TV Review: Doctor Who S10E12 ‘The Doctor Falls’

Hello!

So, half a bag of salted caramel popcorn, one glass of icy water, and a mug of hot tea later I managed to compose myself enough to write this review of the Doctor Who Series 10 finale ‘The Doctor Falls’ (more like ‘the waterfalls of Anna’s tears’).

“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.”

Woah. Just, woah. I didn’t think it was possible to fit that many different emotions into one episode of Doctor Who but it is – albeit it was an hour long special. It most definitely is, and I was not prepared. 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 stages’ Mondasian Cybermen. Soon we see a horse drawn cart filled with chattering children roll up outside a large cottage. Here one of the children looks up to the clear blue 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, but 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 fail-safe 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, though, the Doctor is basically 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 demeanor is short lived as he promptly gets electrocuted by one of the rogue Cybermen, much to the amusement of both incarnations of the Master. Just before the Master, Missy, and Nardole leave in a space shuttle to a lower level he is saved by Cyberman Bill, but only just. At this point we’ve come full circle with what we now know to be Cyberman Bill carrying the Doctor away from the burning shuttle. 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. Not only does it pit the Doctor against a single classic villain, but he faces off against two! One of which has two incarnations present, which makes everything more interesting. Including a scene where both Missy and the Master quite literally stab each other in the back only to laugh manically at the hilarity of the situation. In all honesty, it 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 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? Probably quite a few, but I honestly can’t think of anything better for Bill. It is here though that we return to the Doctor’s fate as foretold in part one of this story. In all honesty, I was ready to pack my bags and leave this show for dust if Stephen Moffat (Writer and Producer) were to spring a surprise early regeneration on us. Thankfully, I’m still sitting here, but I have a feeling that whatever happens to the Doctor in the Doctor Who Christmas Special this year, it won’t be good.

Overall, I am all cried out, and in need of more tea and a good night’s sleep. The series finale this year went beyond expectations and really blew me away, I am honestly finding it difficult to find too much fault in it, other than maybe the actual plot of this two-part story. Though it worked well to tie together loose strands of story and connect episode 1 to episode 12, the whole ‘make Missy good’ idea let it down a little, even if that particular plan of the Doctor’s didn’t work. The Master/Missy duo however, absolutely shone! This series of Doctor Who definitely delivered in part, as some episodes were 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!

Rating: 9/10

I’ve linked my other reviews of Doctor Who series 10 below if you haven’t read the others and are interested in having a look at those too!

Enjoy your week,
Anna 🙂

Doctor Who Series 10 Reviews:

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