Television: Doctor Who, Season 10, Episode 12 – ‘The Doctor Falls’

“I do what I do because it’s right. Because it’s decent. And above all it is kind, it’s just that. Just kind.”

I didn’t think it was possible to fit that many different emotions into one episode of Doctor Who, but it is. We start this episode panning across idyllic green fields dotted with what look like scarecrows, but on closer inspection you can see that they are in fact early stage Mondasian Cybermen. Soon we see a horse drawn cart filled with chattering children roll up outside a large cottage. One of the children looks up to the sky, a look of worry on her face, the numbers in the sky clearly read ‘507’, the spaceship’s floor number. All it seems, is not well. By nightfall my feelings are confirmed, as rogue Cyberman come to collect the children for upgrading. In a surprisingly, and possibly even comical fashion, the farmers fight them off with shotguns. By morning the Cybermen have been strung up as scarecrows in the fields, and the village is back to its peaceful state. That is until a spaceship crashes through the floor and falls back to earth in a cloud of dust. As the dust and smoke clears a bulky figure appears: a Mondasian Cyberman steps forward cradling a lifeless Doctor in its arms.
Cue opening titles, as well as much stress on my part.

As if the team being stuck on a Mondasian Cybermen production/colony ship, Bill being turned into a Cyberman, and there being two incarnations of the Doctor’s old foe the Master hanging around wasn’t bad enough. Add these two incarnations of the same evil mastermind working together and you’ll have a solid recipe for chaos, and apparently, some excellent time transcending banter. The Doctor – though now in a wheelchair due to some previous injury inflicted by Missy and the Master – is having none of it. He sits through the pair waltzing together on the rooftop of the hospital, as well as enduring their baiting talk of Bill’s death and their pride in the Cyber Foundries on Level 1056. All the while he is waiting for his failsafe to kick in. It does so, bringing all the Cybermen coming to their location after he managed to change one piece of data in their system to search not only for single hearted humans but two hearted Timelords as well. At this point, the Doctor is the very definition of smug.

“You two, you should know by now, when you’re winning, and I’m in the room, you’re missing something.”

The Doctor’s smug demeanour is short lived as he promptly gets electrocuted by one of the rogue Cybermen, much to the amusement of both incarnations of the Master. We spend the rest of the episode trying to save the town, and thus from here on in things go from bad to worse, to even worse, and then, of course, we are left with an almost happy ending.

As far as series finals go, this one has everything; It pits the Doctor against two classic villains, one of which has two incarnations present, which makes everything more interesting. Missy and the Master quite literally stab each other in the back which was one of my favourite parts of the episode, and a fitting ending for such a long running character on Doctor Who.

For Bill, all hope wasn’t lost – quite literally – as in this episode, “tears are hope”. Remember Heather from episode one? Beautiful Heather who stole Bill’s heart? Well she found Bill again, to save her, and though I had hoped to see more of Bill in future episodes, I couldn’t be happier with her ending. Who doesn’t want immortal lesbian aliens traveling together? It is here though that we return to the Doctor’s fate as foretold in part one of this story. I have a feeling that whatever happens to the Doctor in the Doctor Who Christmas Special, it won’t be good…

After that episode, I am all cried out, and in need of a cup of tea and a good night’s sleep. The series finale this year went beyond expectations and I find it difficult to find much fault in it. The episode worked well to tie together loose strands of the story and connect episode 1 to episode 12. However, the ‘make Missy good’ idea did let it down a little. The Master/Missy duo however, absolutely shone! This series of Doctor Who definitely delivered, despite some episodes being a little lacklustre, but all in all Series 10 has been a blast! I definitely have a soft spot for Capaldi’s portrayal of the Doctor, and as for Bill, I absolutely loved her!

Ratings

Plot: 3/4

Character: 3/3

Monster (‘Misunderstood Alien’) of the Week: 3/3

Overal Rating: 9/10

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