Doctor Who Review: World Enough and Time

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Season 10 of Doctor Who is quickly nearing it’s inevitable end, with the Missy subplot finally coming to fruition I can say with certainty that I am not prepare for the finale.  This season has had a really weird flow to it, from solid stand alone stories to a disappointing trilogy after a fantastic start, I don’t feel as though we are already at the two part finale. The Missy story line was on the back burner of every episode until this week, I’m stoked that she’s finally really playing a bigger role in “World Enough and Time” but these past few weeks haven’t felt like a build up to this grand finale. With The Doctor regenerating and he John Simm Master returning it feels like the finale has been too suddenly thrust upon us.

Image Credit: BBC One

“World Enough and Time” is a strong episode, leaving me both terrified and pleased at the same time. We finally see the Missy backstory treated as part of the plot, tying in both the return of the Cybermen and beginning of The Doctor’s regeneration. The long teased return of John Simm as The Master is finally satisfied as well, though his “surprise” reveal wasn’t all that surprising. The episode opens with The Doctor stumbling out of the TARDIS, repeating “no” and beginning to regenerate, which got me right in the feels. I can fully say that I am not ready for Capaldi to say goodbye and have loved his entire run as The Doctor. I also disappointed that Bill will only be getting this one season as a companion because she was bloody brilliant and held her own against Capaldi.

Image Credit: BBC One

The Doctor has decided it’s time to test Missy’s skills, and see if she really is able to turn into a “good” individual. He’s thinking a mock run adventure out in space. Bill and Nardole can be her companions and The Doctor will be right there, tucked away in the TARDIS observing her every action. Bill and Nardole are not exactly on board with this idea, but The Doctor convinces them and away we go. Scanning for a distress signal, the team ends up on a 400 mile long spaceship trying to reverse out of a black hole. They are greeted by a blue man who briefly explains the situation, just a few days ago they were only a small team now, the lower decks on the ship are teeming with unknown life forms and all the humans on board were taken below, never to return. One of the lift’s begins to activate and he demands to know who of them is human, Bill confesses that she is and he pulls a gun on her. “They” won’t continue upwards if no human life form is detected, The Doctor pleads with him that he can help and begs him not to harm Bill. He shoots her straight through the chest, leaving a gaping hole just as the lift doors open and a weird medical team collect Bill and take her back down with them. Talk about a rough opening, just before they take her down The Doctor leaves a subconscious message with her, “Wait for me.”

Image Credit: BBC One

Bill is repaired on the lower deck, given a new machine heart, full conversion wasn’t necessary yet, but I think we all know where this is now headed. Bill wakes up a few days later and befriends Mr. Razor, who says she’s been out for days. She worries about why The Doctor and Nardole haven’t come for her yet, only to realize that time moves differently on this ship thanks to that giant black hole. The lower decks on the ship time moves quite a bit faster, though she has been down there for a week, it’s only been seconds for her friends up on the top floor. Mr. Razor sets his tv to keep and eye on that floor and for months Bill checks in on The Doctor as he is deciding how to proceed. The people living on the level Bill is now at aren’t able to survive for much longer, they’ve been down there for generations and their bodies can’t handle the contaminated air any longer. They’ve begun to experiment with “upgrades”. Eventually everyone will be upgraded and strong enough for a mass exodus to the upper floors. I want to take a moment here to just discuss how terrifying the hospital ward is that poor Bill is stuck in. Yeah they saved her life, and didn’t fully convert her into a Cyberman, but damn that ward is decrepit and scary looking. “Patients” who are in the process of experiments and conversion have white cloth covering their faces and are in constant pain. Using robotic voices to communicate things like “kill me, kill me” and “pain, pain, pain, pain” are ignored by the 1 person on the nursing staff, who instead opts to just turn the volume off of their boxes forcing them to sit silently in pain. No thanks.

Image Credit: BBC One

Having noticed that The Doctor, Missy, and Nardole are now on their way down in a lift, Bill tries to convince Mr. Razor to show her where that lift will open. They’ve been friends for years now and he took her in from day one, offering her tea and letting her watch what was happening above, it’s worth a shot that he might take her to the lift right? Wrong. Bill get’s tricked by Mr. Razor, who leads her into the Conversion Theater under false pretenses. It’s her turn for full conversion and to be upgraded, something that can’t be a pleasant experience.Missy runs into Mr. Razor and he begins to question whether or not she remembers being here before, dun dun dun. John Simm is finally back revealing that his Master has been in disguise here all along. He clearly is pretty rattled about where is future is heading and why on Earth Missy is teaming up with The Doctor for anything at all.

I’m very worried about my future. – The Master

Image Credit: BBC One

The Doctor and Nardole find the Conversion Theater and are approached by a Cyberman, knowing they have a hive mind he asks about Bill Potts and where she can be found. Unfortunately The Doctor is too late, as this particular Cyberman IS Bill Potts, she waited for him and now this is what has become of her. Missy and the Master stroll into the Conversion Theater to greet The Doctor. Perfect set up for next week’s finale episode. This hour FLEW by and though I knew it would be a cliff hanger ending I didn’t want this episode to ever end. Terrifying and brilliant, I couldn’t think of a better way to set up for Capladi’s end. This will change him, he let Bill down and was led directly into a trap set by his long time foe. I loved that this week we saw The Doctor’s plan from Bill’s view, it was years for her, minutes for him and all came crashing down beautifully at the end.

Image Credit: BBC One

What is in store for us next week? Were you surprised by The Master’s return? Who will Missy side with now? Drop me a comment or find me on twitter and let me know your thoughts!

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Michelle Harvey