As usual with these examination of ‘Doctor Who’ stories shortly after transmission, if you haven’t seen them, I’ll try not to give away too many unintentional spoilers, although I will give a quick resume of the plot. Much of the analysis will be about it so feel suitably warned.
This has to be the most surreal cerebral episode of ‘Doctor Who’ ever to this point. The Doctor is in trap that recycles through the same events for a couple million years but he needs to do because each time he does this he can chip through a barrier that is keeping him imprisoned.
If you remember the 1960s ‘The Avengers’ story, ‘This Is The House That Jack Built’, then this is the Science Fiction equivalent. We follow the thought processes of the Doctor as he slowly figures things out, using the dead Clara as his muse and the TARDIS as his safety blanket. The symbolism of numbers will have many of you pondering on its implications and a hasty rewatch but really number 12 should have been the giveaway. The revelation at the end as to where the Doctor really is is total spoiler.
Peter Capaldi is totally alone in this episode. Well, almost. He has this Hybrid following him and attempting to kill him but it’s a non-speaking part. If you were ever familiar with the 1960s Marvel Comics ‘Doctor Who’ story that features Vertis – the truth- storyline, then the Hybrid looks something like that. However, his soliloquies are captivating strong and arresting and a demonstration of just how good an actor he is. It has to be because he is alone. Considering how much budget was spent in the previous episode, this is the bottle show of all bottle shows. It works because its Capaldi. I suspect the younger generations will wonder at what’s going on but I doubt in this instance, they are the target audience.
It is the bridge to the final episode of the season and if the Doctor wasn’t in trouble before, he is now. Cue music.
28 November 2015