about her now, but she must have made quite an impression. (pulls a spare dematerialization circuit from her pocket)
The Master: you know you basically have me to thank for that
Missy: You’re welcome
The Master: By the way Missy is it wrong that I
Missy: [looking down then up] Yes very

*************************************************************************************************

The Doctor: [To Missy and the Master walking away] No NO! When I say no you turn back around. Hey I’m going to be dead in a few hours, so let’s have it out, right now you and me. Winning? Is that what you think it’s about? I’m not trying to win. I’m not doing this because I want to beat someone because I hate someone or because I want to blame someone. or because it’s smart. God knows it’s not because it’s easy, or because it works because it hardly ever does. I do what I do because it’s right, and it’s decent and above all it’s kind. Just that, just kind. If I run away today, good people will die. If I stand and fight some of them might live, maybe not many of them maybe not for long. Hey you know Maybe there’s no point in any of this at all, but it’s the best I can do so I’m going to do it and I’m going to stand here doing it until it kills me. You’re going to die too, someday. What would you die for? Who I am is where I stand, and where I stand is where I fall.

*************************************************************************************************

12th Doctor:Nooooo.  I will not change!

Figure in distance:I will not change, I will not, no no no, the whole thing is ridiculous 

12th Doctor:Is somebody there?

figure in distance (getting closer)  Who is that?

12th Doctor:I’m the Doctor

1st Doctor:The Doctor?  No I don’t think so, no dear me no.  You may be “a” Doctor but I’m “The Doctor” the original you might say.


Final Verdict: 4 1/2 stars  Given what I’ve written above you might have expected a lower rating but this episode was like watching Godfather 3.  If you’ve never seen any of the other movies it’s a pretty good picture, clearly above average and in some aspect great, but it can’t hold a candle to the 1st two as they are two of the greatest movies of all time.  Likewise this episode suffers from it’s final 10-15 minutes which with a different resolution (one that seemed pretty obvious to me btw) between being a five star top Capaldi episode and contender for the best of the new run, to being a far above average episode where the writer couldn’t figure out how to get to that final scene so he took the easy way out. I know how I would have done it and perhaps I’ll put that into a stand alone post sometime in the future.

Ranking of Season: 4th of 10  It was touch and go if it would be 5th but there is just enough good stuff to edge out the Lie of the Land which also had a kinda lame end. The irony being I really wanted to love this episode but in the end it ranked behind an episode that ironically I really wanted to hate.   The fact that this episode that disappointed me so much still ranks 4th in the season tells you everything you need to know about how bad this season was.

1st World Enough and Time
2nd Extremis
3rd The Eaters of Light
4th The Doctor Falls
5th The Lie of the Land
6th Empress of Mars
7th The Pyramid at the End of the World
8th Knock Knock
9th Oxygen
10th Thin Ice
11th Smile
12th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era:  Last week after World Enough and Time I wrote “I imagine the next two episodes might cause some movement on the list and boy will it be disappointing if it doesn’t”   In a season full of disappointing episodes the fact that this one  wasn’t able to crack the top 10 of the Capaldi era is the biggest disappointment of all.

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd World Enough and Time
3rd. Last Christmas
4th. The Caretaker
5th  Extremis
6th. The Return of Doctor Mysterio
7th. The Girl who Died
8th. The Witch’s Familiar
9th. Hell Bent
10th. Mummy on the Orient Express

Summary: Will the Doctor’s Trust in Missy cost Bill her life, or has it already done so?

Plot: The Doctor decision over the objections of Bill and Nardole to let Missy play Doctor as a test to see if she’s changed get Bill’s heart literally blown away by a panicked janitor on a 400 mile long space ship next to a black hole. She taken below decks where time runs at a much faster speed to a hospital time runs at a much faster speed than the top of the ship where she is befriended by an odd man named Razor a given a cybernetic hart. Years pass as she waits for the Doctor. Will he be able to sae he from the Hospital of Horrors and for her as she waits for the Doctor, but is there an even greater danger awaiting them or maybe two.

———————————–

Writing: It seems to me that this episodes an the ones that follow are the entire reason for the seasons with the rest of it just filler. The episode is about as good as it gets and maybe even better. The mix of humor (those are genders) and horror (pain, pain) is simply amazing

Acting:: Ok Capaldi, Mackie and Lucas are all excellent but Michelle Gomez and John Simm both as Razor and the Master steal every scene they are in. Gomez’s scenes with Lucas and Mackie are great, Simm’s scenes with Mackie are better and the brief periods where Simm and Gomez are together are simply awesome.

Memorable Moments: He likes me, do you like disguises, Tea, That’s his name, this is a bad idea. Cradle Robbing, Pain

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Prime Minister (sound of the Drums last of the Time Lords) the Master’s Goatee (Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley. Mondasitan Cybermen (The Tenth Planet 1st Doctor), Venusian Akido (3rd Doctor)

Oddities: Missy Pointing her umbrella as if it’s a weapon, I suspect that it is one.  the episode starts with the Doctor’s regeneration, if this is a three part episode ending with the Christmas special it’s a cliffhanger and a half.  I found it an interesting change where the earlier incarnation recognizes his later version before the reverse then again he had months or years to study her.

Pet Peeves: The whole time Lord Gender speech is less about time lords and more about SJW,

Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Much too many to list them all so we’ll settle for five


Jorj: Who are you?
Missy: Well, I am that mysterious adventurer in all of time and space, known only as Doctor Who. And these are my disposables, Exposition and Comic Relief.
Nardole: We’re not functions.
Missy:   Darling, those were genders.
Jorj:   Please, stay exactly where you are for your own safety.
Missy:  He likes me. So exciting.
Jorj:   I’m coming through.
Missy:  Hurry, my stallion. And if I’m in the shower, just bring me some beans on toast. That’s
Nardole:  Urgh.
Missy:  That’s roughly human flirting, isn’t it?
******************************************

The Doctor: I pick a scenario, we drop her down into it, and we see how she does.
Bill:  How does that work?
The Doctor:  Ah. We just take the Tardis for a spin and we graze for distress calls. We pick a good one. Our usual Saturday.
Bill:  And what if she just walks out and slaughters everyone just for a laugh?
The Doctor: Well, I will be monitoring you the whole time.
Bill:  Me?
The Doctor:  Yes. You and Nardole. You can be her companions. See?
Bill:  Ah, nah! Forget it. Absolutely no way.
The Doctor:   Nardole agreed.
Nardole:  No, I didn’t.
The Doctor:  You did in my head, which is good enough for me.


Razor: Do you want the good tea or the bad tea?
Bill:   What’s the difference?
Razor:   I call one good, one bad.
Bill:   Er, I’ll take the good one.
Razor:  Excellent, positive attitude. Will help with the horror to come.
Bill:   What horror?
Razor:   Mainly the tea.


Missy:   Oh, this is super interesting. I assumed this ship was from Earth, full of squishable little humans, but it’s not from Earth at all, is it?
Razor:  You don’t remember me, do you?
Missy:  Looks like an Earth-like planet, but not Earth itself. Very Earth-like. If planets had twins
Razor:  You don’t remember being here before, do you?
Missy:  I’ve never been here before. Will you please stop wittering on or I’ll have to splat your brains for finger paint.
Razor:  Oh, you have been here before. You really can trust me on that.


Missy:   Okay, listen to me. I may be about to take that silly little gun away from you
Razor:  He’ll never forgive you, you know, He’ll never set you free. Not when he discovers what you did to his little friend.
Missy:   I haven’t done anything to his silly little friend.
Razor:   Oh, but I’m afraid you did. But a long time ago.


Final Verdict: Five stars  or to put it another way, Wow!

Ranking of Season: 1st of 10  I really had a hard time ranking it above Extremis but there is simply too much great acting here to do otherwise.

1st World Enough and Time
2nd Extremis
3rd The Eaters of Light
4th The Lie of the Land
5th Empress of Mars
6th The Pyramid at the End of the World
7th Knock Knock
8th Oxygen
9th Thin Ice
10th Smile
11th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era:  2nd  I’m partial to a happy ending so it couldn’t dislodge the Husbands of River Song.  It was also a little hard to rank because it’s a multi part episode.  It’s also kinda sad that it pushes Eater of Light off the list but I imagine the next two episodes might cause some movement on the list and boy will it be disappointing if it doesn’t

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd World Enough and Time
3rd. Last Christmas
4th. The Caretaker
5th  Extremis
6th. The Return of Doctor Mysterio
7th. The Girl who Died
8th. The Witch’s Familiar
9th. Hell Bent
10th. Mummy on the Orient Express

Summary:   Will the fate of the 9th Legion be the fate of the Doctor and his friends?

Plot: The Doctor and Bill find themselves arguing over the fate of the lost 9th Roman Legion that disappeared in the 2nd century AD, so they decided to go back to find out what happened.  They and Nardole discover a gateway to another dimension guarded by a Celt who thought it would be a good idea to let the monster they were guarding though to stop the  Roman invader, but when said monster decides everyone is on the diet and the world is threatened will the Doctor be able to forge an alliance between Roman and Celt to stop them in time?

———————————–

Writing: Rona Munro does everything right here with a traditional Doctor Who story with all the fixings from natives to Romans to a cool monster.  This episode could have been been written for any Doctor and any in any Era and other than the sexual preference references it would have worked.

Acting: Of all the episodes to this point this is, in my opining the best acted by everyone involved.  Every performance from every lead and supporting character is far above par, particularly of course Capaldi, Lucas, Mackie (who has really grown in the role) Michelle Gomez in her cameo and all the rest

Memorable Moments: I know more about Roman’s than you,  All Crows talk,  Popcorn,  totally found the 9th Legion. Stop being brave. Talking crows

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Arguing over history (Robots of Sherwood)  Fans of the Roman history/legions (The Pandorica 11th Doctor)

Oddities: It didn’t hit me until this moment that this is really the first time that Bill really has reason to notice the TARDIS translation circuit.   seems to me it might have weapon that ties the men into knots seems kind of cool but very impractical.   Also I’m pretty sure I remember Nardole being able to fly the TARDIS.

Pet Peeves: I know the Doctor is softening toward Missy/Master but is he really going to give her unsupervised access to the TARDIS engines?

Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts


The Doctor:   What are you doing?
Nardole: I’m ingratiating myself.
The Doctor:  Stop it. It’s nauseating.
Nardole:  It’s called charm.
The Doctor:  I’m against it. I’m against charm.
Nardole:  Yeah, we all know that.
******************************************

Bill: Something to do with the Tardis. Maybe, telepathic field? So now that we all understand each other, how do we all sound?
Lucius: You sound like children.
Kar: You sound like children too.
The Doctor: You all do.
Bill: Is this what happens when you understand what everyone in the universe is saying? Everybody just sounds like children?
The Doctor: There are exceptions.
Nardole: Thank you very much.
The Doctor: Not you


Nardole:   Right, shall we go back home? Time you were guarding that Vault. We don’t want Missy getting any ideas.
Missy:  Oh, one should always try to avoid those. Hello! You lot were ages. I was getting ever so worried.
Nardole:  How did you get out of the Vault? Sir, what do we do? How could this happen?
The Doctor:  It’s all right, Nardole. She’s been doing some work for me.
Missy: Sorry. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I assumed they knew. Should I have stayed below decks?
The Doctor:   No, no, no, no. It’s fine.
Nardole:   She’s supposed to be in the Vault!
The Doctor:  How were the engines?
Missy: Better than you deserve. You are naughty. Do you ever do basic maintenance?
The Doctor:   No, but I’ve got a plan for that.
Missy: What?
The Doctor:  You.


Final Verdict: Five stars  What every Doctor who episode should want to be

Ranking of Season: 2nd of 10  I kept looking for reasons not to like this episode and failed miserably to find one.

1st Extremis
2nd The Eaters of Light
3rd The Lie of the Land
4th Empress of Mars
5th The Pyramid at the End of the World
6th Knock Knock
7th Oxygen
8th Thin Ice
9th Smile
10th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 10th.   The more I thought about it the more that I found I liked it better than Face the Raven and it almost edged Mummy on the Orient Express but either way it’s nice to see the season finally get places.

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th  Extremis
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. The Eaters of Light

Summary:   Will Mars be the newest edition to the 19th Century British Empire or vice versa

Plot:  To the surprise of NASA the message “God Save the Queen” is discovered on the surface of Mars spelled in rocks.  The Doctor Bill and Nardole go to investigate and while the TARDIS decides to head back to Earth with Nardole on board the Doctor and Bill find a detachment of 19th Century red coated British infantry who accompanied an Ice Warrior back to Mars, the Brits are looking for wealth but the Martian is looking for his queen.  Will the both find what they are looking for and can they co-exist or will the first interplanetary war be between the armies of two Empresses?

———————————–

Writing: The episode is a mixed bag, there are a lot of interesting twists but also a good supply of stereotypes, particularly concerning the soldiers of the British Empire. Yet the plot concerning the clash of empires works, and the Doctor Dilemma knowing what the future of both Mars and the Ice Warriors are is particularly interesting.  Furthermore we haven’t, at least on TV, seen much if any of female Ice Warriors which makes another interesting twist.  It was also a very Victorian ending.

Acting: The best job here belongs to  Adele Lynch’s Empress Iraxxa although her voice sounds a tad like the Queen of the Racnoss.  There is also Matt Lucas’ Nardole and Michele Gomez Missy who both do an excellent job.  Pearl Mackie is very credible and of course Capaldi is Capaldi.  I thought Ferdinand Kingsley but I suspect he was written that way.  The rest of the British foot soldiers are credible in their parts, stereotypical as they were.

Memorable Moments: Friendly aliens, Of course I can fix the TARDIS, Well you are victorian,  Surrounded by males

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Alpha Centuri of Peladon Fame (3rd Doctor Curse and Monster of Peladon) amazingly voiced by Ysanne Churchman at age 92 who last voiced the role back in 1974.  The portrait of Queen Victoria is the actress who played her opposite the 10th doctor (Tooth and Claw)

Oddities: The weapon that ties the men into knots seems kind of cool but very impractical.   Also I’m pretty sure I remember Nardole being able to fly the TARDIS.

Pet Peeves: I would think that once the first shot bounces off the Martian Armor someone might have thought of aiming at the exposed face and throat?

Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Godscare: Don’t move. I’ll sort this beggar out.
The Doctor:   No, no, no, no! You don’t understand. This creature is no threat. He may look like a monster to you
Godscare: I wasn’t talking to you.

——————————————————————-

Bill:  What, you can deal with big green Martians and, and, and rocket ships, but you can’t deal with us being the police?
Godscare: No, no, no, no, no. It’s just such a fanciful notion. A woman in the police force.
Bill:   Listen, yeah? I’m going to make allowances for your Victorian attitudes because, well, you actually are Victorian.

**********************************************

Godscare: Your Majesty, I have a request, if that may be permitted.
Queen Iraxxa:  Speak!
Godscare: That man was not one of us. Please, do not judge mankind by his cruelty or indeed by my cowardice. Spare my friends and my world.
Queen Iraxxa: Your request does you credit, soldier. It will be considered.
Godscare: God save the Queen.
British Troops: God save the Queen!
Queen Iraxxa: You will die with honour, with bravery, and in the service of those you swore to protect.
Godscare:  Thank you. You don’t know what that means. Thank you.
Queen Iraxxa:  But not today. In battle, soldier. To die in battle is the way of the warrior. Pledge your allegiance to me and my world, and I will ensure you have the opportunity.
Godscare: My life and my service are yours. [kneels] To the end.
Queen Iraxxa: To the death, my friend. To the death.

**********************************************************

Final Verdict: 4 1/2 stars another good episode

Ranking of Season: 3rd of 8  That makes 4 episodes in a row that were of the normal standard I would expect from the series as opposed to what we got at the start.  Let’s keep the trend going.

1st Extremis
2nd The Lie of the Land
3rd Empress of Mars
4th The Pyramid at the End of the World
5th Knock Knock
6th Oxygen
7th Thin Ice
8th Smile
9th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: Doesn’t place but not by much likely 11th if I went that low

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th  Extremis
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

Summary: OK Who’s gonna die to save the world from the Monks, The Doctor or Bill?

Plot: the Monks now rule the earth, and apparently have been with humanity from day one, or so everyone believes, but Bill and Nardole and the Doctor (with some help from Missy) find that there is a way to break this hold they have on humanity, but when the Doctor Bill and their band of Brothers plan fails, it looks like it will require someone to pay a fatal price, so who is going to pay it and free humanity? Or perhaps as the Doctor suggests it might be better to leave well enough alone.

———————————–

Writing: With the exception of the final resolution, which I think was weak, there is plenty of stuff to love here and a lot of guessing. I like the Doctor building a team, Nardole proving himself to Bill, the Whole, I gave you a chance bit are all very good, but the real star of the episode are the scenes with Missy which are so far above everything else that almost the entire episode that one might think it was all written specifically for that exchange.

Acting: In terms of acting this is Pearl’s Mackie’s best episode and to some degree Capaldi’s worst (he seems to be overacting a bit to me) Matt Lucas’ Nardole remains excellent but all of it is completely overshadowed by the performance of Michelle Gomez that is so above everyone else’s that you almost wonder if they should do a whole season of her.

Memorable Moments: swooch swooh, neck pinches, Raming speed, counting the bodies, I want a pony

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Bill’s Quest parallels Martha’s in the Last of the Time Lords (10th Doctor Martha) , Peter Capaldi’s “ramming Speed’ moment bring to mind Matt Smith’s 1st scene as the Doctor End of Time Part 2, and the monks continue to bring to mind the Silence (11th Doctor) , Missy’s demands mimic Matt Smith’s demands to Nixon (Impossible Astronaut 11th doctor)

Oddities: Since when can the Doctor start a regen sequence on his own?

Pet Peeves: I think the monks run away much to easy, furthermore if they can anticipate everything why didn’t they anticipate this?

Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Nardole: What are you doing? It’s me, Nardie!
Bill: No. Wait, wait. Shut up. Tell me something. That first time, with the Heather creature chasing us, where did we run away to?
Nardole: Australia.
Bill: What noise should spaceship doors make?
Nardole: Shuck-shuck, obviously.


The Doctor: Human society is stagnating. You’ve stopped moving forward. In fact, you’re regressing.
Bill: This isn’t exactly much better.
The Doctor: It’s safer.
Bill: Not so much for the people the Monks are killing.
The Doctor: The Romans killed people and saved billions more from disease, war, famine and barbarism.
Bill: No, wait. What about free will? You believe in free will. Your whole thing is. You made me write a three thousand word essay on free will.
The Doctor: Yes, well, I mean, you had free will, and look at what you did with it. Worse than that, you had history. History was saying to you, look, I’ve got some examples of fascism here for you to look at. No? Fundamentalism? No? Oh, okay, you carry on. I had to stop you, or at least not stand in the way of someone else who wanted to, because the guns were getting bigger, the stakes were getting higher, and any minute now it was going to be goodnight, Vienna. By the way, you never delivered that essay, anyway.
Bill: Because the world was invaded by zombie Monks!


Bill: But it’s, it’s just a woman. God, the way you and Nardole have been carrying on, I thought you had some kind of monster in here, or something!
The Doctor: I do. Missy, Bill. Bill, Missy, the other Last of the Time Lords.
Bill: Wait a sec. Why have you got a woman locked in a vault? Because even I think that’s weird, and I’ve been attacked by a puddle.


Bill: So when you defeated the Monks, that’s how you did it?
Missy: Well, at this point, all that was left of the bloodline was a wee girl, and I just pushed her into a volcano.
Bill: It’s me. The lynchpin is me.
Missy: Awkward.
Bill: So you’re saying I have to die.
Missy: No. If you were just to die, everyone’s false memories would have to fade, and that could take ages. It’s actually better if you keep breathing, if your brain just keeps transmitting, well, nothing. That would blot out the residue false memories.
Bill: What would be left of me?
Missy: You’d be a husk. Completely and irrevocably brain-dead. You couldn’t even get on Celebrity Love Island.
The Doctor: Even if that was the truth, the fact that you’re suggesting it shows there’s been no change, no hope, no point. We don’t sacrifice people. It’s wrong, because it’s easy.
Missy: You know, back in the day, I’d burn an entire city to the ground just to see the pretty shapes the smoke made. I’m sorry your plus one doesn’t get a happy ending, but, like it or not, I just saved this world because I want to change.Your version of good is not absolute. It’s vain, arrogant and sentimental. If you’re waiting for me to become all that, I’m going to be here for a long time yet.


Missy: I keep remembering all the people I’ve killed. Every day I think of more. Being bad, being bad drowned that out. I didn’t know I even knew their names. You didn’t tell me about this bit.
The Doctor: I’m sorry, but this is good.


Final Verdict: 4 1/2 stars Very Very good

Ranking of Season: 2nd of 8 Missy is the reason and it’s only the excellence of Extremis that keeps it from the top  It was a tough call between this one and Knock Knock but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt over the multi part business.

1st Extremis
2nd The Lie of the Land
3rd The Pyramid at the End of the World
4th Knock Knock
5th Oxygen
6th Thin Ice
7th Smile
8th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: Doesn’t place, if there was more Missy it might have edged face the Raven

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th  Extremis
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

Summary:  We’ll be happy to enslave your planet, if you ask really nice.

Plot:  In the middle of the most volatile region on the planet a Pyramid at least 5000 years old suddenly appears heralding the arrival of the alien menace that has been wargaming their invasion forever, but there is a catch, they need to be invited by people who love them, will the people of Earth do so?

———————————–

Writing:   One must be a little forgiving on a multi part story but after about 10 minutes so much in this episode is entirely predictable.  The only exception was the  fact that Bill asked for the Doctor’s eyesight rather than his life (although in theory one leads to the other).  Furthermore no explanation is given as to why these folks need to be loved in order to take over the planet, again this might be in the next part but then again it might not.  The story wasn’t bad per se but it could have, and in fact should have been so much better.  Two pluses, I like the way the Character Rachel was written so her dwarfism is completely incidental rather than pushed and I really liked the Bill and Penny scene.

Acting:  It’s rare that I mention a supporting actor first but Rachel Denning as Erica is first rate, since we know that Peter Capaldi is leaving it’s very possible that it might to introduce her as a companion (but likely that would have been announced already if true) she clearly has chemistry with Capaldi, more than Mackie frankly, but as he’s leaving that’s unlikely.  Lucas and Capaldi do their normal good job and Mackie is fine (particularly in her scene with Penny which was great) but I found her acting in the climax completely unconvincing.

Memorable Moments:  The Pope flashback, the Secretary General, and really not much else.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  The whole invaders from the beginning of time brings to mind the Silence from the Matt Smith years but other than that, not much.

Oddities: I can’t see the Doctor not realizing that Nardole would be vulnerable to the infection.

Pet Peeves:  Two huge plot holes.  #1  If there is CCTV and the monks are monitoring it why couldn’t the Doctor use that to let Bill see the current numbers (which is all he needs to figure the combination, the second is hole is MUCH worse.  These beings have been wargaming the conquering of earth since the beginning of history , that being the case why not conquer it at the primitive time when they would appear as Gods and lovingly be given control.  That’s so obvious that I’m almost insulted that it wasn’t brought up. And of course there is the gratuitous slam of Trump.


Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Erica: [As Tardis appears] Oh my god!
The Doctor: No, I’m the Doctor, but it’s an easy mistake to make.

 


Penn:   How did it go the dream version? [Flash back to the Pope scene from last week] [Laughing] The Pope!
Bill: In person.
Penny: The Pope, In your flat here?
Bill: Yeah
Penny: Your tutor has strange dreams.
Bill: I bet he does Yeah
Penny: Maybe he’s trying to keep you on the straight and narrow.
Bill: Maybe yeah. How to you feel on the subject? [Armed Soldiers break in] WOAH!
Soldier: Stay where you are, please remain still and calm, keep your hands in sight on the table. Ms Potts?
Bill: Yeah?
Soldier: who’s this.
Bill: this is my friend Penny who the hell are you?
Soldier: Room secure your excellency [elderly asian man enters] This is Miss Potts Sir.
Bill: Hi
Soldier: Ms Potts this is the secretary-general of the UN


The Doctor: Hello.
Red Monk: We know you.
The Doctor: Then you’ll know there is a line in the sand and I’m the man on the other side of it, you want to keep me that way.
Red Monk: We will take this planet and it’s people.
The Doctor: You will be prevented, you will be fought.
Red Monk: We will be invited. We will take this world, we will rule its people, but only when we’re asked.


The Doctor: Think Think Think Think Think Think Stupid Doctor. Stupid Stupid Stupid [an idea hits him] Handsome Doctor, Adorable, hugely intelligent, but still approachable Doctor! What’s another way to destroy bacteria?
Erica: Sterilization
The Doctor: and how do you sterilize something?
Ericia: Put it in boiling water
The Doctor: or
Erica: Put it in a flame.
The Doctor: She’s got it. By George she’s got it. I’m not going to lie to you, this means you’re insurance premiums are going to go through the roof in fact pretty much everything is going to go through the roof because I’m going to blow up the lab. I just need some kind of trigger first.
Erica: What are you going to blow it up with [it hits her] The Bacteria is making ethanol the green house and the lab are full of it!
The Doctor: Seriously what are you doing when this is all over?


Final Verdict: 4 stars A pretty good episode but I expected so much more.

Ranking of Season: 2nd of 7  It was a tough call between this one and Knock Knock but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt over the multi part business.

1st Extremis
2nd The Pyramid at the End of the World
3rd Knock Knock
4th Oxygen
5th Thin Ice
6th Smile
7th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: Doesn’t place, this has to be the worst overall season that I’ve seen since the old series in terms of stand out episodes.

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th  Extremis
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

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:  &nbsp: 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.
Penny:  What?
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?
Penny:  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.

[Tardis]


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:  Okay.
Nardole:   Good-o!
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.

1st Extremis
2nd Knock Knock
3rd Oxygen
4td Thin Ice
5th Smile
6th The Pilot

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
4th  Extremis
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

Summary:  That Air you’re breathing will cost you your life.

Plot:   Bill the Doctor and Nardole find themselves on a space station in an era where the company that makes your live support suit charges you by the breath for the air you breathe in the suit.  The only problem is that the suits seem to be killing the people wearing them, so cut off from the TARDIS the crew has a choice, die from lack of oxygen or risk being murdered by your life support system.
———————————–

Writing:    Yet another “evils of capitalism” my God that’s been played to death but hitting the concept of leaving cost benefit analysis of life is a great pro-life message that is lost.  There are several excellent twists to the story that are worthwhile and the interaction of the characters on the station works very well.  The addition of Nardole to the story, particularly his early interactions with the Doctor  are great but I think Bill gets a little short shifted by writer Jamie Mathieson in this episode.  Or to put it another way, I think it was a well written story but I think it could have used a tad more polish or perhaps a 2nd part as there was more here than they had time to develop.

Acting:   The more I see Matt Lucas the more I think of Frank DeKova from F-Troop who managed to steal every scene he was in during that series.  To be able to constantly do that with an actor as good as Capaldi is a real feat.  I’m presuming he will be leaving with Capaldi and that’s going to be a loss.  Pearl Mackie is certainly growing in the role and I think she made the material better but I think other than in spots she was undersold by the script.  The supporting cast for the episode deserves a thumbs up as they made the episode better.

Memorable Moments:  Fluid links,  rescued a racist,  fighting a spreadsheet, fined for dying

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  Biil’s reaction to Dar Ren vs Sarah Jane’s Reaction to Alpha Centuri (The Monster of Peladon 3rd Doctor)  Having to pay for Oxygen harkens to the Sun Makers (4th Doctor) “21 hours a week of unproductivity you will have to do without sleep until the debt is paid.

Oddities:  I think the cost benefit solution by the Doctor was excellent.

Pet Peeves:  I didn’t buy the “oh the spacesuit is damaged so it won’t kill her properly” business.  I think that was a very weak dodge.


Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

The Doctor: So, how does space kill you? I’m glad you asked. The main problem is pressure. There isn’t any. So, don’t hold your breath or your lungs will explode. Blood vessels rupture. Exposed areas swell. Fun fact! The boiling temperature of water is much lower in a vacuum. Which means that your sweat and your saliva will boil, as will the fluid around your eyes. You won’t notice any of this because fifteen seconds in, you’ve passed out as oxygen bubbles formed in your blood. And ninety seconds in, you’re dead. Any questions?  ( A student raises her hand.)  Yes?
Student: What’s this got to do with crop rotation?
The Doctor:  Er, I dunno. But space is great, isn’t it?


The Doctor:  Oh, look, Bill, it’s Nardole. What a lovely surprise. I thought I sent you to Birmingham for a packet of crisps.
Nardone: Yeah, I saw through your cunning ruse.
The Doctor:  Yes, well, if you will go thinking for yourself. What do you want?
Nardone:  I was given strict instructions to keep you at the university.
The Doctor:  Who by?
Nardone:  You.
The Doctor:  Well, you’re not doing a very good job, are you? I’ll overlook it this once.


The Doctor:  What killed the crew of this station?
Life Support Suit: I am unaware of any recent deaths.
The Doctor:  What about the oxygen? Where did it all go?
Life Support Suit: There has never been any oxygen in this station.
Nardole:  Oh, listen to that. Still saucy after all these years.
The Doctor:  Explain.
Life Support Suit: Oxygen is available for personal use only, at competitive prices.


Ivan: They’re nearly through!
The Doctor:  Open up. Let’s send them a message. Let’s teach them a lesson they will never forget. If they take our lives, we take their station and every penny they will ever make from it. Die well! It’s the finish line! It’s winning!
Abby: Open it.
Nardone:  Doctor! Doctor
The Doctor:  What?
Nardone:  It’s Bill.
The Doctor:  (sotto) Of course it’s Bill. Fate and me, we have a thing. (normal) Hello, suits. Our deaths will be brave and brilliant and unafraid. But above all, suits, our deaths will be expensive!  Check your readings. We die, your precious station dies. The whole thing will blow. The company will make the biggest loss in its history. A moment ago, we were too expensive to live. Now we’re more expensive dead. Welcome to the rest of your lives.


Final Verdict: 4 stars  but just barely.  An above avg episode  despite its weaknesses.

Ranking of Season: 2nd of 5  The first episode of the season not better than the previous one.

1st Knock Knock
2nd Oxygen
3rd Thin Ice
4th Smile
5th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: n/a This is to my memory the longest steak that a Doctor has had of a 3rd season not having a top 10 episodes in it.

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

Summary:  Sometimes a killer rental is just that.

Plot:   Bill and a group of friends find a place for themselves, a big old house at a bargain and she can’t wait to move etin and get her own place.  She is annoyed when the Doctor (her “grandfather) turns up but when her roommates start disappearing and dying can she and the Doctor solve the mystery of the landlord and his hidden daughter?
———————————–

Writing:  In once sense this is such a formula piece, spooky house, bargain too good to be true, twenty somethings disappearing you would think it wouldn’t work, but the strength of this story like the previous episode are the characters and their interaction and it turns what would normally be a pedantic episode into a winner for writer Mike Bartlett. I like very much that unlike Moffatt Bartlett uses Bill orientation without playing SJW.  I also love the sheer normalcy of the search for an apartment and the reality of trying to do so on a budget.

Acting:   For the first time this season the supporting cast brings their A game particular veteran actor David Suchet as the very dark yet weak landlord the rest of the young actors all do yeoman work here.  As always Peter Capaldi brings his A game and Pearl Mackie shines so well that almost total absence of Matt Lucas is not a disadvantage here. I found the supporting cast completely boring and forgettable which I think really costs this episode, but Capaldi does period pieces so well that one can almost forget it.

Memorable Moments:  Doff my cap,  Granddad, you should find another house,

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  Grandad (Susan and 1st Doctor), Harriet Jones (9th and 10th Doctor)  Plenty of things to kill you on earth (Last Christmas)

Oddities: I love the Doctor helping Bill move, it’s so ordinary like the Turkey thing in the 11th Doctor’s final episode.

Pet Peeves:  I don’t see any reason for these bugs to do what they do, the idea that the kid cold train them is quite a leap.


Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Shireen: [Frustrated at not finding a decent place] What do other people do?
Bill: Other people have money.


Bill:  He’s my grandad.

The Doctor: Aw, come on. Father at least, please.
Bill:  All right, grand-father.


Felicity: Do you like this music, Doctor?
The Doctor: Reminds me of Quincy Jones. I stepped in for him once. The bassist he’d hired turned out to be a Klarj Neon Death Voc-Bot. What was worse, he couldn’t play. 


Harry: What’s happened to her? What’s going on? Do you think it’s like she said? A thing?
The Doctor: Maybe.
Harry: And so is it out there now? Or in here?
The Doctor: Or both.
Harry: I’m scared.
The Doctor: Don’t be.
Harry: Why not?
The Doctor: It doesn’t help


Final Verdict: 4 stars That’s more like it.  A good regular episode and almost everyone lives too.

Ranking of Season: 1st of 4  Again a little better than the last one, the trend continues in the right direction

1st Knock Knock
2nd Thin Ice
3rd Smile
4th The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: The good news we’re creeping closer to the top ten, the bad news is we still haven’t cracked it. inching toward it

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

Summary:  It’s the last of the great frost fairs and something nasty is under the ice.

Plot: On their way back from the planet of the emojis The Doctor and Bill find themselves on the Frozen Thames in London at the last of the Frost Fairs 1814, but while enjoying the sights they discover something under the water that is taking people. What is going on and what do street urchins and the people paying them to get people on the ice know about this.
———————————–

Writing: The strength of this story is the interaction between the Doctor and Bill and to a lesser degree Bill and the kids which really works, but the actual plot is so repetitive, evil aristocratic capitalist exploiting people for profit is so old that you can write it in your sleep.

Acting:   As always Peter Capaldi brings his A game and Pearl Mackie shines so well that almost total absence of Matt Lucas is not a disadvantage here. I found the supporting cast completely boring and forgettable which I think really costs this episode, but Capaldi does period pieces so well that one can almost forget it.

Memorable Moments:  Save him, Pete

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  Stealing from the thief (1st Doctor The Crusades episode 1) Frost Fairs (11th Doctor A good man goes to war) Slavery worries (Martha Jones Shakespeare Code 10th Doctor)

Oddities: Isn’t the Doctor worried about running into his past self since he was there with River Song and Steve Wonder at that very fair?

Pet Peeves:  The TARDIS give an alert about the alien life form in the Thames, yet the Doctor has not only visited the Frost fair several times but has visited London over and over during the periods before it and the TARDIS never noticed, never gave a word or an indication. in the past and it never give a warning.   What happened, did it forget? Was it on strike? That’s a plot hole to drive a truck through.


Great Quote(s) via chakoteya.net transcripts

Bill: Yeah. Travelling to the past, There’s got to be rules. If I step on a butterfly, it could send ripples through time that mean I’m not even born in the first place and I could just disappear.
The Doctor: Definitely. I mean, that’s what happened to Pete.
Bill: Pete?
The Doctor:Your friend, Pete. He was standing there a moment ago, but he stepped on a butterfly and now you don’t even remember him.
Bill: Shut up! I’m being serious!
The Doctor: Yeah, so was Pete.
Bill: You know what I mean. Every choice I make in this moment, here and now, could change the whole future.
The Doctor: Exactly like every other day of your life. The only thing to do is to stop worrying about it.


The Doctor: You know what happens if I don’t move on? More people die. There are kids living rough near here. They may well be next on the menu. Do you want to help me? Do you want to stand here stamping your foot? Because let me tell you something. I’m two thousand years old, and I have never had the time for the luxury of outrage.


Final Verdict: 3 3/4 stars This is the only episode that I’ve given this rating to, just under 4 stars.

Ranking of Season: 1st of 3. Again a little better than the last one, we’re getting there

1st Thin Ice
2nd Smile
3rd The Pilot

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: Another one that Doesn’t place but inching toward it

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