Written with no prior knowledge of what’s going to be in the episode – I watch the ‘Next Time’ trailer and make sure I see, hear and read nothing else – and written immediately after my first viewing. This is my unfettered, emotional response to this week’s DOCTOR WHO fare.
Bill has been an absolutely magnificent companion. Genuinely terrific. And if this is the way she departs, then it’s going to be the most tragic story arc in DOCTOR WHO history. The kind of story arc that would surely be traumatising kids in a way likely to scar them for the rest of their lives.
I can only hope that Moffat – a man who, lest we forget, ended his first DOCTOR WHO story with The Doctor gleefully declaring “Everybody lives!” – has a clever way to save her.
A bit different this week, as reviewing the first episode of a two-parter is always going to be harder than a single forty-five minute story (or a loose three parter, like the one we had earlier in the series). It’d be like switching ALIENS off after forty-five minutes and saying: “Tell us what you think…” I can’t properly review it until I know how it all plays out. So, with that caveat in mind, here are my initial impressions.
- Once again Moffat, like two series ago, tries to write a great Cybermen & Missy/Master vs The Doctor story. Almost like he’s turning to conjure up the Pertwee classic that never happened.
- The pre-credits sequence, I thought P-Cap – mainly down to the hair – looked so much like Jon Pertwee.
- And then he went and performed some Venusian Akido as well, which did make me laugh out loud.
- While somewhere below decks The Master hung around for what must have been years in a very Master-esque disguise.
- Pertwee. Pertwee. Pertwee.
- Actually that last one might be more of a trope from The Davison years, as there was really no need for The Master to be in disguise, was there? He was a Prime Minister on Earth rather than Mondas, wasn’t he?
- Although the disguise he wore was much better than the kind given to Anthony Ainley in the 1980s.
- Mrs Jameson did guess who it was though, which did mute our surprise somewhat. But imagine how we’d all have reacted if nothing had been spoiled in the ‘next time’ trailers. It would have been THE number one most startling moment in DOCTOR WHO history.
- Back to the beginning: Moffat has tried on a couple of occasions to land a joke about people referring to The Doctor/The Doctor referring to himself as ‘Doctor Who’. He’s never really succeeded though.
- I did enjoy when Missy was pretending to be The Doctor, Michelle Gomez let her natural Scottish accent out.
Earlier in the week I posted my thoughts on ‘Spare Parts‘, a different ‘Genesis of the Cybermen’ story. This so far lacks the incredible humanity of that one, choosing instead to really ramp up the body horror. I imagine that’s what will live in my memory about ‘World Enough and Time’, that it’s the kind of horror movie you can put on at teatime on a Saturday night, which is – of course – one of the things DOCTOR WHO has always tried to be.
But it is obviously possible that my entire opinion could be changed by whatever lies ahead next week.
Fingers crossed for Bill!