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< 10.10 - The Eaters of Light
10.12 - The Doctor Falls >

10.11 - World Enough and Time

Rating Votes
10
64%
43
9
25%
17
8
6%
4
7
1%
1
6
0%
0
5
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4
3%
2
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Average Rating
9.4
Votes
67
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 12/25/17 3:32 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A stunning penultimate episode that finds the Doctor and Bill separated by a 400-mile long spaceship after the Doctor's latest attempts to rehabilitate Missy go awry and Bill is shot.

This is a very intense story. It tells an origin tale of sorts for Mondasian Cybermen or at the very least, how they developed on this ship. The horror of the Cybermen and Cyber Conversion has never been portrayed so effectively and so viscerally.

Much of the plot revolves around time wimey issues that come from the fact that the ship is in a black hole's orbit, but all of it leads up to a stunning conclusion that sets up the finale. Throughout it, Pearl Mackie is in top form.
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Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 7/6/17 7:15 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Complete spoilers ahead.

Why can't we have this every couple of weeks? Because of the first five to ten minutes.

A bizarre opening to a review, but hear me out. For ten minutes I was anxiously dreading World Enough & Time to fall short of the praise. More Curse of the Fatal Death self-referential comedy, quips over concepts and a pre-titles sequence suggesting choppy editing and too-clever-by-half structural devices. What a joy, an absolute joy, to be proven wrong.

Bill is shot - but the real jaw dropper is what happens next, or rather what doesn't happen next... no cop-out. Bill is shot, and the ramifications are followed through to a deliciously melodramatic cliffhanger, one of Doctor Who's best! As soon as the mechanics have taken our characters to their necessary starting point, the episode gets going and goes with aplomb. That's why this episode encapsulates the best and worst of Moffat's writing since the tail end of series 6, and why many like myself have seen a return to form just buried beneath pretension. When the episode becomes a (relatively) straight forward narrative, it excels.

Nothing here is particularly new to fans of Big Finish or even most of New Who: it's essentially Spare Parts with a multi-master story thrown in - with massive kudos to an unashamedly camp performance from Simm worthy of Anthony Ainley. All of this takes place on a spaceship whose time is warped by proximity to a black hole, reminiscent of everything from the Beast Below to Girl in the Fireplace.

I can't emphasise enough that the ideas and concepts behind the episode aren't actually that significant in my opinion, what matters is that it provides a solid framework for brilliant character work. The Cybermen are chilling. Doctor Who is chilling. Legitimately creepy Doctor Who is a whopper of an achievement these days, and it's by a country mile the most sickening in-depth take on conversion ever shown on TV. As I watched Simm chewing the scenery; the Doctor gradually coming to terms with the straight-jacket of time and Bill gradually creep ever closer to conversion, I was laughing out loud with melodramatic glee. The raw satisfaction of seeing the melodrama spiral out of control brought about one of the most edge-of-seat Doctor Who experiences for years, literally years.

The bold direction in which the episode pushes Missy in, is one I found myself surprised to be hooked by. After three seasons and four years of hokey pop-culture references, to see the character taken on an interesting and mature trajectory made me realise what a tragic waste Gomez has been. After the aforementioned ten minutes of blood curdling cringe, I found myself enjoying the presence of Missy and being able to see her as a regeneration of the Master, for the first time.

Direction, cracking. Score, again, cracking, subtle and underplayed.

Overall a staggeringly fun slice of Who, narrowly falling short of a perfect 10 on the basis of the first ten minutes. Like Heaven Sent, I was left feeling really blue as I was after Heaven Sent. Peter Capaldi deserved far more World Enough & Times and Heaven Sents than he received.

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Reviewed By: DalekbusterScreen5ReviewsReview Date: 7/4/17 5:34 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Warning: Spoilers feature heavily in this review.


The Multi-Master story: a concept that has surprisingly never been done on TV before. Until now. Last year Big Finish released the first ever Multi-Master story in The Two Masters, but this is the first time it has been done in the main series. We've had The Day of the Doctor, this is The Day of the Master. The day many Whovians have waited for all their lives. Thankfully this landmark story more than lives up to the hype of the first Multi-Master adventure - I suspect even the most skeptic Moffat hater would find it hard not to enjoy it.




In World Enough And Time/The Doctor Falls, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) decides to test Missy's (Michelle Gomez) apparent insistence that she wants to turn good, by picking a random distress call and sending her to investigate with the Doctor's companions Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas). They arrive on a Mondasian colony ship, and things quickly go awry when the ship's blue-skinned caretaker Jorj (Oliver lansley) shoots Bill. Partially converted Cybermen take Bill's body to a hospital onboard a ship, where she meets Razor (John Simm), a seemingly friendly man who works at the hospital. Later John Simm's Master confronts Missy; he is concerned about his future as a potential ally of the Doctor, and persuades his later incarnation to team up with him and turn the entire colony ship into a giant Cyber-factory.




The Multi-Master interaction in this story is everything you would hope for. It's funny, menacing, intimidatory and totally unhinged (more in a subtle way as opposed to the clown-like antics of Simm's Master in the RTD era). John Simm and Michelle Gomez have so much chemistry, and their interactions are on par with the Second and Third Doctors in The Three Doctors, or David Tennant and Matt Smith in The Day of the Doctor. The ending is absolute perfection for a Multi-Master story - the Simm Master kills Missy, Missy kills the Simm Master. Their Multi-Master interaction ends the only way it could: with utter betrayal.



Some fellow fans were not happy with John Simm's portrayal of the Master as insane in the Russell T Davies era. In this story, however, Steven Moffat has wisely written the part more like the classic series style of the Master and John Simm clearly relishes being able to play the role more like Roger Delgado. Several elements of the classic series Master return, including the use of disguises (the Razor disguise is fantastic - the prosthetics do a great job of disguising John Simm's face beyond recognition), a goatee, and a more suave and sophisticated demeanour. John Simm is allowed to play the Master as the darker incarnation Russell T Davies wouldn't allow - the way he always wanted to play the Master - and his performance clearly improves for it. It's a significant improvement on the Simm Master's previous appearances, and sees John Simm fast become one of the best incarnations of the Master of all time. He almost gives Michelle Gomez a run for her money.



Michelle Gomez still remains my favourite Master. She is the Tom Baker of the Masters in my view - the one who people will look back on in years to come as the definitive Master. Michelle Gomez has given her incarnation so much depth and complexity, and Steven Moffat has written the incarnation with so much ambiguity you have no idea what she's going to do next. She's not a black and white villain, she's so much more than that. She could look to be helping the Doctor one minute, then completely stab him in the back the next. Here the mystery surrounding Missy's motives is played with to great effect in that it's never entirely clear at any given moment whether she's helping the Doctor or she has truly joined forces with her previous incarnation. At one point she tells the Doctor 'I was on your side all along', only to climb a ladder hanging from a ship piloted by Nardole and attempt to leave the Doctor behind with the Cybermen. She claims to Nardole he's dead, and Simm's Master repeats her claims. This ambiguity feels very Hitchcockian, which feels oddly appropriate for a story featuring the Cybermen.




There's a very dark vibe throughout, and the story feels like it's deliberately evoking the Philip Hinchcliffe era of Doctor Who. Missy and the Master have a very disturbing romance - they dance and flirt with each other, and it's clear Simm's Master has feelings for Missy - in a way that feels like it would have almost certainly received an avalanche of complaints from Mary Whitehouse. The romance between these characters is so creepy it feels almost like it belongs in the DC Comics' series Gotham. Indeeed, Michelle Gomez is even a part of that universe - although John Simm currently isn't.



The dark vibe continues with the use of the Mondasian Cybermen from The Tenth Planet. I wasn't sure whether they would work brilliantly for HD television, but in this instance I'm happy to be wrong. Their low-budget design makes them all the more scary in HD, and at no point does the design look so low-budget in crystal clear imagery that it looks noticeably low-budget. These Cybermen absolutely work for modern television, and there is a strong narrative reason for why the Tenth Planet Cybermen are there. This is the 'genesis of the Cybermen' - as Simm's Master calls it - onboard a Mondasian colony ship, so this design is needed for the story to work. Some diehard fans may worry that this contradicts Big Finish's Spare Parts, but as this takes place away from Mondas both origins can exist in the same continuity.




I'm glad Steven Moffat decided to do this story, because it is by far the most terrifying the Cybermen have ever been in the new series - and arguably in the show's entire history. World Enough And Time/The Doctor Falls is full-on horror, with scenes such as partially converted Cybermen chanting the word 'pain' as Bill walks down a hospital ward and references to the Cybermen converting children because 'there's less waste'. At one point, we see a fully-converted Cyber-Bill who believes she is human discover the truth that she has become a Mondasian Cyberman by staring into a mirror; it's a shocking moment that brings to mind classic Doctor Who serials such as The Ark In Space or The Brain of Morbius in its disturbing imagery.



The cinematography is excellent throughout, with the Mondasian Cybermen largely kept darkly-lit or in orangey apocalyptic lighting. They do appear in a bright environment with the solar farm in The Doctor Falls, but the design is surprisingly not hampered by that. They still appear threatening, and no design flaws are exposed when they are in the open. There's also a great moment where you see Bill in the human form she thinks she still carries and the shadow of her actual Cyber self on the wall. It's a nice touch that adds to the classic Jeykll and Hyde-esque imagery.



Talking about Cybermen, it's important to note that this isn't just a Multi-Master story but it's also a Multi-Cyberman one. We see more than one variation of the Cybermen, and it's a delight to see them share the screen. The Cybus Cybermen and the Gaiman Cybermen appear alongside the Mondasian Cybermen; neither feel like they steal the spotlight from the Mondasian Cybermen, and the Multi-Cyberman aspect is executed better than the Multi-Dalek stuff in Asylum of the Daleks. It even works better than the Multi-Dalek element of The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar; having more than one variation of the Cybermen is explained through the colony ship experiencing time dilation - time passes faster at the bottom of the ship and slower at the top. This means when the Mondasian Cybermen are at the bottom of the ship they have years to upgrade themselves into the Gaiman variation, whereas for any Mondasian Cybermen who, say, find themselves at the top where time is slower only ten seconds pass.




This two part finale sees without a doubt the best performance Peter Capaldi has ever given as his incarnation of the Doctor. It will be sad to see him go, especially when his acting here shows he has so much more to give. The way he screams 'NO!' in this episode when Missy appears to decide not to stand with him is one of the most powerful moments of his incarnation, and on the strength of this acting abilities here he deserves to win a National TV Award for 'Best Actor' next year. Hell, he deserves to win an Oscar.



As does Pearl Mackie. The Series 10 trailers for Pearl Mackie did her no justice, the promotional material making her performance look rather one-note. She's far from that. Pearl Mackie has been a revelation as Bill Potts, delivering one of the best companion portrayals in the series so far. She is instantly endearing, and gets an utterly fantastic exit from the show. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's one of the best companion departures the show has ever done. Bill remains a Cyberman right to the very end, and when her end approaches her essence is saved by Heather (Stephanie Hyam) from The Pilot. The consequences of travelling with the Doctor still remain, Bill is still dead but her spirit continues in puddle form travelling the universe with her true love.




I criticised Stephanie Hyam in my review of The Pilot, but here she does a great job. It's only a small cameo appearance, but Heather feels less void of personality and more like a real person (or as real a sentient space puddle zombie can be). She's not a highlight of the episode by any means, but it is definitely a step-up from her appearance in The Pilot.



Matt Lucas is enjoyable as usual in the role of Nardole, and the character fulfils an important function in the story of helping defend the solar farm against the Cybermen with grenades disguised as apples. His exit feels a bit more random, and noticeably similar to a classic series-style departure. He falls in love with Hazran (Samantha Spiro), the mother of a group of children, and the Doctor leaves him to help aid their escape to a solar farm on a higher level of the colony ship. The ending is a little ambiguous in that we have no idea if they manage to survive or if the Cybermen follow them up to the next solar farm and launch an assault on them; it's unfortunate that a character who many have grown to love has been given such an unsatisfactory ending to his story, and I hope that one day Big Finish carry on his story in a Nardole spin-off set.




If David Bradley playing the First Doctor hadn't already leaked, the way this episode ended would have been the most unpredictable cliffhanger ever. Unfortunately the leak means that you are expecting David Bradley to turn up when he does, as we return to where the story began - the Doctor leaving the TARDIS in a snowy landscape (possibly the South Pole from The Tenth Planet) and refuses to regenerate. This time the scene continues beyond that point, and it's really no surprise when David Bradley comes into view as the First Doctor. Whilst it can't be helped that there's a certain irony to David Bradley stating he is 'the original' (no, that's William Hartnell), he does an amazing job in this fleeting cliffhanger cameo. David Bradley is so much like William Hartnell playing the First Doctor here, it's eery. He looks, sounds and acts exactly like the First Doctor we all know and love. If the It's A Wonderful Life rumours are true, I can't wait for Christmas. It sounds like a brilliant idea for a regeneration story.



Overall, World Enough And Time/The Doctor Falls is without a doubt one of the greatest Doctor Who stories of all time. It's Peter Capaldi's Caves of Androzani, demonstrating the sheer quality and darkness that classic series serial is known for. This delivers exactly what you would expect from the first Multi-Master story, and is possibly the most unsettling the Cybermen have ever been. The Cybermen have never been a greater threat, and there has never been a better exit for a companion than the departure Pearl Mackie's Bill gets here. If any story was to challenge The Day of the Doctor for the mantle of 'Greatest Doctor Who story', this would be the one. It's a bonafide classic, and in years to come will be held with as much affection as Genesis of the Daleks or Earthshock.
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 6/26/17 8:21 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This episode (and its subsequent follow-up I'm guessing) is one of those episodes where giving any full details of the story itself will be giving major spoilers away and potentially ruin your enjoyment of the episode so I will do my best to be vague minus the image above and one or details. But needless to say this is one of the absolute best penultimate episodes of Doctor Who I've ever seen as well as one of the best episodes of the show ever. Period. Following up from last week, the TARDIS team land on a spaceship trapped near a black hole in order to give Missy a chance to be what the Doctor wants her to be. But something horrible happens that upsets plans and it's up to the Doctor and team to solve things. But something dark and disturbing is lurking in the bowels of the ship that has the potential to upset and change everything. And honestly saying more than that would be doing a disservice to you the viewer but needless to say if you have listened to the Big Finish Doctor Who audio 'Spare Parts', this one will seem awfully familiar. If you have been paying attention to news at all, then you'll know (and I don't feel bad giving this away since it's been advertised heavily) that this episode features the return of both John Simm's version of the Master as well as the Mondasian Cybermen on screen and needless to say that it's all done beautifully. The Mondasian Cybermen are not only featured heavily but focused on intently especially when you realize what's truly going on and John Simm's return is not only chilling as hell but also so fitting for the Master's character as a whole even though I could see it coming a mile away. It's a bit of a slow reveal and I think it works better if you have no idea what's coming but it's still a huge shock and the ending had me punching the air and freaking out completely. One thing that surprised me however was the beginning minute of the episode itself as well which had me screaming 'WTF' and had me rewinding to make sure I hadn't missed that. It's a brilliant setup and ending of course but how does the rest of the episode hold up even without the big reveals? Honestly, I loved every minute of it and it's hard for me to find any real fatal flaw with it. While it's true that it's basically 'Spare Parts' on screen, it's done so well that I honestly didn't care. The sci-fi concepts are great, the cinematography dark and unsettling, and the acting great from all fronts. The flow and feel of the episode is tense, atmospheric, extremely claustrophobic especially if you have a major fear of hospitals, and honestly really scary. There are some lines that are right on par with some of the most heartbreaking and scariest lines of Doctor Who such as 'Are you my mummy?', 'I don't want to go', 'Rose Tyler I.....', and many others and this one has lines that I think will be remembered too. But it's also genuinely funny and heartwarming at times especially in the moments where Bill and the Doctor are together at the beginning talking about the plan and the plan itself before it all goes horribly wrong. Some of the shocks in this one especially in the beginning will knock the wind right out of you and combine this with the darkness of the episode and it's genuinely horrific to see. I honestly don't want to say much more because honestly this is one that you need to see for yourself. I honestly really wish a lot of the pre-publicity hadn't spoiled so much of this one because this one would've been so much more shocking if not for that. But for what it is, it's still damn good and for me a high water mark for 12 as well as for the series. With the finale set and ready....I'm honestly not 100% sure I'm ready for this.

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