Tag Archives: Series 10

Doctor Who – The Doctor Falls. “You May Be A Doctor. But I Am The Doctor. The Original, You Might Say.”

I will tell you now, there is a fair few spoilers!

Doctor Who concluded its tenth series of the revival with one of its most heartfelt, powerful episode’s that Moffat has ever delivered. We had Bill as a Cyberman, a spaceship where the flow of time was all messed up and TWO Masters! How do you get out of this one? Well, with a 90% success rate.

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We begin the episode with Missy and The Master teaming up for a great and slightly creepy partnership (The Master flirting with himself/herself and pushing sexual chemistry with themselves is disturbing) to defeat The Doctor. The Doctor manages to get the upper hand early on, encouraging his rival (rivals?) to lend a hand to survive.

For the first time in quite a while, the Cybermen do feel like a real threat. Eventually, they turn on their controller and look to destroy/convert EVERYONE! Seeing the different generations of Cybermen on screen was a visual treat and seeing them blow up was action-packed and a bit funny (loads of them go flying through the air, you will laugh!).

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Elsewhere, what has become of poor Bill? Well, she is still a Cyberman! It was upsetting to see Pearl Mackie deliver them lines of sadness and anger as her character struggles with the idea of no longer being human.

Having The Master and Missy certainly was great, and to see the two conflicting was just a treat. While Michelle Gomez brings Missy down from her crazy ways, John Simm continues his ever so twisted plan to defeat his rival (and luckily not dancing around like a lunatic. But I do enjoy his nod to Delgado and Ainley).

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‘The Doctor Falls’ is not all about deception, evil and sadness (though that is a majority of it). Matt Lucas gets to once more make Nardole a very comedic character and his interactions with a slightly flirtatious Samantha Spiro was worth watching alone. If this is the last we see of Nardole, at least he had a happy ending…living on a floor of a giant spaceship that looked like the countryside.

Speaking of endings, Bill gets a nice ending which brings her face to face with someone from the past and the emotions are already high. Pearl Mackie has been a magnificent part of the cast and it is a shame to see her bow out here. But, Capaldi manages to steal the show back in that final scene!

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Remember that tease at the beginning of ‘World Enough And Time’? Well, Capaldi literally punches his way out of regenerating, setting up what may be a very explosive chain of events which could lead to a highly traumatic change at Christmas. Then we have that familiar face come to The Doctor, but what does this mean for the Time Lord?

I thought this episode was great, and to see Steven Moffat throw so much into his penultimate Doctor Who script was mostly well executed. It was a shame to see Nardole left behind, but I did enjoy how Pearl Mackie was present on screen throughout the episode while still being a Cyberman. To see John Simm take on a disguise as The Master and seeing his look was like being in the classic Who era, and to have Gomez take him on was truly spectacular. Moffat wants his time on the show to go out with a bang, and his fuse which has been burning away since April, is now fit to blow.

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While we now have that wait until Christmas for the next lot of Doctor Who, it is clear that the special in December will be one you cannot miss!

Probably the best series finale of Doctor Who since 2008!

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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P.S. How great does David Bradley look as the First Doctor? To quote Christopher Eccleston, “FANTASTIC!”

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Doctor Who – World Enough And Time “Hello Missy, I’m The Master. I’m Very Worried About My Future”

*Some Spoilers Ahead*

Well, we knew we were getting The Master and Missy standing side by side at some point in this episode, and this episode, much like ‘The Eaters Of Light’ from last week, has a classic who vibe to it.

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We start this episode with The Doctor still trying to convince Missy to be good, taking her on a “test run” to see how she reacts in the face of danger with Nardole and Bill as companions (or expendables). The problem is, the ship that they are on is carrying a number of dark secrets. For a time-travel show, they have a really great idea that time goes at a different speed dependent on where they are on the ship.

So, this is where I hit some spoiler territory, you have been warned! BILL!?!?!?! Bill was shot through the chest, brought back to life and then…watch it! The Mondasian Cybermen return and I will say the robots shouldn’t be so creepy, but they are f**king terrifying! Ok, we knew the Cybermen were coming, just like we knew to expect The Master, but does that really matter? Not too much.

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Anyone who ever saw the classic Doctor Who episodes that featured The Master, he was a master of disguise and I know many people were fooled by that outfit John Simm wore (I saw through it straight away, but it was a nice touch). To see Simm embrace the Delgado/Ainley inspiration for the evil Time Lord was a great nod and he is fantastic in his short time in the episode!

While Capaldi is gearing towards a regeneration and Lucas delivering more laughs, it was Pearl Mackie who gave us the real heart (sorry) of the episode! Staying in that “hospital” and coming face to face with the people who cry out in pain through their machines is scary. Bill is told by The Doctor to wait for him and the result is…well, you gotta watch it!

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Steven Moffat is definitely gearing towards his big finale, and the beginning of ‘World Enough And Time’ is surely teasing the biggest event we have been waiting to see for the whole series. I have loved Pearl Mackie in this series and I hope she will come back for series 11 (please do it!).

Next week, we will see what happens when ‘The Doctor Falls’ and we find out maybe who our next Doctor is? Could it be Kris Marshall? Paterson Joseph? Olivia Colman? Maybe in a few days, it will all be revealed.

A great episode, surely one of the best for a long time and an almost perfect score for a really gripping story!

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Next week…THE DOCTOR FALLS!!!

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Doctor Who – The Eaters Of Light “That’s The Trouble With Hope. It’s Hard To Resist”

Classic Who writer Rona Munro came back to the show to show how you make a good ol’ fashioned episode with plenty of heart and some cheesy effects! Being the writer of ‘Survival’, the last episode before the 1989 cancellation, you could see that Doctor Who could have had so much goodness going into the 90’s with this plucky writer!

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This week, we see The Doctor finding himself in Scotland with Nardole and Bill, disagreeing about what happened to the Ninth Legion of The Imperial Roman Army in the 2nd century. Ok, it sorta comes from nowhere, but it is an interesting concept as it is based on a true disappearance which is fun. Plus, Bill and Nardole get plenty to do this week. YAY!

While The Doctor and Nardole are with the Pict Tribe who also guard the gate that has the “Eaters Of Light” trying to escape (spoiler alert…one escapes!), Bill finds the Legion and finds that they are more modern than she would expect. The Doctor knows that these creatures must be stopped from getting out as they will eat all light in the universe, and he also needs to find Bill.

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While the main villain may not be that memorable or impressive (was good before we properly saw it), the cast makes this episode fantastic and the writing complements every single person that appears on that screen. Rebecca Benson makes a great turn as Kar and all the chaps playing the roman soldiers are all well presented.

As I mentioned before, to have Matt Lucas doing very little was a waste for a good number of episodes. Luckily, Nardole is given some great lines this time around and his interactions with the fighters is fun (and a conveniently held bag of popcorn works wonders). Then there is Pearl Mackie who indeed delivers some great work during her time away from Capaldi and shows that Bill is indeed one of the best companions that Who has ever had. Mentioning Capaldi, you can see small signs of his reign as The Doctor ending soon and the willingness to sacrifice himself speaks more for what we are preparing for later this year.

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While ‘The Eaters Of Light’ is not my favourite, it is a strong episode for this series. The story is mostly well thought out, the monsters unfortunately don’t have enough to engage them into the arc and are easily disposed of. Then there is Missy, please just let her show her true colours already! I love Michelle Gomez, but this ruse must end soon. Then again, we have John Simm next week who will shake it all up! Till then, a plea to Mr Chibnall. PLEASE LET RONA MUNRO WRITE FOR SERIES 11!

Final Rating: 8.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Next week: ‘World Enough And Time’ will bring us probably the most epic finale we have ever seen!

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Doctor Who – Empress Of Mars “There’s No Setting For Wood! Why Is There Still No Setting For Wood?”

*Mild Spoilers*

I will be honest, I still like the jokes about the Sonic Screwdriver being useless when it comes to wood. But I am here to assure you that there is more to this episode than just a wood joke, there is a lot to take from this episode and one time where the one-off characters can actually be really engaging.

Breaking into NASA, the TARDIS crew discover a message written on the surface of Mars. So The Doctor, who doesn’t miss a thing, heads to Mars with Bill and Nardole to when the message was first written (1881, sounds like a good year), but who made it? We find early on an Ice Warrior and a group of British Soliders from Victorian England, but they seem to get along. Finding this suspicious, The Doctor begins to work out why the soldiers have been brought to the red planet.

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I will be honest (again), there isn’t really many surprises in this episode. We knew that the Ice Warriors were gonna end up killing the humans and that Missy was going to be let out of her prison, but I still enjoyed the episode. A highlight was seeing the development of Colonel Godsacre who throughout the episode we see that he is a vulnerable man who has come close to death and in the end saves the day and has a new purpose. Anthony Calf actually made his acting debut in Doctor Who in 1982, so this does make his impressive performance more enjoyable because of this fact.

There are a few nice nods to the past, and it doesn’t end with Anthony Calf. We also get Alpha Centauri who was again voiced by Ysanne Churchman for the first time in over 40 years, and yet the character sounds exactly the same. Then we get Missy, who I still don’t believe is actually going to turn good. There will be something wicked coming this way soon, and it stinks of the Time Lord.

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I should say that this week there was little of Matt Lucas again and Pearl Mackie didn’t get nearly enough to do (but her scenes with Iraxxa were fantastic) and Capaldi yet again wins the show by doing all he can to prevent war. Peter is just a few episodes away from finishing his tenure and you can feel that something big is building up for his finale.

Mark Gatiss has written some great scripts over time for Doctor Who, and this one is definitely decent enough, but there just isn’t enough substance to make this a great winner. The acting is nice and the classic callbacks are welcome, but please make sure that: A) Matt Lucas gets more to do B) Make it a bit clearer what is happening with Missy and C) give us some more engagement in the story. Like I said, I like this episode, but it could have had so much more!

Final rating: 7/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Next Week (or today as I spent so long getting this review out): We dine with The Eaters Of Light!

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Doctor Who: The Lie Of The Land. “Your Version Of Good Is Not Absolute. It’s Vain, Arrogant And Sentimental”

*Some Spoilers Ahead*

Well, that was the end of the Monk’s trilogy! Thank goodness for that. After a rather good build up, the Monk’s ultimately are a let down on what was a great idea put into motion. The villains may have been a bit rubbish, we got our dynamic back on track with our lead characters. Then we have Missy, can we really trust her? No! No no no no no! Give her a chance, she will try and defeat The Doctor again!

Throughout the episode, Bill is talking to her dead Mum. Yeah, a bit weird isn’t it. But if you haven’t seen the episode yet, it does become a big point later. We are apparently dealing with an evil Doctor at the beginning, as he is part of the broadcasts which try to convince the public that The Monk’s have always existed on earth.

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As the episode goes on, we start to realise that there is a way to defeat the Monk’s, and it seems like they can’t be bothered to stop the TARDIS crew from chucking them off the planet. The aliens are good at taking over the world and bending it to their will, but the security to their headquarters is left easy enough to be attacked.

This is where we get into spoiler territory in some depth, we need to discuss that REGENERATION! Well, I always thought it was going to be a cop-out, this was then confirmed to me when we got to the end episode seven. There had to be something happen that needed either a reset or some great explanation and luckily it didn’t completely copy ‘Last Of The Time Lords’, even though there was certainly some similarities.

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The winning factor for this episode for me was Pearl Mackie, who once again shows that Bill is certainly one of the best companions to grace Doctor Who! I can’t help but think that all these teases with her mum will result in her either meeting her mum soon in the past or her somehow coming back to life (this is sci-fi, anything can happen).

While writer Toby Whithouse may not be able to bring the most favourable conclusion to the loose three-parter, we are given some great dialogue and interactions, and yes this does include Missy (I will really miss Michelle Gomez when she quits the role). How much more are we to get of The Mistress before she comes face to face with her former incarnation? We know this is coming, and to think we still have Cybermen and Ice Warriors to come, there will be plenty to enjoy before the series reaches its end.

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A fantastic performance from our central trio saves this episode from being a throwaway and still includes some great moments. The only real dip in the series so far, but you can forgive Doctor Who for this one!

Final rating: 7/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

NEXT WEEK: We are brought together to greet the ‘Empress Of Mars’!

 

The Lie Od The Land

Doctor Who: The Pyramid At The End Of The World “The End Of Your Life Has Already Begun”

This has got to be the first series of Doctor Who I have ever watched where I have past the half way point and have thoroughly enjoyed every episode so far. ‘The Pyramid At The End Of The World’ is indeed another winner.

Beginning the second part of a loose trilogy of episodes, we get to see the beginning of the invasion from the “Monks” who look to take over the earth. We believe these aliens are here to conquer the earth, but instead they say they will be offered the world in return for their help. A crisis is about to come and the Monks promise they will save the earth if they are given it.

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The Doctor, who still can not see, is tasked by the UN to help rid the earth of the Monks and investigate this pyramid (well, it is in the title) which has just appeared and sits between three of the earths most powerful armies. The Doctor, still known as President of the world, goes to see The Monks and finds out their plan.

On another side, we have two scientists who are working in a laboratory that have accidently created a super-bacterium which will prove to be fatal to the whole planet if unleashed. While this side of the episode takes its time to build, the tense feeling of what will happen next does settle in. We also start getting questions as why do the Monks want the earth? How can you save the world when you don’t know what will destroy it?

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I have already spoke a lot on the plot, but it is truly the last 10 minutes of this episode that ranks as some of the best Doctor Who I have ever seen. The Doctor is doing all he can to save the world, but you know that things will get worse before they get better.

Peter Harness and Steven Moffat present some tense writing and keep the darker theme on top priority. Doctor Who seems to work best when it explores an eerie tone. The acting as per usual is spot on, especially the lovely Rachel Denning as scientist Erica. Then we have Peter Capaldi still portraying the struggling Doctor who seems to hint towards his upcoming regeneration.

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Next week looks like it will take inspiration from 2007’s ‘Last Of The Time Lords’, but we will have to wait a week to get a feel for ‘The Lie Of The Land’. Oh god, trying to make lines with these titles have become really difficult.

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Doctor Who: Extremis. “Life Can Be A Cunning Enemy”

*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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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Doctor Who: Oxygen “Space, The Final Frontier. Final Because It Wants To Kill Us”

*Mild Spoilers* *Some Information On The Final Moments Of The Episode Ahead*

Jamie Mathieson has wowed me with a hat-trick of fantastic Doctor Who scripts and ‘Oxygen’ is yet another winner for the writer!

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Starting off in the depths of space, a mining station sends a distress call for help after members of the crew begin to die and zombies seemingly take over…so The Doctor answers the call. The Doctor makes it clear he misses his travels, tricking Nardole and inviting Bill to go on an adventure and leaving the vault unprotected.

When the trio arrive in the station, the episode really kicks into action. Bill is amazed at the idea of actually being in space, whereas The Doctor continues his investigation and Nardole can’t help but remind The Doctor of his duty back on earth. The idea of having the walking dead isn’t a real sci-fi trope, but this is not a typical “zombie” story. It’s not about dying and coming back to life, this is about keeping yourself alive by the number of breaths that you take.

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This is maybe the first story this series where The Doctor, Bill and Nardole all get their chance to really shine in equal measure. Matt Lucas does again get to deliver some truly comical lines, the best coming from his discussion of a former partner or the sat-nav line. Pearl Mackie’s Bill is presented with some real danger, on at least two occasions you do genuinely worry about the character (plus, there must be some big pay-off coming soon for her Mum). Then there is Peter Capaldi who gets to pull off a very different side to The Doctor.

At the heart of this story, there is some very political messages coming into play. The idea of literally working to death is one that many may think they can relate to, having to buy the very air that you breathe. Also, racism is jokingly tackled in this episode and who would have thought that Doctor Who would teach people to respect one another better (Nardole tries to diffuse this such situation by saying “Some of my best friends are blue-ish”).

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There are laughs, there are scares and it makes you happy that you don’t have to work for such a god-awful company that can take the very oxygen away from you. Not only are we presented with yet another fantastic episode, but we get a cliffhanger which a. none of us would have expected and b. we know that things will be highly interesting when episode 6 comes round next week! The Doctor faces a dilemma which has never been a factor for him before and it does tease what is to come, especially with the knowledge that Capaldi is to soon leave the BBC show.

Jamie Mathieson, please make sure you have at least TWO episodes next year, we need more like this!

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Next week, The TARDIS gets a visit from the Pope? The Doctor looks like he is about to go to some Extremis measures (ok, trying to do lines around the episode titles isn’t too easy). Only watch this video if you have seen ‘Oxygen’!

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Doctor Who: Knock Knock “There’s Plenty Of Things That Want To Kill You Right Here On Earth”

Now and again, Doctor Who does like to tackle a haunted house story. This story does also include a dig or two at the housing crisis (but, I don’t fancy being political…for now!). This week, we get a story where the house itself is actually the killer…kind of! Bill is moving in with some friends from Uni (well her friend Shireen played by the lovely Mandeep Dhillon and four of her friends) and they need to find a place that will work best for them. After numerous places fail to work out for them, they are approached by a man in the street who offers them somewhere to stay (why would you just say yes to some creepy guy who walks up to you and offers you a home?).

The Doctor helps Bill move in, but he begins to suspect there is something more sinister happening. The house is definitely old, the creeks come very often and The Landlord just appears any time he fancies.  The fascinations over the amount of wood and how dated everything is in the house is worrying for The Doctor and the students begin to feel uneasy themselves.

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Throughout this episode, we get to see Bill trying to stand on her own two feet. This is not a bad thing as it allows Bill the chance to show she can make her own decisions and not depend on The Doctor for help. Though luckily The Doctor is there, and he slowly deduces what is happening in the house. Pearl Mackie gets to show her best acting to date when she interacts with one certain character in the third act.

Guest stars are only as good as the part they are given and David Suchet is bloody brilliant as The Landlord. Yes, he plays a superbly creepy Landlord who I wouldn’t want to share a bus ride with, but there is a great amount of emotion that could only come from one of Britain’s finest! The final ten minutes of this episode gives us one of the finest pieces of writing I have ever seen on the show. Even though Capaldi and Mackie are still fantastic throughout, Suchet does steal the show!

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This episode is fantastic. I mean, this is the highlight of the series for me so far. I will admit there are a few minor gripes with a couple of plot holes and lack of some explanation. But, honestly, is it that much of a problem? We get so much emotion in this episode and a lot of character development on Bill again as we see she doesn’t want to be away from the life she knows (unlike Rose, Donna and Amy who never wanted to leave The Doctor’s side!).

In the end, we are stunned by that BIG twist and then there is still a few questions to be answered. Mostly it comes in the form of “what the f**k is in that vault”? We do have an idea, but it is a bit too obvious? Steven Moffat has promised we will learn the identity of who is in there very soon!

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But for now, I will call ‘Knock Knock’ my favourite episode of the series so far. The comedy is still fun and the drama will pull you to the edge of your seat. The only main gripe I have is that we only get Matt Luca’s Nardole for a short while of the episode. Mike Bartlett has written a sharp and inspiring script, let us hope this will be a trend from Mike for future series!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written By Jonjo Cosgrove

NEXT WEEK: You May Need Some Oxygen for the next “out of this world” adventure!

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Doctor Who: Thin Ice “You know what happens if you don’t move on? More people will die”

Sarah Dollard wrote one of the best New Who episodes in 2015 with ‘Face The Raven’, and I can honestly say ‘Thin Ice’ is another fantastic effort from the writer. Plus, we also get a reminder of The Doctor’s constant companion…DEATH!

Starting where the last episode abruptly finished, The Doctor and Bill find themselves in London in 1814 for the Frost Fest. After The Doctor explains that the TARDIS likes to make its own way around the universe, he comes to the conclusion there must be something they need to do. It doesn’t take long for us to learn about the creature in the Thames.

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The first steps onto the ice is the start to their investigation. Bill begins to notice there are lights coming from under their feet, and then we find out exactly what the lights are doing. From this, we get reacquainted with the ways that The Doctor operates and the way he seemingly cares nothing for those who die around him. Pearl Mackie again shows great emotional depth as she questions The Doctor and wants to know the kind of person he really is.

There were some great uses of the sonic screwdriver in this episode. In some episodes, I am sure it is just a cheap way to get out of a sticky situation (yet, I am not aware of any time The Doctor actually uses it to put up a shelf). The screwdriver does come into play a number of times and I do enjoy seeing it used as a distraction device than a tool.

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The villain is a bit…well…pants! I know that the villain isn’t exactly the key to this episode, it is the remainder of the supporting cast. This episode gets to showcase some great young talent. The young gang and the way they interact with the TARDIS crew and fit into 19th century London was great to see. The highlight being Asiatu Koroma as Kitty; This girl is set to be something special, showing some great acting chops against the more experienced cast.

Speaking of the cast, it was another great week for our TARDIS duo (it is a shame that Nardole is relegated to the end of the episode). Peter Capaldi does continue to impress in his final series and Pearl Mackie is slowly becoming a favourite in the show. Bill Potts in indeed the everyman (or woman) that the show needed. The writing reflects Bill’s progression to this point where she now has to think about her time with The Doctor and what could possibly happen on these adventures.

With the “thing” in the vault seemingly restless (is it The Master? Or Missy? Maybe both?), we know this is something that will be continually teased for some time. Overall, a great episode with some real depth (Was that a pun?). The winning part of this story is clearly Sarah Dollard’s writing and we can only hope she continues to contribute to the show.

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

NEXT WEEK: We get a ‘Knock Knock’ from David Suchet!

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