Doctor Who: ‘The Lie of the Land’

“You see, the Monks erased themselves, humanity is doomed to never learn from its mistakes.”

This week on Doctor Who we see both the climax and the close of this trilogy. With the ‘consent’ from Bill in last week’s episode the Monks have taken over humanity. As they only want to save humanity from themselves, on the surface they have appear harmless, even helpful, however under that façade humanity is slowly losing itself to the Monks. In order to ‘save’ humanity, the Monks have rewritten history and in doing so have become the sole religion and power over earth. Those who show deviance from the controlled mindset or rise against the cause are either killed on the spot or sent away to camps. This dark, and gloomy earth shows none of the personality of before. At the eye of the storm, Bill hasn’t been drawn in by the mind control the Monks are using and sets her mind on finding the Doctor. The Doctor himself has apparently joined the Monks, though Bill doesn’t believe this in the slightest. Joined finally by Nardole, the pair go in search of the Doctor. In ‘mission impossible’ fashion they follow the signal of the Doctor’s broadcast to discover if he’s really had joined the Monks. Here Bill is tested by the Doctor so that he can work out if she has genuinely been taken in by the Monks’ telepathy, leading to a series of very emotional scenes on both the Doctor and Bill’s part. From here on in they all work together to try and take down the Monks and restore humanity to how it was before the Monks took over.

At the conclusion to this three-part story I wasn’t disappointed. It wasn’t perfect, but it most definitely delivered what was needed to close off the set-ups from the first two episodes. I liked that we saw Bill take the lead in trying to save humanity, and in turn, fix the problem she had created in trying to save the Doctor in the episode before. It was heartbreaking though to see how Bill reacted to the Doctor’s ‘tests’ early in the episode.  We got to see just how strong willed Bill really is; for the whole time the Doctor is proclaiming loyalty to the monks, her resolve doesn’t waiver. It is here though that the Doctor decides to turn to Missy, his nemesis, the one who has been locked in the Vault since before the events of episode one. He turns to her for help and it seems the Doctor has lost faith in his ability to fix things himself.

Here we see just how much the Doctor does actually care for Bill, as inevitably the earth’s cure is in the eye of the storm. The only one who can take take on the mind control is Bill, and of course, there is no way she’ll survive the ordeal. So in true Doctor style he spends the rest of the episode trying to find any way to fix things other than the solution Missy presents, one which Bill thinks is possibly the only way. This episode’s conclusion, though leaving me relatively satisfied, also left me with a feeling of dread. If they are willing to play the ‘almost death’ card for Bill so soon after playing it once before with the space zombies, what does that mean for Bill in later episodes of this series. The Doctor’s claim at the end of the episode that “In amongst seven billion, there’s someone like you. That’s why I put up with the rest of them” in answer to Bill’s question doesn’t just show how much he cares, but also makes me worry for Bill. It is no secret that the more he cares the more your fate is sealed, and not in a good sense. Though I am probably getting ahead of myself!

Overall this episode brought more emotional scenes than I had expected, along with a relatively satisfying conclusion. I won’t ever get enough of Bill coming in and saving humanity, ever. I just hope that next time there is much less of a likelihood of her dying as a result!

Plot: 3/4 – Character: 3/3 – Monster (‘Misunderstood Alien’) of the Week: 2/3

Rating: 8/10


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