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We find ourselves in familiar territory on this week’s Doctor Who. Just our day with the Doctor and also his 2 companions is interrupted by the U.N. Secretary General… and also the end of the world. Yet let’s do as River tune would advise and also not skip ahead just yet.

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The unified Nations has extracted the TARDIS, where the Doctor’s to be holed up, and is paris him, Bill, and also Nardole to Turmezistan — which some Whovians can recognize from critical season’s two-parter “The Zygon Invasion/Inversion” — ~ above account the a huge pyramid showing up out of i do not have anything in the intersection the a war zone the sees the Americans, the Chinese, and the Russians on three various sides. Top top arrival, Bill conveniently figures the end it’s an extraterrestrial spacecraft disguised as a pyramid, and also she’s verified right when the monk creatures appear and resolve the physician (or rather the “President” the the Earth) once he investigates.

But after he tells them they’ll have to go through him come take over the Earth, the monk creatures say they won’t simply be invite to take it over, the will also happen in ~ the end the the Earth. However, the timeline because that that details event has actually been moved up currently that the Doomsday Clock — a symbolic clock face created by part atomic scientists in the ‘80s that counts down to worldwide disaster — is currently only three minutes far from Midnight (a.k.a. Stated disaster).

In a literal race versus the clock, the doctor surprisingly agrees v China’s decision to attack the pyramid. The instructs Russia and America to carry out so as well. Because a coordinated strike will show that the earth is united against this threat. However that doesn’t work. The pyramid literally traction a aircraft out the the sky, and a submarine out of the water. So then they go to setup B: Negotiation.

However, that’s not successful as well. ~ the monks call the Doctor, Bill, Nardole, the U.N. Secretary General and also the armed forces leaders of every three nations that a succession of Earth-ending events has been collection in motion, castle invite them to touch the strands the time in ~ the facility of the ship. The monks usage this to version the Earth’s future together they attempt to stop a catastrophe. Having witnessed what will occur to the Earth, the U.N. Secretary basic takes increase the monk’s offer and also gives lock his consent — in spite of the Doctor’s warnings. And also because his commitment came indigenous a place of fear instead of love, he’s disintegrated. (Looks favor someone How to win Friends and Influence People.)

Plan C is agreeing to a three-country truce. However when that doesn’t occupational the medical professional realizes this entirety pyramid deal has been one big misdirect. It isn’t civilization War 3 that’s walking to finish the world. It’s a bacteria-related mistake. Thus it need to be on a watch list. His solution? placing all the top-secret documents of the civilization online so the the whole team can Google their method to a solution. (Last week’s equipment was emailing. So i guess the ethical is “Never underestimate simple technological functions, kids.”)

But also as the Doctor and also Nardole small their find terms — GM biochemical trials that have actually reached stage 2 — the generals aren’t happy with how long this is taking. Therefore they decision to go offer their consent. Sigh. The physician sends Bill with them, when he and Nardole monitor his recent idea.

In the TARDIS, they hack into UNIT’s database and shut down all the protection cameras of the labs that space being monitored through the government. Their plan works together the monk creatures revolve the feed of the rap they are monitoring ago on. Within no time at all, they’re at the Agrofuel research study Operations lab, whereby scientist Erica is managing her dead colleague Douglas’ mistake. The accidentally gone into in the dorn decimal place, leading to the creation of a toxicity strain that bacteria the turns human beings into gunk. Unfortunately, Douglas’ countless mistakes average that the laboratory wasn’t correctly sealed, an interpretation the bacteria can be released right into the air, regardless of the lab being on lockdown. Given the toxicity atmosphere, the physician sends Nardole ago to the TARDIS, yet what that doesn’t recognize is the he’s already showing symptoms.

The Doctor, with some assist from Erica, puts together a bomb designed to punch up the lab, thus sterilizing that certain strain. However his attempt to escape from the lab is foiled by lockdown procedure as he’s compelled to enter in a particular mix into the lock. Yet considering he can’t see, and also Nardole’s not responding and also Erica can’t really get a great look, he’s stuck. (The sonic scrlondonchinatown.orgdriver have the right to only tell the what the mix might be. The can’t go into it.) an excellent nlondonchinatown.orgs though: the Doomsday Clock is reversing itself.

As the stands there and also beholds the fire that kills off that bacteria — and lament’s Bill’s decision — the monks welcome that to their world.

We’re just past the midpoint that the season, which renders this a an extremely interesting time because that the Doctor, Bill, and also Nardole (sniffle) come go v this kind of arc — something we usually often tend to watch come season finale time. In fact, the totality episode seems prefer the start of a Doctor Who two-parter quite than the center of a three-episode story. While critical week’s episode could have introduced us to these villains and some of their capabilities, considering most of it was just a simulation kind of renders it filler in retrospect. Yet that’s no the key thrust of this week’s hour.

Instead, it’s all about mistakes, as the medical professional notes in his tiny meditation “monologue” at the beginning (“The end of the people is in a billion, billion tiny moments. And also somlondonchinatown.orghere unnoticed, in silence or in darkness, that has already begun.”). We this in ~ the beginning when Erica’s glasses get smashed, then later on with Douglas, that is too worn down to focus and also thus start in the not correct digits. We even see this through the Doctor, who could have in reality told Bill about his remote a couple of time in the hour, thus allowing him to protect against her having actually to it is in in the place where she feel she had actually to make a deal with the monks. (Though this can have led to an alternating scenario wherein Bill, because that the third week in a row, would certainly be confronted with a situation that results in she “death.”) together for Nardole, i doubt he’ll be down and out because that long, seeing as the physician put him with each other after his critical demise. (And because he’s a gift indigenous River.) yet his potential ns is a good reminder of how integral he’s become to this trio. I especially appreciated seeing Bill and Nardole above each other on the Doctor’s behavior.

It was liklondonchinatown.orgise cool to check out the aliens identify that Bill’s position as the Doctor’s companion renders her a representative the him. Just a couple of episodes earlier (“Thin Ice”) the physician said that wasn’t his ar as a Gallifreyan to make decisions because that humans, leaving that decision up to Bill. Here, we him lug it increase again, only at the end, it’s Bill and also not those three generals make a decision about the planet. (Not uneven what Clara was forced to execute in “Kill the Moon,” co-writer Peter Harness’ first-ever episode on the show.) It makes me wonder what these aliens, who’ve presumably seen all of human history from the start of time until now, think of people as a species. Though ns guess we’ll uncover out next week now that they’re in charge. (I execute take part comfort in learning the doctor likes us well enough to have actually stuck about as long as that has. No to mention the countless number of times he’s conserved us.)



As for the monk’s takeover, I’m actually excited about it. After ~ spending a totality episode that teasing this as a possibility, I want to see just how their being in charge might influence the human being — based upon the trailer for following week’s episode, that looks prefer they’ve already readjusted “history” — and just why precisely they not just needed human kind’s (or the Doctor’s) consent but also why it needs to come indigenous a ar of “love.” It’ll liklondonchinatown.orgise be fun to the physician go up versus such a powerful foe. Though ns really walk think we’d gain a possibility to whoever is in the vault prior to getting to this stage of the monks’ takeover. (Side note: I would really prefer for their species to obtain a name because it’s a little awkward to keep calling them the “monks.”)

It is interesting that this is what ultimately brings the Doctor’s remote to one end; an element of current episodes the not just upped the stakes in miscellaneous instances yet let Peter Capaldi play to both his dramatic and comedic strengths. I wonder if beating these aliens will his blindness return, ~ all, the seems favor something this season might do. (Unless that was intended to it is in a misdirect around what would cause the Doctor’s regeneration.) but for now, I’m happy the Doctor deserve to see.

And speak of “seeing” people, as funny together it to be to fulfill Penny again, i remain encouraged that she’s not an excellent enough for Bill. When challenged with two improbable scenarios (albeit one remained in a simulation) she’s liked to bolt, whereas every time Bill has actually come confront to face with something like suddenly travel to Sydney, or visiting London in 1814, she’s responded through a smile and open curiosity. It’s a good reminder why companions room usually unique kinds of people — and also why the doctor may have been attracted to her in the very first place. Not everyone is suited for adventures in time and space. Having actually said that, is it just me or to be anyone else a small thrown by exactly how much Bill determined to re-superstructure on what was your first date. I’m sure she likes Penny, but didn’t invoice tell the friend she made decision to share a house with that physician was she “grandfather”?

Lastly, together I’ve provided in ahead recaps, this season’s themes seem to be much more political than ever. And also this illustration was no different, particularly with bill commenting that the chairman is “too orange” because that her. Yet instead of focusing on war (it’s no surprise the three superpowers gift the nations they were, and also the systems to that unavoidable trouble being a truce), the real underlying theme appeared to focus on the action of “consent” itself. For every the sketchiness of the monks (and the include downsides that their taking over), the was interesting that they couldn’t go forward v their to plan unless people as a species truly provided their okay. That couldn’t be out of “fear” or “strategy.” We, or at the very least Bill, had to completely want it. It’s an amazing use of worldwide domination together a metaphor, and I think it actually worked.

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In any case, next week’s illustration looks exceedingly interesting. It’s just a dead we can’t rate up our clocks to acquire there.

Episode Recaps


The physician (JODIE WHITTAKER)

medical professional Who

type TV display
seasons 12
network BBC America HBO Max
stream service