If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: A 5,000-year-old pyramid appears overnight, baffling everyone including the Doctor. (IMDB)
Writers: Peter Harness and Steven Moffat
Director: Daniel Nettheim
Running Time: 45mins
Now this is the middle of a three-episode arc. While the previous episode was great, this episode didn’t quite have the same emotional impact, at least until near the end, but was still a good followup. In the last episode, the Doctor, Bill, and Nardole were trapped in a computer simulation created by a mysterious race of monks. Apparently the last episode was all a computer simulation with the fake Doctor warning the real Doctor about what was coming. The way the show would distinguish each timeline by showing events in each concurrently, perhaps emphasizing the differences for comedic effect.
With that out of the way, it was time for business. This mysterious race of monks, now known by the have taken position within a 5,000 year old pyramid appearing out of nowhere in the middle of a war zone. Suffice it to say, the world got alarmed so as they have done before, they made the Doctor the President of the World. It was up to him to figure out what the Americans, the Russians, and the Chinese should do.
The first thing they tried was to attack the pyramid but that didn’t work. Their next step was to talk to the monks came who warned them that the world was about to end, showing everyone as much through one of their simulations, and only they can save them as long as they had consent from those in power to invade the Earth. Unfortunately, there were rules for this consent as it had to come from some place pure. Obviously some of them got it wrong so the other disposable human characters were destroyed. The first instance of this left everyone else on edge.
The Doctor then figured out that it wasn’t them that was going to be the cause of the end of the world but rather some biological threat somewhere. The problem was that they didn’t know what it was going to be or from where. The others believed that this challenge was insurmountable with the end near so the monks’ initial offer became tempting for them. Of course as the others gave up their consent as the Doctor figured out what and from where the biological threat was and were all destroyed. They were just as disposable so their dissent lacked any impact.
Now that the Doctor knew what was going to happen, it was up to him to stop it. The episode occasionally cut to a woman working in a lab named Erica (Rachel Denning). She and her partner had been working on some sort of bacteria but things went wrong when their bacteria began to act erratically, eating everything in sight and turning body to gunk, including her partner. Watching this, it was assumed that this was where things were going to go. The problem was that this bacteria was about to get released into the atmosphere so in order to sterilize it, the Doctor devised a plan to blow up the lab.
Remember that Bill still doesn’t know that the Doctor is blind. As he was about to exit the lab after arming the bomb, the door became sealed, meaning that he would have enter a manual code to get out but he couldn’t see. Bill was the only person left with the monks so when the Doctor finally told her he was blind, she consented to the monks, against his wishes, so they could return his sight so he could escape to safety.
So who knows what it going to happen with the monks now invading the Earth, the last episode ended with the Doctor asking Missy for help. Since she wasn’t in this episode, maybe she’ll save the day in the next one?
Overall, this another good episode which definitely got better and ratcheted up the emotional stakes near the end with Bill deciding whether or not to surrender the Earth to save the Doctor. While the leadup to this may not have been the best, the chemistry between the cast, as always, made it bearable.