DOCTOR WHO, 10.11 – “World Enough and Time” (TV Review)

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BBC One – 7:35pm – Saturday 24th June 2017

Written by: Steven Moffat

Directed by: Rachel Talalay


 

OUR USUAL SATURDAY

“Positive attitude will help with the horror to come.”

After a regeneration tease in a blustery cold open, we return to ‘Earlier’ where Missy (Michelle Gomez), Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) board a 400-mile-long colony ship teetering in the gravity well of a black hole. We learn through extensive, largely banterful, dialogue that this is a “test” of Missy’s progress, to see how far she has moved away from her nefarious past, overseen by the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) from the comfort of the TARDIS.

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DOCTOR WHO, 10.10 – “The Eaters of Light” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:35pm – Saturday 17th June 2017

Written by: Rona Munro

Directed by: Charles Palmer


 

DEATH BY SCOTLAND

It strains credulity to belief it has taken this long, but with episode 10.10, screenwriter Rona Munro became the first person to scribe an episode of the original ‘classic’ series (1989’s concluding “Survival” serial) and new Who. The oldest adventure I have seen in its entirity is the 1996 TV Movie (which I reviewed HERE), so I have no context for how “The Eaters of Light” compares to Munro’s earlier in-universe effort, but to the casual fan last Saturday’s romp in time was pretty much business as usual for the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his cohorts.

… Keep Scuttling!

DOCTOR WHO, 10.9 – “Empress of Mars” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:35pm – Saturday 10th June 2017

Written by: Mark Gatiss

Directed by: Wayne Yip


 

THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR

“Sod this for a game of soldiers!”

My overdue run of current series Doctor Who reviews rattles on with this historical military altercation – set in the caverns beneath the surface of the Red Planet! “Empress of Mars” is the first episode in a month not to feature the audience-dividing alien Monks (my opinions on which can be read by clicking 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8), and it sees a sharp step backwards in assimilating gormless assistant Nardole (Matt Lucas) into the main body of the story.

… Keep Scuttling!

DOCTOR WHO, 10.8 – “The Lie of the Land” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:35pm – Saturday 3rd June 2017

Written by: Toby Whithouse

Directed by: Wayne Yip


 

FAKE NEWS CENTRAL

“Humanity is doomed to never learn from its mistakes.”

One downfall of being tardy to the party with watching a programme as popular and hotly-debated as Doctor Who is that unless I avoid twitter for the weekend, I will invariably end up with a rough consensus of the public’s opinion of each episode, a week before I see it. Combining the cool general response to “The Lie of the Land” with my own inauspicious reaction to “The Pyramid at the End of the World” (10.7), it’s fair to say my excitement for this finale to the Monk’s trilogy was somewhat subdued.

… Keep Scuttling!

DOCTOR WHO, 10.7 – “The Pyramid at the End of the World” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:25pm – Saturday 27th May 2017

Written by: Peter Harness and Steven Moffat

Directed by: Daniel Nettheim


 

BRINGING IT

The Doctor may have rumbled the planet-wide VR simulation used by the desiccated coven of alien Monks to prepare their invasion of Earth last week (see my review of 10.6 “Extremis” HERE), but he didn’t vanquish them. And now they are back, bringing with them a 5,000-year-old pyramid which suddenly appears in the desert of Turmezistan – their invasion has begun and the countdown clock to global catastrophe is closing in on midnight!

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DOCTOR WHO, 10.4 – “Knock, Knock” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:20pm – Saturday 6th May 2017

Written by: Mike Bartlett

Directed by: Bill Anderson


INFESTED DIGS

“No living puddles, weird robots or big fish. Just a new house. Nothing scary.”

New student Bill (Pearl Mackie) finds trying to get back to normal life after three weeks of travelling with the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is more difficult than it sounds. A rattle-bang opening montage shows her and five uni pals struggling to find suitable off campus accommodation to move into, until a suspiciously generous Landlord (David Peter Pan Goes Wrong Suchet) offers them his antiquated manor – replete with out-of-bounds tower – for a hard-to-resist price.

… Keep Scuttling!

DOCTOR WHO, 10.2 – “Smile” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:20pm – Saturday 22nd April 2017

Written by: Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Directed by: Lawrence Gough


 

DEATH TO THE UNHAPPY

“Who needs loos? There’s probably an app for that!”

Following her introduction to the Doctor’s perception-altering life outside the University in last week’s “The Pilot” (reviewed HERE), eager beaver Bill (Pearl Mackie) was given her first proper test drive in the T.A.R.D.I.S. this Saturday. Aside from a perfunctory cameo which established a curious father-son dynamic between the Time Lord (Peter Capaldi) and cheeky sidekick Nardole (Matt Lucas), the bald alien was all but absent from proceedings, giving the new companion an opportunity to bond with her new “lecturer.”

… Keep Scuttling!