Reviewed By: TCar96
Review Date: 7/6/17 7:57 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
With the exception of Series 1 and 5, I've found every finale to be a damp squib - throwing away a superb build up with a sentimental break across the finish line. What a treat to add Series 10's finale to that list.
After last week's cracking cliffhanger, there's no back peddling. Bill is a Cyberman and there's no James Cordening out! Whilst Bill is certainly not a bona-fide cyberman, there's a rationale beyond 'the power of love' that holds enough weight to suspend disbelief. With Bill struggling to come to terms with her grim reality, the Doctor is forced to attempt to work together with both Masters to defend a plucky band of Mondasians against the cyber hordes, all the while unsure as to whether Missy is really turning over a new leaf...
Like last week, there's not actually much in the way of new ideas. The emotional tool of Cyberising a companion was done in Series 8's finale; the Doctor defending a tiny band of humanoids was done in Matt Smith's swansong; companions being left in limbo for years... well, too many times to mention!
However, just like last week, the character drama that clings to the tried and tested framework works really well. Being exposed to Bill's condition makes for real distress, rather than the comic scenes of Cyber-Danny and Cyber-Brig in Series 8! The Doctor's last stand for strangers isn't anything new, but it's suitably Doctorish.
Of real interest for me was the Masters' dynamic. Finally, freed from pop-culture references, Missy finally struck a chord with me and bounced perfectly off John Simm's staggeringly panto (not in a pejorative sense) performance. The revelation that Missy was genuine, was some really interesting and seismic shift of gears in canon and one I found so interesting as to now find any flaw. Her predecessors response was not only suitably in character, but brought a neat close to the two of them. After causing so much canonical moaning from the likes of myself, this fitting send off, I naively (no doubt wrongly) hope to be final. This has been for me the most interesting and competent stab at the Master in New Who and a really really perfect book end.
Dove tailing my review for World Enough and Time, The Doctor Falls narrowly misses a perfect 10 for it's closing, rather than opening, 10 minutes. Still wrapping my brain around the logic as to how Bill escapes her fate to live on forever as a lesbian water entity, is not a great way to close what I have praised as a pretty consistent and grounded attempt to maturely present a companion departure. The fact that the show can't just chuck out its cast and be done with it is an irritation that has now just become a fact of life.
As to the regeneration, it certainly took one too many contrivances to get the Doctor to be shot by Bill, furthermore his regeneration - triggered by the electrocution early on and deferred? Was a tad problematic. Why the spiteful motivation of not wanting to leave? Unlike 10's exit, there seems to have been no build up or motivation for such a hostile aversion to regeneration.
Tremendous Doctor Who on the whole, just a shame about the last few minutes.