THAT WAS A FUCKING AMAZING EPISODE OF DOCTOR WHO!!
But also, I’m not a fan of backtracking on companions in peril but they REALLY need to reverse Bill’s conversion because I need her back for Series 11, and they can’t end the first black lesbian companion that way, they just cant.
Oh my god! I don’t even know how to put into words how much I loved that! I couldn’t imagine how you could possibly make the cloth-faced cybermen work in a modern episode, but oh wow was I happily shown just how that could be. That was so creepy! The whole tone was incredibly dark, just as I like it. Those people/cybermen crying out in pain, asking for death? Incredibly dark!
It had a lovely light opening, so much so that I was completely taken aback by the turn it took! Of the lighter parts, I enjoyed the ‘Doctor Who’ discussion. It’s quite a nice way of ending the arguments about that, especially since it’s still technically ambiguous whether it really is his full name or not.
I love anything to do with time distortion, so this premise was an absolute treat! The technique of showing us the tiny movements upstairs to punctuate the years going on below was a great idea.
As usual there were a lot of parts that reminded me of previous episodes (the hospital segments of New Earth and The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, especially the turning of the clothed/gas-masked heads, and Bill’s whole storyline of Amy in The Girl Who Waited), but this felt entirely original. As a prequel to The Tenth Planet, it was genius. It gives a whole extra dimension to those now quite dated episodes.
I loved the discussion of Time Lord gender and sexuality. The Doctor even referred to the Master as a man crush. Thank you, Moffat, for finally acknowledging the sexual tension that has always been present in their relationship, and actually acknowledging it in its original queer format, not just Missy sexually assaulting Twelve as in previous episodes.
The tension was wracked up beautifully. I really liked the guy helping Bill out and I was like 'I’m going to have to look up who this actor is, he’s really good!’ and then ten minutes from the end, when they were talking about the lifts, I suddenly realised. It was the perfect moment to realise, too, as it was when he was leading her to the conversion theatre and suddenly the tension was mounting as I was pleading with Bill not to trust him! Ahhh!
Now, Bill herself. I really hope this isn’t the end for her. This would be the bleakest end a companion has had since Donna, if not even bleaker! But at the moment I’m too wrapped up in just how good this episode was to think about her possibly not making it. I still have hope that she could be de-converted. She cried at the end and her body is still there underneath everything, so maybe she’s still salvageable. I noticed they didn’t show her at all in the Next Time trailer, but that could be them just preventing spoilers. We’ll see, I guess.