Writers: Peter Harness and Steven Moffatt
Director: Daniel Nettheim
Producer: Peter Bennett
Companions: Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), Nardole (Matt Lucas)
Series: 10, ep. 7 (part 2 of 3)
Summary: A pyramid has suddenly appeared, causing all of the world’s clocks to count down. Bill learns the Doctor has been hiding his blindness from her.
Review: A common complaint about Moffatt’s writing is that he’s great at concocting ideas, but his stories are often more convoluted than they should be. As someone who has criticized episodes like “Let’s Kill Hitler” and “Deep Breath” for this reason, I understand the frustrations. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret putting him so high on my countdown of the show’s best writers, but if I want to be fair, I have to acknowledge his faults.
The monks have a trait similar to that of the Mondasian Cybermen in that when they speak, their mouths don’t move. Given that they are supposed to be a part of the finale for this series, could that be a clue? Could the monks be in league with the Cybermen?
I realize this is supposed to be a three-parter instead of the usual two-parters we get each series, but I thought this had a bit of a slow start. Once it got going, it was ok.
I was glad to see the Doctor finally tell Bill he was blind. And I was so happy when Bill gave it to him for hiding it in the first place. How can he expect his companions to trust him and rely on him, when he treats them the same way he treats his enemies? I understand him not telling those he can’t trust that he’s blind, but Nardole and Bill can’t be of much help if they’re out of the loop.
This is middle of the road. Let’s hope the climax makes it all work.
Overall Review: 6/10
Continuity: The Doctor has visited Turmezistan previously, in The Zygon Inversion. Pyramids of Mars also had a pyramid mysteriously arrive on Earth. (Sadly, Sutek is nowhere to be seen in this episode) The Doctor tells Nardole he got his lungs cheap, referencing his reassembly in “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”.
Trivia: This episode’s title is the longest in the show’s history.