‘WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME’/’THE DOCTOR FALLS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Missy, the Master and the Cybermen with the Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole
‘WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME’ (Part 1)
Here we begin the two-parter finale of ‘Doctor Who’ in Series 10! I did miss the first episode on its original transmission via BBC One. Thankfully I managed to catch up on that episode via BBC iPlayer.
I was looking forward to this two-part finale by Steven Moffat after seeing the trailers and wondering what it would be like. I hoped that it wouldn’t be a let-down like previous season finales.
The story begins with ‘World Enough and Time’! We open with…Peter Capaldi regenerating! What?! Is it over already?! We haven’t started the story yet! No, no, of course not! This isn’t really the end!
That regeneration happens in the future of course. But it’s a very interesting way to tease the audience, isn’t it? The seeds are sown for the Twelfth Doctor’s end with the regeneration in this tale.
I had expected the Twelfth Doctor’s end to be all dealt with in the 2017 Christmas Special. I did wonder how it was going to work out in the end. Thankfully, I didn’t need to wait too long for it here.
Anyway, we soon cut to events that occurred before the regeneration scene with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. It is very interesting how Steven Moffat often cuts back to earlier scenes during his TV stories.
Earlier, before the regeneration scene, the story takes places on a giant colony ship reversing from a black hole in space. The TARDIS arrives with Missy…as the Doctor…and Bill and Nardole stepping out.
It seems that the Doctor is giving Missy a chance to redeem herself by letting her take his role when the TARDIS answers a distress call. This also gets explained with more flashback set before this one.
I did feel that Michelle Gomez as Missy was all ‘panto’ in those early scenes when she’s with Bill and Nardole. This is especially when she’s making puns and saying that she’s ‘Dr. Whooo’! Oh deary me!
Enough with the puns, Missy! I did get a sense that Missy was being rather silly in that early segment in the episode. As I’ve stated in another review, Michelle Gomez isn’t intimidating as other Masters.
However not everything goes to plan for the Doctor. For you see, when on the giant colony ship, a blue alien humanoid (possibly similar to Dahh-Ren in ‘Oxygen’) comes out of a lift to threaten them.
This is Oliver Lansley as Jorj, who is a janitor on the colony ship. Jorj holds the TARDIS group by gunpoint before he soon shoots Bill, blowing a massive hole in her body which was pretty gruesome.
Bill eventually gets taken into care by figures in masks. She’s brought down below the colony ship where she experiences a life in hospital care before she soon gets chosen to be horribly ‘converted’.
The story of course features the return of the original Mondasian Cybermen that featured in ‘The Tenth Planet’. I was actually pretty excited to see the return of these Cybermen in the new TV series.
I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see enough of the Mondasian Cybermen in this first episode. Thankfully though, we do get to see more of them in the second episode of this two-parter.
It soon transpires that the colony ship comes from Mondas itself! One of the things I found pretty appealing were the hints of the Mondasian Cybermen coming together in this hospital-like scenario.
This is especially due to the fact it’s all set on board the colony ship. There’s also a certain 1950s atmosphere about the colony ship that I was able to identify and it does match well to ‘Spare Parts’.
The concept of the colony ship being displaced in time was interesting. It’s called ‘time dilation’ with the top part of the colony ship being slower in time compared to the bottom part that seems faster.
This is one of those complicated timey-wimey pieces that can be found in many Steven Moffat stories of ‘Doctor Who’. But surprisingly, I was able to follow it as well as enjoy it in the first episode.
The tension featured in the first episode is pretty superb. This is especially when Bill finds herself as a patient in the hospital down below the colony ship. I could feel myself getting anxious throughout.
I wanted to know what was happening to Bill after she got shot and what she did when she was exploring the hospital as well as the ‘outside’ of the colony ship. Some of it was tense and disturbing.
In the episode, there’s a ragged man that Bill meets and befriends at the hospital called Mr. Razor, played by…actually, I don’t know. There doesn’t seem to be an actor’s name given to this Mr. Razor.
But he’s a pretty good actor! Wait a minute! It turns out Mr. Razor isn’t real! He’s a man in disguise! He’s actually…say it with now…the Master! Wow! I was very thrilled to pieces to see John Simm back!
I liked how John Simm was revealed as the Master at the end of the first episode! Mind you, I knew Mr. Razor was the Master all along, as I knew John Simm was coming back which was bit of a spoiler.
But it didn’t matter as it was brilliant to see John Simm back. John is a superb actor to play the Master in ‘Doctor Who’! It was great to see him again since his last appearance in ‘The End of Time’.
I also enjoyed it when the Master and Missy meet. That moment where he took off his disguise was sensational! John Simm’s return was a welcome relief as I did like how he revealed himself to Missy.
I have to be honest with you. ‘World Enough and Time’ was the first episode I was able to get excited about in a long time from the new series of ‘Doctor Who’, probably since the Russell T. Davies days.
The elements worked well in the first episode of this story as I was happy about John Simm’s reveal as the Master and the Mondasian Cybermen. I hoped things would stay the same in the second part.
The first episode ends with a shock of all shocks! The Doctor and Nardole discover a Mondasian Cyberman that steps out of an operating theatre. The Cybermen of course happens to be…Bill Potts!
Somehow I knew that was coming, but it was still shocking. Eventually, the Master and Missy unite together before the Doctor’s horrified eyes and we also see Bill…as a Cyberman…shedding one tear!
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 2 of ‘Series 10 – Part 2’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s the ‘World Enough and Time’ – Inside Look’ featurette.
On Disc 5 of ‘The Complete Series 10’ of ‘Doctor Who’, the ‘World Enough and Time’ – Inside Look’ featurette can also be found on there. There’s also ‘The Finale Countdown’ which features a musical concert and a panel talk with Pearl Mackie and showrunner Steven Moffat following a special screening of ‘World Enough and Time’. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who: The Fan Show – The Aftershow’ edition for this episode.
‘THE DOCTOR FALLS’ (Part 2)
‘The Doctor Falls’ continues the story from what happened in ‘World Enough and Time’ where Bill is now converted into a Mondasian Cyberman. The Master and Missy are also united together in this story.
I did wonder why Michelle Gomez’s Missy joined John Simm’s Master at the end of the first episode, but it does sort of get explained. Anyway, this has all the pieces for a climatic showdown in the story.
However, with that said, I didn’t feel John Simm’s Master was that ‘masterful’ as he had been in previous stories. Don’t get me wrong, I so enjoyed John Simm’s performance in the second episode.
It’s just his appearance is hampered by Michelle Gomez’s Missy. This is especially when the two ‘canoodled’ with each other. I’m not sure that was very necessary in the episode, Mr. Steven Moffat.
There was one scene that I thoroughly enjoyed in the second episode. That was when Peter Capaldi’s Doctor attempts to persuade John Simm’s Master and Michelle Gomez’s Missy to help him.
The two Masters are silent whilst the Doctor is being so emotional and pleading for help. John Simm’s Master seems so horrid in his response whilst Michelle Gomez’s Missy could be the opposite.
This second episode features more of the Mondasian Cybermen compared to the first episode, which I enjoyed. I was expecting more of the Mondasian Cybermen to speak in that ‘sing-song’ way.
They are of course renowned for doing that in ‘The Tenth Planet’ as well as ‘Spare Parts’. I’m not sure if Steven Moffat tried to avoid this during the writing. We should be thankful for small mercies.
I was so pleased to see the new series Cybermen balanced with the Mondasian Cybermen in this story. Mind you, the Cybermen’s appearance in this story did feel limited and very poor throughout.
There wasn’t much tension during the attacks the Cybermen made in the episode. One minute people are worrying about battling a whole lot of Cybermen, the next minute “Well, that was easy!”
I also think there was too much music being used during the Doctor’s fight with the Cybermen at the end. Half the time on a re-watch, I struggled to hear what Peter Capladi was saying with loud music.
Pearl Mackie returns as Bill in both human form and as a Cyberman. It was interesting to watch scenes where Bill was in human form to her perception whereas she was in actual fact a Cyberman.
People are scared whenever they see her as a Cybermen. The scenes between Bill and the Doctor were pretty mesmerising to watch in this episode, especially in that scene where Bill becomes angry.
The scene where the two Masters actually kill each other was interesting to watch. Missy stabs the Master (off-screen) with a small knife, whilst the Master shoots her down with his laser screwdriver.
Hey, it’s good that the Master’s got the laser screwdriver back! Who knows where the Master and Missy will go next? Though why didn’t the Master say “Ouch!” when Missy stabbed him with a knife?
ROWAN ATKINSON’S DOCTOR: “I’ll explain later!”
(disinterested) Yeah, that’s what I thought. (Pause) Matt Lucas as Nardole’s journey with the Doctor has also come to an end here in this ‘Doctor Who’ story. It is interesting how Nardole’s story ended.
By the end, he’s now looking after a group of ‘refugee’-like children who are running away from the Cybermen on the colony ship. Nardole also seems to have caught the eye of a female human as well.
At the time I saw this episode, I assumed this was also the last appearance of Pearl Mackie as Bill in ‘Doctor Who’. Thankfully that wasn’t the case since she did return in ‘Twice Upon A Time’ after this.
I recall feeling sad since I enjoyed Bill’s journey in ‘Doctor Who’. It would’ve been nice to have seen Pearl Mackie continue as the ‘Doctor Who’ companion had Peter Capladi’s Doctor continued as well.
This episode also features the return of Stephanie Hyam as Heather who was in ‘The Pilot’. She rescues Bill when she’s mourning over the Doctor who seems to be dead after his Cybermen battle.
Heather converts Bill out of her Cyberman suit and makes her like her as a puddle. How Heather had managed to do this is sort of explained in a few flashback scenes connected to ‘The Pilot’ TV episode.
Bill and Heather eventually take the Doctor’s body back to the TARDIS before they set off together, travelling the universe. Once again, I think Bill has had fate worse than death by Steven Moffat here.
The story concludes with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor waking up and refusing to regenerate. I did like it when we had flashbacks to companions, not just of Bill and Nardole, but also other new series ones.
There was Rose, Martha, Captain Jack, Donna, Sarah Jane, Amy, Clara and River Song, but not Rory or Mickey though. Why? The Doctor soon steps out of the TARDIS onto a snowy-covered wasteland.
This is follow-up to what happened in the previous episode where we were teased about Peter Capaldi’s regeneration. Thankfully the Doctor stops regenerating, as he still refuses to go through it.
This happens just in time for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor to see the arrival of…David Bradley as the First Doctor coming towards him! WOW! This was amazing to see on TV! Yeah, great! Now we’re talking here!
So what did I make of ‘World Enough and Time’/’The Doctor Falls’ as the season finale of Series 10 in ‘Doctor Who’? I liked it! I thought it was a decent conclusion to the 2017 TV season of ‘Doctor Who’.
Although I have to say, I did feel the second episode was a bit of a let-down after the build-up and promise in the first episode. The second episode was so complex in many aspects of the overall tale.
‘World Enough and Time’/’The Doctor Falls’ wasn’t the most spectacular season finale I was hoping for, apart from featuring lots of Cybermen and two Masters in it. There was plenty of promise here.
However, the story ended up being pretty complex and there was a lot to take in, which isn’t what I want in a season finale. I did enjoy the finale’s decency and with finishing plot threads in the season.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 2 of ‘Series 10 – Part 2’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s ‘The Doctor Falls’ – Inside Look’ featurette.
On Disc 5 of ‘The Complete Series 10’ of ‘Doctor Who’, ‘The Doctor Falls’ – Inside Look’ featurette can also be found on there. There’s also the ‘Doctor Who Extra’ documentary called ‘The Finale Falls’ and deleted scenes from Series 10. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who: The Fan Show – The Aftershow’ edition for this episode.
So we’ve finally come to the end of Series 10 of ‘Doctor Who’. I enjoyed watching all of Series 10 with Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie and Matt Lucas on TV. I also enjoyed reviewing the episodes when I first saw them on ‘Bradley’s Basement’. Looking back on Series 10 has given me a peculiar nostalgia.
But still, Series 10 isn’t a great season of ‘Doctor Who’ overall for me. I enjoyed the performances of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, Pearl Mackie’s Bill and Matt Lucas’ Nardole throughout and in no way is this season terrible. But there have been stories that were muddled and the season became a mixed bag.
Most of the season was pretty decent though. I wish I could say Steven Moffat’s final season of ‘Doctor Who’ as showrunner as well as for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor was spectacular. But honestly this season wasn’t something for me to get excited about, since I didn’t purchase the DVD box set immediately.
I was looking forward to finding out how Peter Capaldi’s era of ‘Doctor Who’ would end and what would happen next when the Twelfth Doctor met the First Doctor in the 2017 Christmas Special. I was pleased that David Bradley was back as the First Doctor and I hoped the episode would be good.
‘World Enough and Time’/’The Doctor Falls’ rating – 8/10
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