*Mild Spoilers Ahead*
So within the first few minutes, we finally find out who is contained within that vault (are we surprised?). But this is just one aspect of the story…
Beginning what will possibly be an arc for the next few episodes, we meet The Doctor as he is greeted by The Pope and members of The Vatican, presenting him with the details of “Veritas”, an ancient text that causes its reader to commit suicide. The Pope asks The Doctor if he will read the text to stop any further deaths, but there is one problem…The Doctor is still blind!
In a secret library in the Vatican, the text lies ready to be read by the Time Lord. There is also a strange light which appears to come from nowhere and some creepy, freaky monks trying to seemingly capture The Doctor. The Doctor does all he can to read the text while Bill and Nardole investigate the light.
The light acts as a portal to a central hub, where we find portals which lead to other places around the world, including The Pentagon and CERN. The truth of the text leads to a shocking twist which affects about 90% of the whole episode, a truth which hits Nardole and Bill like a ton of bricks.
That other 10%? well that deals with the return of another certain Time Lord (Lady)! Missy returns in a way that we are not used to, she is a prisoner, ready to be executed. It was nice to see Missy pop up throughout the episode, while at the same time not affecting the main story of ‘Extremis’ which will at least lead into the next episode.
Thinking last week when Peter Capaldi’s Doctor was hit with blindness, we had no idea that he would be without his sight for this long. He manages to go through the whole episode and still comes no closer to regaining his eyesight. Though the episode could have almost been a throwaway, it actually becomes the most important episode of the series so far.
What the show has really needed is an arc which presented a good tease and some immediate consequences. We had weeks of teases from the vault, but once The Doctor begins to realise what is happening, suddenly the vault looks a bit less interesting and the TARDIS crew now has a HUGE challenge on their hands. It’s time to save the world!
Trying not to give too much away, but this episode surely was one of the darkest episodes that Doctor Who has ever produced. Steven Moffat once again proves that his scripts can still be very sharp and yet genuinely surprise you. There are a lot of references to video games and this episode does well at giving us something new to discuss and wait to see on screen.
The new enemy, The Monks, surely do leave an impression of fear. This is something which we haven’t seen before, an enemy making some careful plans on how they are going to invade the world. Could The Monks possibly rival The Daleks and Weeping Angels? I think so!
While the central trio of Capaldi, Mackie and Lucas are great as always, we get to see a very different side to them, literally! The fear from the companions was unexpected and seemed really honest. Then we have Michelle Gomez who always impresses as Missy. While we don’t get a lot of her in this episode, she is integral to the last act and we know there is more to come from her.
Another fantastic episode and the only real sad point is that we are now half way through the series! Keep the quality coming!
Final Rating: 9.5/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove
Next week, pack your suitcase as we are heading to ‘The Pyramid At The End Of The World’!
P.S. I did like the inclusion of Ivanno Jeremiah in the episode (he is Max in the fantastic Humans!)