Had we but world enough and time
This coyness, Lady, would be no crime
Why did Doctor Who name this episode after, to put it politely, a carpe diem poem, and to put it bluntly, a sex poem?
Actually I’m not sure.
This week we’re back in the future – which this series seems to have produced the better episodes – on a spaceship parked by a black hole. It’s all going fine until the last remaining crew member turns up and, terrified by the things coming up the spaceship towards them, kills Bill.
Who wakes up in a creepy hospital, full of masked patients going through “conversion.”
It was a pretty solid episode. It was, at least, the scariest one I’ve seen in years.
When the promo images of the Mondasian cybermen were released, I expected to have a reaction similar to the one I had about the monk-corpse-aliens. I thought I’d end up wasting time getting angry about the fact that multiple episodes were being dedicated to robots with old jumpers over their heads and chest pieces made of cardboard boxes covered in tinfoil.
But you can’t really go wrong with a hospital filled with patients in eyeless, mouthless masks, silently screaming in pain through their keyboards, run by a Nurse Ratchet figure, where the only ally Bill has is clearly John Simm’s returning Master.
…If you didn’t know about that already (although their marketing treated it in the least effective way possible), now you do.
It was a good episode. One of the best this series, along with ‘Oxygen’. It explored the most interesting things that the cybermen have always implied, yet it was character-driven, using the plot to shine a light on the relationship between the Doctor and the Master/Missy, and especially on Bill, and Bill’s goodness.
This series they’ve written Bill’s character really well. She’s everything a companion should be. She’s optimistic and she’s caring and she’s good. And they’ve never told us this, they’ve shown us this in everything she does.
And if any more bad things happen to her next week…