DOCTOR WHO – SEASON 10 EPISODE 11
WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME
WRITTEN BY STEVEN MOFFAT
DIRECTED BY RACHEL TALALAY
And now, the end is near. This is the one we’ve been waiting for. It’s gonna have The Master and the Mistress, it’s directed by Rachel Talalay (aka the G.O.A.T), and it’s going to put the pieces in place for the regeneration. I’m not ready, are you ready? Well, doesn’t matter. Let’s do it.
The TARDIS arrives in a blizzard and the Doctor falls out, injured. He begins to regenerate and screams, “Noooooo” as we cut to the opening titles.
We see a huge spaceship that seems to be full of different landscapes flying away from the maw of a black hole. We cut to an observation deck where the TARDIS arrives. Missy emerges from the TARDIS and introduces herself as Doctor Who. We see that all of the TARDIS crew have earpieces in so they can communicate with the Doctor who has stayed aboard the TARDIS.
An alarm begins to sound around the ship. They notice the black hole and reason that the ship was flying towards it until it realised and is now, very, very slowly flying away from the black hole.
A screen turns on a face appears asking them who they are and Missy again introduces herself as Doctor Who (with her disposables, Exposition and Comic Relief). When Bill asks why she keeps saying Doctor Who Missy tells her it’s to save time as that’s the inevitable question people ask…and also that it’s the Doctor’s real name. Before we can get any more about that the Doctor cuts in to continue the test.
They realise that there should be more crew and that something has happened to the other crew, leaving only one pilot.
The door opens and the face from the screen, a blue dude, comes in, gun drawn. The panicked blue man asks if any of them are human and points out that the lifts are coming up and something is approaching. He asks which one is human as they only come for humans. The Doctor comes out of the TARDIS as Bill admits that she’s the human they’re tracking.
The man points the gun at Bill and tells them that if she’s dead they won’t come. The Doctor, admitting that his name is Doctor Who, tries to calm the blue man down and seems to be succeeding until the lifts arrive and he shoots Bill, blowing a hole through her chest.
We cut back to before the test as the Doctor tries to sell Bill and Nardole on it. He tells them that Missy is his oldest friend and the only person like him. He wants to give her a chance to be good. He tells Bill about how they grew up together and how they made a pact to see all of the stars. Bill agrees to the test under the condition that the Doctor who get her killed.
Smash cut to Bill, on the giant spaceship, with a hole in her chest.
The lift doors open and freaky patients in masks appear with drips and voice machines. They take Bill away to be repaired. As the lift doors close the Doctor sends a message to her subconscious, “Wait for me.”
The blue man stops them from opening the lifts and pursuing. Nardole points out that the ship has thousands of life readings on it when it’s supposed to be empty. The blue man says there were 50 crew and now there’s just him. The Doctor asks him if, once they saw the black hole, he sent a crew to the other end of the ship, which the blue man did.
We cut to Bill on an operating table and a clock behind her shows how time is moving differently through the ship with it going must faster at the end away from the black hole. Bill wakes up with a human doctor standing over her. He tells her she’s doing well then puts her back to sleep.
She wakes up again later with a weird Fagan-like dude running around and something attached to her chest. She gets the Doctor’s message and begins to hear a robotic voice repeating “Pain.”
She goes looking for the source and finds the Conversion Theatre from which emanates drilling and sawing noises. She goes through a door marked Out and finds rows of chairs with still figures wrapped in bandages sat in them. At the end is the patient repeating ‘Pain.’
A voice calls out, “Who’s making all that noise?” Bill hides behind a curtain as Fagan and a nurse come in. Fagan sees Bill but doesn’t alert the nurse who adjusts the drip on Mr Pain until he stops talking. They leave and we see it’s more like the nurse has actually just turned off Mr Pain’s voice machine, which he taps at fruitlessly. Bill walks over and sees that the top of the drip has a volume control. She turns one of the other patients’ up and hears, ‘Kill me’. The nurse and Mr Razor (the Artist previously known as Fagan) are coming back, so Bill ducks behind her curtain. She looks out of the window at a vast cityscape outside, which has been destroyed.
As she’s looking one of the patients sneaks up on her, but Mr Razor knocks him out and takes Bill to get a cup of tea. And hold on. Mr Razor seems very familiar. He sort of looks like John Simm. Uh oh.
Mr Razor takes her to a room full of junk and makes her a cup of tea. There is a screen showing the control room in which the Doctor, etc. are standing around. He tells her that they are at the bottom of the ship and she was brought her to be repaired. He also mentions that she has a new heart and has been in the hospital for weeks or months. He points to the screen showing the others and she thinks it’s a still image but Mr Razor (The Master in disguise?) explains that as they are at the top of the ship they are moving but very, very slowly.
At the top of the ship the Doctor explains that due to the gravity of the black hole, time is moving incredibly slowly for those at the top, closest to the black hole, whereas at the bottom, where Bill watches the very slow feed of this conversation, time is moving much, much faster.
Bill is now working at the hospital, being bossed around by the head nurse who tells her that her new metal heart, won’t work if she tries to leave.
We see that as the Doctor tries to explain things at the top, Mr Razor and Bill (who seem to be besties now) are watching the feed happen, very, very slowly. It’s a great bit of classic Moffat/Talalay time freakishness so we get a few sentences from the Doctor then we cut to weeks later as Bill watches in slow motion.
We see Bill mopping a floor and considering an escape. The Doctor appears to her and ways, “Wait for me.” And Bill asks how long she has to wait. How many more years? Damn.
Bill asks Mr Razor some questions and he explains that the patients being converted are being saved as they’re all dying. He tells her that they’ll all get converted eventually. He gives her a jacket and says that they’re going to go outside.
Outside, in the wrecked city, grey, miserable, sickly people walk around. The years have taken their toll on the bottom of the ship and everything is dying. The conversion is a way to save everyone before Operation Exodus when they will take control of the ship.
Bill’s heart begins to beep and alerts her to return to the hospital.
At the top, the Doctor calls the lift (while Bill watches with glee).
Razor takes Bill to where the lift will arrive. He leads her through the conversion theatre and the doctor (lower case D) from earlier appears to inform her it’s her turn for conversion while two of the patients grab her.
The lift arrives. The Doctor tells Missy to use the computers to learn more about the ship while Nardole and him go exploring. While Missy is on the computer, Mr Razor emerges behind her. Missy tells him that she would like to kill him and he tells her how excited he is to finally meet her.
Missy finds out that the ship didn’t come from Earth. It came from a planet very similar to Earth. Razor asks her if she remembers being there before and she ignores him.
The Doctor and Nardole go to the conversion theatre. Nardole uses a computer and finds out about Operation Exodus. A door opens and something emerges from the shadows just as Missy realises the other Earth-like planet is Mondas.
She goes to warn the Doctor (who is facing a Mondasian Cyberman). Razor pulls a gun on her and tells her that the Doctor won’t forgive her for what she did to Bill.
The Cyberman begins to talk, saying “Doctor!” and the Doctor asks it if it knows where Bill Potts is.
Mr Razor tosses his gun aside and pulls off his mask to reveal the Master.
The Cyberman tells them that it is Bill Potts and Missy enters the theatre. Missy tells them that exodus is the wrong name and the Master agrees. “More like a Genesis,” he says. ‘The Genesis of the Cybermen.”
A tear falls from the Cyberman/Bill’s eye. And next week never felt so far away.
When Doctor Who does horror well, it does it really well. The freakiness of Bill’s situation and surroundings was incredibly effective and well done, with the prospect of unwanted surgery lingering over everything and the way time slipped through her fingers.
This is the kind of story that Moffat and Talalay do so well. Moffat is a great Doctor Who writer because understands how much fun you can have with time travel. More so than Russell T. Davies, Moffat has used the fact that he has an immortal lead with a time machine to craft some fantastically fun and confusing stories, with his crowning achievement being the Rachel Talalay directed Heaven Sent from seasons nine, which is a masterclass in directing and writing that was Capaldi’s best episode and one of the best of the whole show to date.
If I had any complaints with this episode it would be that the BBC should have played their cards closer to their chest. Having John Simm come back is awesome, but having him come back without having first featuring him in the trailers and promotional materials would have stopped hearts. I would never have worked out that Razor was the Master usually because I would have never assumed that John Simm would be back while Michelle Gomez was in the role. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a cool reveal but if it had been kept more under wraps it could have been something that, to use some outdated parlance, broke the internet.
I can’t wait for next week and I can’t wait to find out who the new Doctor is going to be. Please, please, please, please, let it be an interesting, exciting, daring choice and not just some floppy-haired skinny white bloke. Please.
Body Count: 0. I guess. Though Bill sort of died and the opening scene showed the Doctor dying. Pretty bloodless after all.
Best Line: “Hello, I’m Doctor Who.” – Missy.
Predictions for next week: Chaos.