We open in a world where the monks have total control- we literally see them “doctor footage” of humanity, erasing and re-writing history. This is most majorly like Sherlock when we see footage of the monks killing the daleks when it was in fact, of course, the Doctor: compare with The Six Thatchers, with Mycroft showing the “official version” of a squaddie killing Magnussen rather than Sherlock.
We see the Doctor broadcasting the Monks’ lies on TV- looking very much like both Moriarty’s and Mary’s “broadcasts” via the screen.
Throughout the episode, we get glitchy effects of the monks’ and their ‘truth’ symbol- effects that very, very much so resemble Moriarty’s glitchy ‘Miss Me?’ broadcast. The words quickly appearing and disappearing also reminded me of Henry seeing the words ‘Liberty’ and ‘In’ during The Hounds of Baskerville.
Bill talks to her dead Mum throughout the episode- the effect of her Mum appearing for Bill and then later disappearing from the audience’s point of view visually resembles John talking to Mary in The Lying Detective.
Further on unreliable narration: Bill says, “Every day it’s harder to remember what’s real anymore.” She has to remember that the Doctor “wasn’t just a dream”, and what she did, along with him and Nardole “actually happened.” This can relate to Sherlock with multiple theories of series 4 being unreliable narration, possibly an alibi for John, who shot Mary, John who is injured after being shot by “Eurus”), desperately trying to remember “what actually happened” during his ‘dream’ of The Final Problem. Unreliable narration is further shown in the bluffs the Doctor pulls- he has to fake being under the Monks’ influence.
The Doctor says “Goodnight, Vienna!”- Sherlock says the very same in The Great Game.
Bill rashly pulling the gun on the Doctor resembles the suddenness of Norbury pulling the gun on Mary- the Doctor doesn’t die from being ‘shot’ and Mary…? ;) See here for more on Mary faking her death.
The Doctor saying,“It’s not a trick, it’s not a plan.”Compare with Sherlock’s line in The Lying Detective: “Of course it’s not a trick, it’s a plan.” (Of course, we later find out in Doctor Who that it is also a plan ;) )
The Doctor hijacks a ship- see John and Sherlock becoming ‘pirates’ to hijack a fishing boat in The Final Problem.
The Doctor visits Missy in her ‘prison.’ IT IS VISUALLY REMARAKABLY LIKE EURUS IN SHERRINFORD, COMPLETE WITH GLASS WALLS. SHE EVEN PLAYS A PIANO IN HER PRISON JUST LIKE EURUS PLAYS A VIOLIN. *ahem*
The Doctor was in prison for 6 months and so couldn’t visit Missy= In His Last Vow, Sherlock was going to be sent to Eastern Europe for 6 months; Irene wouldn’t have lasted 6 months without her ‘protection’… “6 months” is a recurring time frame in both Sherlock and Doctor Who.
When Bill sacrifices herself to try and defeat the Monks: “They’re hijacking her memories. Infecting them like a virus.”= Moriarty is the ‘virus in the data’ in Sherlock’s mind. The Doctor says here that Bill is ‘dying for nothing.’ I see this as possibly being tied to John– currently dying from a gunshot (he’ll be saved though), and his memories have been corrupted by the nightmare of The Final Problem. I’ve linked this meta before, but see here for the Mary drugging John theory, manipulating his memories just like the monks are doing here..
The Lone Monk sitting in “Fake News Central” (nice dig at Trump there <3), with the many film clips displayed around him visually is like Magnussen watching the bonfire footage from The Empty Hearse. Also, of course, the monks act like CCTV, and as said doctor footage, rather like a certain Mycroft Holmes, the British Government... tagging @waitedforgarridebs to scream ;)
The Doctor saying “Bill’s Mum, you just went viral”- compare with this line in The Lying Detective: “We’re beyond viral.”
Thank you for reading and if you’ve spotted any more parallels, feel free to add! Next week is an episode written by Mark Gatiss, and features the Victorian era… of course. ;) See you next week! xxx
This episode was written by Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss!
We open with a countdown from 10 to 1–making me think of Mark’s first Sherlock episode, The Great Game.
The writing written in Mars- GOD SAVE THE QUEEN- is visually remarkably similar to the writing in the sand in The Final Problem: TELL MY SISTER I’M HERE.
Plus, let’s take a moment to consider the phrase GOD SAVE THE QUEEN. Immediately, this makes me think ofA Scandal in Belgravia, where we’re caught up in as royal scandal. We also have Mycroft being jokingly named as The Queen during John and Sherlock’s exchange: “Here to see the queen?”/ “Oh, apparently yes.” And then, we have the connection to the film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes: where Queen Victoria is in close contact with one Mycroft Holmes. ;)
The episode is ‘coincidentally’ set in the year 1881– just happens to be the year when Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson met at St Barts but, you know… serendipity and all that ;)
Bill mentioning movies throughout the episode (eg. “Oh, it’s like the underground tunnels, in The Thing. […] “It’s a mooovie. You’d like that one, too. Everybody dies.”)- bless @waitedforgarridebs for typing those quotes up! <3 The mention of films and tropes makes me think of The Final Problem as a whole, and how it references horror; Bond; and other films, with bizarre tropes. And, ‘underground tunnels’ also makes me think of another one of Mark’s Sherlock episodes, The Empty Hearse, where Things are happening in the underground in…well, underground tunnels ;)
And finally, let’s end with the Big One, the golden quote for me tonight: “The red planet turned pink.” Ah yes, we’re talking about Mars in that quote, but… what has ‘turned pink’ in Sherlock? Well, the very first episode A Study in Pink takes its title from the first chronological Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet… you could almost say: the red planet turned pink… ;)
Thanks for reading and once again, see you next week! xxx
I just watched the newest episode of Doctor Who, and OH MY GOSH!
I wish I had been taking notes. There were SO MANY call backs to Sherlock.
A few lines I can remember are, “Good night Vienna,” a call back to TGG. There was also a slightly modified line, “It’s not a trick. It’s not a plan,” a call back to Sherlock in TLD, “It’s not a trick; it’s a plan.” I know there were more. Hopefully other people took note of them to add on to this.
There was one line I liked because of the truth of it. Paraphrasing: No matter how bad something is people won’t change it if it’s always been that way.
A few more Sherlock references:
1. Bill was wearing Sherlock’s coat.
2. Many locations were used in both shows, most notably Rathbone Place where TFP ended.
3. The Doctor talking on the TV screen with glitching.
4. It felt like the whole episode was a metaphor for Series 4 of Sherlock. The monks were believed to have always been there even though only had been for a few months. The true history is hidden behind a lie.
Eurus Holmes was supposedly Sherlock’s entire backstory from the beginning, but she has only been a character since Series 4. Once she is gone, Sherlock’s true story can be told. His real history can be revealed. (Redbeard being put down, Carl Powers, drug overdosing at 18, etc. These things do not logically fit with the Eurus backstory.)
The next episode is by Mark Gatiss so I’m looking forward to the hints he throws in.
(I see you, Mofftiss!)