Doctor Who season 10 episode 8. The Lie Of The Land by Toby Whithouse.

Truth! From here in there are spoilers!

I’m definitely going to have to reset the DVD recorder next week. Fortunately, I did a manual over-ride and, for this episode, I needed to watch it a second time. Throughout my watching, I kept getting reminded of elements of couple other times the Earth has been invaded and conquered in recent regenerations. All right, one of them is an alternative Earth but you know what I mean. A good parlour game for groups of you to play. I spotted elements of at least four.

With the changes at the end of last week’s episode, this is more a Bill than a Doctor story at the beginning. Likewise, the Monks resemble another of the silent enemies whose motivations we are not even allow to be privy to.

It also looks like the Doctor has lost one of his regenerations so watching your counting, he only has 12 out of 13 of the new regenerations left. You would have thought the Doctor would have found a different solution to Bill’s particular problem although it does get around the blindness recurring when things bounce back to normal. It also raises the odd question is why doesn’t he retain his current appearance in future regenerations. In some respects, there is a missed opportunity here and surprise everyone earlier.

Very talky again. Is life under the Monks that bad? They got rid of many aliens that invaded the Earth in the past and without any Time Lord intervention but then you have to ask yourself is this a true reality or an illusion of the past 6 months. They rule the Earth and even the Doctor concedes they are a better choice than the Daleks, even if they stem free will and kill any they can’t control.

No surprises who’s in the Vault.

I did have a ponder on the history of the world the Monks changed Earth history to. I mean, no Master and no Torchwood noted although as Bill was probably not aware of them when she was young and these events might have come from her memories and she could have seen some of them from reading the TARDIS’ files.

Again, we have an enemy who is both silent and undecipherable motivation. I know aliens are supposed to be alien because we don’t really understand them but plot-wise this is becoming too much of a habit in the Moffat era.

In many respects, this is more of a character-driven story with few lines given to other members of the cast. Even Bill’s imagined mother doesn’t get any dialogue. Even Nardole’s moments are mostly superficial. He’s an organic head on a robot body, so how can he feel pain let alone infected by the virus? If there weren’t the minimal interaction with other characters, this could practically be a bottle show. Not that these can’t be useful but it does suggest that if new show-runner Chris Chibnall is going to bring in new scriptwriters, he needs some who can tell a complete proper story in 45-50 minutes.

At least the story doesn’t carry on the mess from the previous episode but there is nothing of the causes in here neither with an almost reset. Are people going to forget what went on when they still have the remains of the statues there. Is the virus out there waiting still to be unleashed? Perturbing, isn’t it?

(c) GF Willmetts 2017

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