TV Review – ‘Oxygen’ (Doctor Who)

Hello everyone! 🙂


I’ve seen the fifth episode of Series 10 of ‘Doctor Who’ called ‘Oxygen’! This episode is by Jamie Mathieson. Jamie contributed to ‘Doctor Who’ before for Series 8 with the episodes ‘Mummy on the Orient Express’ and ‘Flatline’. He also co-wrote ‘The Girl Who Died’ with Steven Moffat for Series 9.

I was expecting this episode to be of the same quality of story-telling by Jamie Mathieson in Series 8. Sadly the episode fell apart by the time it got to the conclusion. It works well as a zombie story set on a space station. But the explanation and the resolution of the alien threat felt pretty weak for me.

The episode begins with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor saying, “Space: The Final Frontier!” No, Peter! Wrong show! You’re doing ‘Doctor Who’! Not ‘Star Trek’! 😀  Anyway, the episode has the Doctor and Bill with Nardole answering a distress call to a space station which is under threat by spacesuit zombies.

At last! Nardole gets to travel with the Doctor and Bill in the TARDIS for a change. I was hoping to see his potential as a companion in this. However, he tended to be annoying and grumpy with the Doctor, since he wanted to go back to the TARDIS so that the Doctor keeps his oath about the vault.

Also Nardole tends to be there for comic relief during the episode and doesn’t do much, apart from making one-liners which aren’t necessarily funny. However there is one scene with Nardole that stood out for me. It’s when he berates the Doctor at the end of the episode for leaving Earth behind.

Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie steal the show with their performances as the Doctor and Bill in this episode. Bill gets unlucky as her spacesuit acts by itself and takes her space helmet off. She’s about to die of oxygen starvation. But the Doctor heroically rescues her by putting his space helmet on Bill.

This of course backfires, as the Doctor’s exposure to space without his space helmet causes him to go blind. It was quite disturbing to see the Doctor blind in this episode. Despite his blindness, the Doctor works out how to stop the spacesuit zombies and he saves Bill when she becomes a zombie.

Like I said, ‘Oxygen’ has a weak ending that left me unsatisfied. I didn’t get what it was about with the spacesuits being the cause of what was happening in the episode and I think more time should have been spent to explain what happened. I did like some of the horror moments with the zombies.

The episode ends with a shocking cliff-hanger! The Doctor is still blind!

Next week’s episode is called ‘Extremis’ by Steven Moffat.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂


3 thoughts on “TV Review – ‘Oxygen’ (Doctor Who)

  1. Agan Tim a additional 10 minutes run time may have ironed out these mnor issues as this had potential to be a classic but as you said it feel a little short at the end.

    I’d kept t simple & had the spacesuits possessed & drains the hosts lifeforce to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘ Oxygen’. I’ve reflected on my thoughts about ‘Oxygen’ and wondered whether I’ve been too harsh. But I do feel the ending was rather rushed and not enough time was given to explain the outcome of that story.

    Bill somehow managed to survive with being de-zombified by the Doctor, but I’m not sure what became of the other zombies. Were they recovered like Bill was, did they die or was it far too complex for us to understand. It felt flat for me. Otherwise, gripping zombie plot early on.

    Thanks again! Tim. 🙂


  3. I think they died as they gave up the remaibs of there oxygen although the explanation was very vague, I enjoyed the set up as I like my Doctor Who dark & gothic but this 45 minute format just doesn’t work as it’s sacrificing major plot explanations.

    I mentioned this a lot on the new series episodes but many disagree with me, I’d rather have 10 x 60 minute episodes than this 12 x45.

    Liked by 1 person

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