Doctor Who season 10 episode 5: Oxygen by Jamie Mathieson

May 13, 2017 | By | Reply More

Don’t hold your breath! From here in there are spoilers

Give scriptwriter Jamie Mathieson his due, he gave a funny script to off-balance the terror of what was happening on-board Chasm Forge Number 7 Mining Station off Ganymede digging for copper ore.

Although it doesn’t look it, again, this is a bottle show with limited sets and few active speaking parts and they had to share works as much as oxygen.

This time, the Doctor (actor Peter Capaldi) takes Bill (actress Pearl Mackie) and, inadvertently, Nardole (actor Matt Lucas) to the rescue of the remaining miners on-board said space station. In what looks like a zombies in space episode is actually their spacesuits AIs taking command and turning off their organic components, the humans inside. From the description of the episode, I thought it would have more to do with said miners not paying for their oxygen but it’s not that. Too many plot spoilers at this point.

What is a puzzle is why does Nardole need a spacesuit? The last time I looked, he’s supposed to be a robot or at least his body is, supplying him with oxygen. Surely enough to keep him alive and to have traded helmets to save Pearl instead of the Doctor for the time needed. Instead, we now have an impaired Doctor, who you would think his regenerative ability would have restored him to health without a full regeneration.

The people the Doctor is supposed to be rescuing are little more than vignettes now, left with little to do than complain and run. I know there isn’t much space (sic) in a 45 minute episode but surely they could have been made at least more active and had contributed to saving themselves.

Something else to consider that although the TARDIS is left in a difficult position to return to, we have seen in the past that it will come to the Doctor’s rescue when he is trapped but doesn’t do so here. Maybe the Doctor turned the rescue button off but it’s an odd omission. It might have cut the story short somewhat as well but it should have been covered.

Despite these flaws, Mathieson’s script does do well in keeping your attention, even if it’s only to query the flaws. He also addresses certain aspects of the Doctor’s life in a matter-of-fact way showing he does know the mythology, just a shame he doesn’t use more of it. Both Capaldi and Mackie’s comic timing make it work but Nardole still seems like a fifth wheel and not doing anything much other than complain.

(c) GF Willmetts 2017

Category: Doctor Who, TV

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

Leave a Reply