Doctor Who Series 10, Episode 11: “World Enough and Time” Review

Okay… Where the fuck do I start with this one?

Series 10 has just been a roller-coaster experience for me, testing my patience and sanity as I analysed whether or not Doctor Who could be salvaged, and above all, whether or not Steven Moffat could redeem himself. What started out as reassurance soon turned into confusion (filling my brain with fucking anxiety) as the stories became inconsistent in quality and ideas. So, really, “World Enough and Time” was the beginning of the end, or Moffat’s last chance to declare he’s “not a fuck-up”.

As first acts go, “World Enough and Time” holds as one of the strongest in Doctor Who‘s 53 year-long history on television. It’s bold. Has impact. And really strikes a cord with the audience’s heart strings. I was literally sat there thinking, “What the fuck just happened? Did I honestly just fucking witness that? Shit the fucking bed!” I also enjoyed the fact that this episode actually called The Doctor out for being an egotistical nob-head. For me personally, I find this to be one of his strongest traits because it shows he’s flawed, and moments like these are there to bite him in the arse to remind him that his ego causes more problems than good, and often than not gets innocent people killed (usually people he cares about, or those under his protection).

Doctor Who World Enough and Time

In a desperate attempt to prove himself right he undergoes a really fucked-up experiment in which he tries teaching Missy how to be “The Doctor”. What the fuck could possibly go wrong?! I mean seriously, what the flying fuck did he think would happen (although, to give Missy credit, she wasn’t the one who killed Bill). Whoops! Sorry, spoilers! This was a massive stab to the heart as I just didn’t see it coming (at least, not in the sudden, unexpected manner that it was displayed).

As soon as I heard someone under The Doctor’s care was going to die, I instantly thought it was either going to be Bill or Missy (but most likely the former). I like how it’s just sudden. It just happens and there’s nothing The Twelfth Doctor can do about it. And what’s even greater about this shocking moment is it’s his fault. In his fucking attempt to make Missy a “good” person he places Bill and Nardole in mortal danger, ultimately placing Bill in the firing-line of a scared alien (ironically he was blue, with the last blue alien Bill met calling her out on racism, and now one of the bastards has shot her point-blank. Irony!)

The Twelfth Doctor could’ve avoided this if he wasn’t trying to be fucking clever, thus keeping Missy in her cage and instead solving the problem of a spaceship trapped in the pull of a black hole himself. Instead, he puts his companions straight into the grinder, and even when the shit hits the fan The Twelfth Doctor parades around like he’s the man of reason, thinking his big “heroic” speeches will ultimately save the day. Nope! Bill instead gets a massive fucking hole where her heart used to be, only to then have her body taken by weird looking creatures.

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What makes this moment even more glorious (I shouldn’t really be saying that because it was really tragic and I really like Bill) is the juxtaposition between present-tense and past-tense, showcasing The Twelfth Doctor’s desperate (and fragile) attempts to convince Bill that his idea to teach Missy how to be good is a good idea. And the more these scenes go on the more tragic her death becomes. She practically rings the alarm bells, and Nardole points out that The Doctor’s ego is the one piloting this idea, but the idiotic Time Lord wishes to proceed. And I hope he’s really satisfied with the results!

The ironic thing is The Twelfth Doctor couldn’t even promise Bill that he could keep her alive. How tragic is that? Unfortunately, things become rather slow from this point onwards, but not without intriguing build-up to “things to come”, and a fantastic atmosphere that radiated “pure horror”. Honestly, it felt like I was watching a twisted horror movie by the way things were designed and structured. Things felt really grim and it was by this point I truly felt sorry for Bill. Yep, you guessed it, she isn’t really dead, but she might as well be.

She’s now been slightly converted into a Cyberman. Whoops! Sorry, spoilers! Where her hole used to be is now cybernetic machinery which is basically keeping her alive. Bill is now stuck at the bottom of the spaceship where time is running faster than where The Twelfth Doctor resides due to science-nonsense I basically nodded to but didn’t properly understand (something-something, black hole, something-something, gravity). This meant that Bill had to once again fend for herself and spend a long time waiting for The Twelfth Doctor to come and find her (made worse by the psychic message in her mind to which he keeps telling her to “wait for him”).

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You know what, fuck that! It’s made even worse that she has to slowly watch the progress of The Twelfth Doctor’s movements, waiting patiently as time disappears and it becomes more and more depressing for her, to the point where it seems apparent that she might not get rescued (or at the very least won’t need saving because it’ll already be too late). In the meantime, Bill’s stuck in a creepy, run-down hospital where patients are slowly being converted into Cybermen. And not just any Cybermen, the original Mondasian Cybermen.

It’s the most bleak interpretation of conversion to date on the show. I’ll give Moffat credit for having another jab at making the Cybermen disturbing (because we’re not going to forget about Cybermen made from corpses anytime soon). Moffat ingeniously develops a sick-twisted origins for them, showcasing very early stages to the conversion process where they sit around, unable to move, silently screaming about the pain. One Cyberman continuously proclaims its pain, only to be silenced by the Nurse. Upon further inspection by Bill it turns out they’re all screaming in agony but have just had the volume to their speech-boxes turned to zero. How fucking cold is that?!

“World Enough and Time” is a really bleak experience to watch, added by Bill being manipulated by the strange character known as “Razor”, aka The Master. Whoops! Sorry… (Okay, you get the fucking joke now!) Razor’s really shifty looking, acts rather odd, and seems to know a lot despite being the cleaner of the hospital. And yet, he takes a shine to Bill and helps her out, almost becoming a friend in this desperate time in her life. He also adds in some comical lines to just take the edge off, which rather added to his strangeness. But things eventually unfold and things aren’t what they seem.

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The Twelfth Doctor, Missy, and Nardole finally manage to arrive on the scene but are far too late to do anything, resulting in one of the harshest cliff-hangers to date. Razor is revealed to be The Master, having been pulling the strings from behind-the-scenes the entire time, manipulating Bill in order to get her ready for her full-conversion, resulting in the biggest kick to the bollocks (not only to us) but to The Doctor himself. He not only has to witness the return of the Mondasian Cybermen, but watch in horror to see it’s actually Bill. How more horrific could things fucking get?! Oh yeah, he’s being tagged teamed by TWO Masters.

But, here’s the slight, teeny, tiny problem with this entire episode. I KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO FUCKING HAPPEN BECAUSE THE BBC FUCKING TOLD ME!!

I mean, seriously now, what was the fucking point in having a build-up episode? By the time the revelation got revealed it was time to say, “Come back next week kids and see whether or not The Doctor can save the day.” It was literally an entire episode dragging out a mystery that I already knew the answer to, meaning I was left quite bored to be honest, almost like my 45 minutes was wasted (added by the pain that I actually figured out the identity of Razor half-an-hour before I was supposed to, making my partner feel rather stupid and myself rather smug).

I honestly wanted The Master’s reveal to be within the first 15 minutes so that we could move onto something more interesting like (I don’t know?) seeing John Simm‘s return in all its fucking glory! Though, don’t get me wrong, it was nice to see the return of the traditional Master-disguise set-up from the Classic Series (and Simm played it out perfectly, making his reveal rather legendary), but usually, you don’t fucking know that The Master was returning, making the disguise an important plot-point!

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I blame all of this on the fact that the BBC just don’t have any faith left in Doctor Who (or so it seems anyway). They’ve tarnished its reputation by either not publicising it in the right way for the past three years, or allowed God-awful creative decisions to be made which has turned die-hard fans (such as myself) off from tuning in anymore. Okay, I’ve stuck around, but mostly out of loyal obligation (but even that is quickly running out of motivation, to which one more fuck-up will cause me to be pushed over the edge, and well, bye-bye Doctor Who, you head in that disastrous trajectory whilst I go the other-way with some dignity still left on my shoulders).

I mean, for fuck-sake, we had a similar problem for Series 9s finale in which the publicity totally fucking ruined our experience. Instead of blatantly telling us what was going to happen we instead got told the exact opposite, giving us a false pretence as to what the narrative was going to be about (ultimately resulting in “Hell Bent” being a complete disappointment). But, this isn’t entirely Moffat’s fault because the episodes themselves, out of context, aren’t bad. They’re simply spoilt by hype, and misdirection. But I guess he should be blamed partly because he is supposed to be the show-runner of Doctor Who, which means he has some hand in the contents secrecy, and what should and shouldn’t be revealed prematurely.

Also, I have to gripe with Moffat’s writing yet again when it comes to his ideas on transgender Time Lords. What the fuck is his problem?! I mean, seriously, what’s his issue because I’m really fucking fed-up of him plastering his shitty fan-fiction ideas into the canon and expecting everyone to be okay about it. Literally, there was a couple of pieces of dialogue that just made me scream (out-loud mind), “Oh, for fuck-sake Moffat.”

This nearly spoilt Bill’s death scene because I was pissed-off by dialogue which shat all over The Master as The Twelfth Doctor talked about him, as well as dialogue which had him doubt his memory as to whether or not himself and The Master used to be male during their days at the Academy. Hurry up and take that fucking shit with you Moffat into the black hole I hope you’ll be dropped into after Christmas!

For fuck-sake, I am just so tired now of seeing fucking idiotic, selfish, (and quite frankly) trolling bastards get away with essential murder. Our favourite brands are being fucked up the arse by these brain-dead executives who think they’re being clever, artistic, and fan-pleasing, when they’re really just pissing us off to the point where we want to lynch the fuckers and write the brand ourselves (because it would clearly be fucking better than the shit that is allowed to be pumped out!)

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It just really doesn’t help that I just DON’T see Missy as The Master. I really don’t. And the fact that it keeps getting forced down my throat (thus ruining both the character and the cannon in the process). I’m fucking sick and tired of this bullshit to be honest. That’s why it was quite satisfying to see The Master call out his (supposed) future-self, exclaiming that he isn’t too happy as to where his future is heading. The fact that it’s pretty much clear now that I have to consider Missy’s fucking horrendous interpretation of The Master as canon is far too fucking depressing. Which is a massive shame because her character is actually fucking good, she’s just not The Master.

But say, in terms of how Bill’s rather depressing story went in this narrative, “World Enough and Time” holds-up for being a really chilling, and engaging plot. I mean, have we ever seen a worse journey than Bill’s? Seriously, her look into The Doctor’s world has been nearly nothing but bleak, having had multiple occasions being placed in the claws of death itself, as well as seeing both the best and worst of The Doctor, making it worse considering she looked up to him and ultimately trusted him, even imprinting his goodness upon herself. And after all the pain and suffering to learn from this eccentric alien she ends-up being turned into the very creature that helped in his original downfall, i.e. the regeneration of The First Doctor.

So, yeah, “World Enough and Time” is a strange beast to talk about because of everything I mentioned above. I think only time will determine its outcome according to the success of next week’s episode, “The Doctor Falls”. Will Moffat finally fucking redeem himself, will The Master be redeemed, will the Cybermen be redeemed, (heck) will Doctor Who as a whole be redeemed? I guess we have no choice but to wait till next week and find out. But the bottom-line is, next week is bagging on a lot of redemption and I hope all of these requirements are fulfilled. I also really hope that Peter Capaldi is given the perfect exit he so rightfully desires.

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