Doctor Who season 10 episode 11. World Enough And Time by Steven Moffat

Time stretches out for that cybernetic moment so from here in there are spoilers!

The premise for the opening of this story is clever. The Doctor wants to see if he’s reformed Missy and gives her a chance for some humane moments and lets the TARDIS choose a place for this in an emergency. As such they arrive on a 400 mile spaceship that is being drawn into a black hole. No information is given as to whether that was its actual original length or the spaghetti effect as one end is drawn from the event horizon. Whatever, the science becomes a little iffy as the closer to the black hole, that end will also have a really pressing problem of not only a difference in time but mass compression although that appears to be ignored.

Anyway, despite the Doctor trying to interfere, Bill gets shot literally through the chest but a medical team rushes in to grab her, promising to save her life. Consequently, Bill arrives and awakens at the end of the spaceship nearest the black hole and a Jewish sounding man, looking awfully like Fagin, befriends her. Bill also learns that in the other wards, there are various people in pain (should I repeat that word several times for effect?) and want an end to their suffering. She also finds herself limited to how far she can leave the hospital before her replacement parts shut down. Good thing she didn’t find a lift. One would have to ponder on what Bill would eat but then, considering the hole in her chest, there would have been no heart, lungs not stomach, maybe not but she seems to have adapted awfully well despite needing a saline drip. This also brings up the other problem, if time is faster at the end near the black hole, then Bill should certainly be a lot older although the actual time differential isn’t given. It’s been said that Steven Moffat’s son gave him information on this, just wish I knew what he told him because it’s still not quite right.

The arrival of the Doctor, Missy and Nardole brings its own revelations. It’s hardly a surprise that the Mondasian Cybermen are involved. It’s been in the news enough in the past few months although not the surprise revelations at the end. For that, there be spoilers so go and watch the episode for yourself that will leave you wondering how the Doctor will sort this particular mess out.

In the opening sequence, actress Michelle Gomez does a really outstanding performance that you would have loved to have seen done completely as a sole mission with the Doctor looking over her shoulder, eating crisps optional. Matt Lucas as Nardole, unfortunately, is really a wasted character that you really have to wonder why showrunner Steven Moffat included in the show when all the other characters do so much. No disrespect to Lucas but he really wasn’t given much of a part throughout this season. I did wonder if there was another actor in a certain disguise but it looks like a dual role for one particular actor. Hopefully, based purely on this story, I hope someone considers Pearl Mackie as a star in the making and stars in a show of her own because she does have presence shown here to make it work.

There is some attempt to give some information about the Doctor’s earlier life and when he explains the Master was once a close friend and he thought the only scientific equal, you would have to think the Time Lady the Rani would surely have had some qualification. Problematically, if you know the histories of the characters, can you see the Hartnell regeneration and whatever the earliest Master regeneration (presumably pre-Roger Delgado) looking like friends? I mean, the Master has always been self-serving so why would you be friends with someone who would just as likely steal your school lunchbox and eat its contents at in front of you? Surely the Doctor would be too strong-willed to let that happen for long let alone want to be friends?

The pace of this story could have been better. All those dark scenes were really sleep imposing. It’s either that or the show was too close to my digesting my tea. Not that they were bad scenes but they lacked a certain amount of energy or rather the differences between what Bill was doing and the Time Lords were doing didn’t gel.

Still, this is only part one so maybe it will change in part two. After all, it’s not an exodus but a genesis and these cybermen will provide another place to wear your socks.

(c) GF Willmetts 2017

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