If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: The Haereticum holds an ancient book known only as The Veritas. Throughout history, anyone who has ever read it has immediately taken their own life. When a new translation is online, spreading danger, the Vatican appeals to the Doctor for help. Will he read The Veritas? But can even the Doctor survive the ultimate truth? (IMDB)
Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Daniel Nettheim
Running Time: 45mins
Most of the episodes so far this season have been standalone but this episode serves as the first of a three part series. You also have to pay attention as there was a lot going on here.
We’ve known for the last five episodes about the vault that the Doctor and Nardole were guarding and this episode finally gave us some answers. This led to one of the biggest non-surprises in the history of non-surprises, Missy was in the vault and we also learned how she got there in the first place. Through a series of flashbacks, we learned that the Doctor was set to execute Missy but didn’t, choosing to keep her alive and in the vault, watching her body for the next 1000 years as he had vowed.
The main plot of the episode, however, was about a mysterious book called the Veritas, causing whoever read it to take their own life. Things were not quite as they seemed as the Vatican called upon the Doctor for help translating it as another copy had made the rounds online.
The more interesting part of the episode was a portal that Bill and Nardole found leading to a room with a series of more portals, leading to such areas as the Pentagon, CERN, the White House and of course the Vatican just to name a few and these places had all received translated copies of the Veritas but as mentioned, things were not quite as they seemed which led directly to the Veritas itself.
The Veritas was a story about a demon wanting to conquer the world but in order to conquer the world, to learn about the world they would create a shadow world and this was exactly the case here as these areas were not real and were simulations created by a mysterious race of aliens so they can take over Earth. Just as the world wasn’t real, neither was the Doctor, Bill, or Nardole but when did everything start to be not real? I presume that this will be answered over the next two episodes.
Even though this Doctor wasn’t real, he still found a way to fight back by sending the real Doctor an email to warn him about what was to come. We then see the real Doctor receiving the fake Doctor’s email before everything started. The Doctor warned Bill and wanted things to occur exactly the same way. He also asked Missy for help as he was still blind and may need her.
Overall, this was a great episode with a compelling story full of twists, no bigger than the Doctor, Bill, and Nardole not being real but before that, there were some fun moments with Bill and Nardole. It was nice to learn the origin of Missy and the vault and I hope it creates more liberties for the story in the remaining episodes. I can’t wait for the conclusion and also to see Missy and the Doctor together again.