This is it, folks–the finale is upon us! Though it is a bittersweet reminder that we are just that much closer to saying goodbye to Capaldi, finales are still exciting, heart-pounding forays that hurl us into the conclusion of season-long story arcs. And this was an episode that, even though I knew certain things were coming–still left me in happy shock.
Most people already knew the plot–the Doctor decides to test Missy’s decision to be good and sends Bill and Nardole with her to answer a ship’s distress signal, and during the course of answering the signal, they encounter the Mondasian Cybermen and the old Master. But the way in which this was all executed was brilliant.
The idea of Bill and the Doctor being on the same ship but in different time zones definitely added a new dimension of desperation. What’s been a few minutes for the Doctor has been years for Bill, which makes her final declaration of “I waited for you” all the more heartbreaking. (Confession: since the Cybermen in “The Tenth Planet” had names, I had to do a brief check to see if that episode had any Cybermen named Bill. It didn’t.) And Bill being turned into a Cyberman–well, let’s just say I found that as shocking as when Missy killed Osgood in “Death in Heaven”. What really drives this home, though, is that there very likely won’t be a reset button–no two Osgoods like in “The Zygon Invasion”, no extractions from timelines like in “Hell Bent”. There’s a very strong likelihood there is no going back from this development–this will be permanent.
That Master reveal, although I knew it was coming, still managed to surprise me. I figured the Master was probably being held prisoner somewhere in the ship, but, nope, he was right in the middle of the action, helping to create the Cybermen! And remember, too, that these Cybermen are the ones responsible for the First Doctor’s regeneration, so this is getting to be quite the wibbily-wobbily storyline. Missy’s reaction was fascinating to watch, too, because she has clearly forgotten these events…but she clearly enjoys being back with her old self.
And this is going to be completely random, but hooray for the Venusian Akido making a comeback!
Next week, we hurl onwards to what’s sure to be an exhilerating conclusion in “The Doctor Falls”! More Master/Missy goodness! More hints about Bill’s ultimate fate! And maybe–just maybe–a resolution to those tantilizing regeneration teasers!