Review: Doctor Who 10.07 ‘The Pyramid at the End of the World’

I know I said I’d probably only write a review for last week’s Doctor Who. But I’ve still got Opinions.

I would also like to apologise to everybody for letting them believe that this arc was a two-parter. It’s at least a three-parter.

Lucky us…

Fine, it was better than last week’s episode.

The corpse-monk-aliens are back (although I still don’t know why everyone’s referring to them as monks. Just because they wear robes doesn’t mean they’re monks?) and they’ve got a pyramid with a mini pyramid-shaped TV in it. They stand around whispering about how the world’s about to end, offering to save Earth if humanity consents to their dominion.

As you can guess because it’s a three-parter, someone does consent.

Which means that next week’s episode takes place in a new alternative universe where Earth has always been under the dominion of the corpse-monk-aliens and everything looks typically authoritarian sci-fi á la Bladerunner.

Which also means that everything that’s happened this episode has again only happened in a version of reality that isn’t going to exist past this episode, and next week is going to happen in a version of reality that isn’t going to exist past that episode, and I’m only getting so annoyed at this because how many episodes of Doctor Who, in the past…four (?) years has relied on this ‘rewrite reality’ bollocks? Just give us a good baddie and beat that baddie through guile! I’m just bored of all this.

On the subject of good baddies: do so many people really find the monk-corpse-aliens genuinely creepy?

Knowing when a planet would be pushed to such a point of desperation that they’d be willing to give up their freedom? Demanding consent through love, a genuine willingness, almost desire, to give up their freedom? Presenting themselves as human corpses because that is what humanity is to them? All that is creepy, yes.

So the concept is creepy.

But the presentation? It’s like watching a kid in a rubber Halloween mask that doesn’t fit them try and shuffle around the house without bumping into things. Then you add the daft whispering that in no way matches the monk-corpse-aliens’ mouths permanently hanging open (they’ll catch flies, walking around like that).

I’m not going to get into the plot point that tips a certain character over the edge into consenting. But

  1. Braille? Most places have it?
  2. The Doctor really needs to explain regeneration to his companions at an early point in their acquaintance. It would save us all so much hassle.

Verdict: better than last week. Reaches ‘pretty good’ at a few points, in the Doctor Who way of people sitting around trying to figure stuff out and discussing responsibility and all that. But I’m tired of the much-recycled arc and I want it to end.

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