This week is my final entry in the Doctor Who category until Series 11, and the 2017 Christmas special come to blu-ray. I began this journey on 25 January, 2014 – a story a week (sometimes two with the revitalised series) and now, I’ve come to its (temporary) conclusion.
Rona Munro, who wrote the classic series’ story Survival, pens this episode that first aired on 17 June, 2017, and tries to answer the question of what happened to the infamous Ninth Legion of the Roman army.
The Doctor (Capaldi) and Bill (Pearl Mackie) have differing opinions, and the only way to find out, is to go to Scotland, 2nd Century A.D. and find out.
It seems in present day Scotland, at the Devil’s Cairn, music can be heard deep underground, launching a mystery that intrigues both Time Lord and Companion, but they aren’t ready for the truth when they learn the true fate of the Ninth Legion.
The trio, of course Nardole (Matt Lucas) comes along, soon find themselves in serious trouble, when they come across the Romans, as well as a group of angry Scot teens (one of which serves as someone known as The Gatekeeper), and something that is causing people to disappear… Oh, and the fact that crows use to talk (kind of) and why they say what they do now.
They discover a gate, which plays with time, and has let something through… and may be the key to stopping the creature that is stalking Scotland if the Doctor can get the Romans and the Scots to work together.
I love the way the story ends! This was a fantastic standalone episode that allowed for a fun romp before the finale.
World Enough and Time begins a two-parter that closes out the tenth series. It was penned by Steven Moffat and first aired on 24 June, 2017.
The episode opens with the Doctor beginning his regeneration, something that will not conclude until the end of the Christmas Special, and then the story slips back and tells the tale leading up to that moment.
The Time Lord, Bill and Nardole end up on a space station that is being drawn into a black hole, causing a space-time distortion in the levels of the ship, and the Doctor is giving Missy (Michelle Gomez) a chance to prove herself.
Unfortunately things aren’t going well on the station, even as Missy tries to prove herself problems arise as the original incarnation of the Mondasian Cybermen are aboard, and converting everyone… including Bill in a shocking and heart-rending sequence.
But the trouble is only getting started, because not only is Missy aboard, but one of her previous regenerations is there, the Master (John Simm) – although he is unrecognisable at first.
There is a spooky hospital with everyone in it masked and begging to be killed or complaining about the pain. While, weeks, months, years pass for Bill at one end of the ship, only minutes pass for the Doctor as they are at opposite ends of the ship, and their proximity to the black hole is different.
It ends on a troubling cliffhanger that shows where the iconic Cyberman tear comes from, and the reveal that Missy and the Master have teamed up, much to the Doctor and Nardole’s horror.
The Doctor Falls brings about the conclusion of the Tenth Series, and sees the departure of both Bill and Nardole. Written by Moffat the episode debuted on 1 July, 2017.
Missy and the Master debate on how to kill, or at least torture the Doctor, with the thoughts of physical violence, and with emotional abuse by the continued presence of the Cyberman version of Bill.
It’s fun to watch the two versions of the Master play off of one another, but everything is going to come to a head very quickly. And Gomez really gets to put Missy through her paces as she begins to waver in her stance and thinks about aiding the Doctor.
Of course Mackie and Capaldi get some stellar moments as well, and when the series gets to shoot on location, things always look amazing. And Bill’s ending is wonderful, actually everyone gets wonderful moments in this one.
Trouble with the Cybermen and the Master(s) bring the entire story to a resounding climax, that left viewers reeling, and the Doctor regenerating.
And of course there’s the character he meets wandering in the snow even as he is regenerating…