Doctor Who (2005) Season 10 Episode 5: Oxygen Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: When the Doctor, Bill and Nardole become trapped on a space station without oxygen, they discover the spacesuits are trying to kill them. (IMDB)

Writer: Charlie Palmer

Director: Jamie Mathieson

Rating: TV-PG

Running Time: 45mins

Nardole tried to stop them from leaving the vault unguarded but there was no way he can get past the Doctor. Their adventure this week saw the three of them responding to a distress call from a futuristic space station where oxygen came at a steep price and of course, not everyone could afford it thus turning them into the zombies that you may have seen in the many previews.

There was a pretty obvious anti-corporate undertones in the episode as the space station was run by a large corporation that was more concerned about profits and efficiency than people. The disposable side characters from the space station believed that their malfunctioning suits may have been hacked but it was really the corporation eliminating them as they were wasting their precious oxygen. The suits were run by an autonomous artificial intelligence that only seemed to have the best interests of the corporation in mind.

The episode could have gone much further with this but instead, nothing much happened. The characters were never really in any danger with the only moment that stood out was Bill being on the brink of death with her helmet malfunctioning during a dizzying sequence and her suit later malfunctioning and leaving her at the mercy of the zombies who briefly turned her into a zombie. She was saved at the end but it wasn’t clear if the others were too. To save her the first time, the Doctor gave her his helmet, leaving him at the mercy of the vacuum of space which left him blind. He ultimately saved everyone anyway by appealing to the suits’ sense of duty to the corporation and that was pretty much the end of it.

We believed that the Doctor’s blindness was only temporary but by the time they returned, he was still blind but he didn’t want Bill to know about it. There is absolutely no way that he will remain blind for too much longer. The only vault news we got this week was that Nardole was worried about the Doctor’s condition because whatever was inside could potentially take advantage of it.

Overall, this was an okay episode and the weakest of the season so far, providing an uncompelling and underdeveloped story where nothing really happened other than Bill being in danger and the Doctor becoming blind. Nardole tagged along but he wasn’t annoying. The chemistry between the Doctor and Bill has been the best part of the season so far but it just wasn’t enough here. Things should get better next week with the return of Missy!

Score: 7/10

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