TV Review: Doctor Who S10E08 ‘The Lie of the Land’


So Doctor Who is back, and since I’m neck deep in a film criticism subject at uni I’ve decided to continue this with a ‘Who’ related project! I’ll be reviewing each episode as they air, and posting them here for your enjoyment.

“You see, the Monks erased themselves, humanity is doomed to never learn from its mistakes.”

This week on Doctor Who we see both the climax and the close of this trilogy of episodes. With the ‘consent’ from Bill in last week’s episode the Monks have taken over humanity. As they only want to save humanity from themselves, on the surface they have done no harm, however under that façade humanity is slowly losing itself to the Monks. In order to ‘save’ humanity, the Monks have rewritten history and in doing so have become the soul religion and power house over earth. Those who show deviance from the controlled mindset or rise against the cause are either killed on the spot or sent away to camps. This dark, and gloomy earth shows none of the personality of before. As the eye of the storm, Bill hasn’t been drawn in by the mind control the Monks are using and sets her mind on finding the Doctor. The Doctor himself, has apparently joined the Monks, though Bill doesn’t believe this in the slightest. Joined finally by Nardole, the pair go in search of the Doctor. In ‘mission impossible’ fashion they follow the signal of the Doctor’s broadcasts to find he really had joined the Monks. Well, or so they thought. Here Bill is tested by the Doctor so that he can work out if she has been taken in by the Monks’ telepathy, leading to a series of very emotional scenes on both the Doctor and Bill’s part. From here on in they all work together to try and take down the Monks and restore humanity to how it was before the Monks had taken over.

As the conclusion to this three-part story I was not disappointed in what this episode had to offer. It wasn’t perfect, but it most definitely delivered what was needed to tie up any loose ends that may have detached themselves in the first two episodes. As well as this, we saw Bill take the lead in trying to save humanity, and in turn, fix the problem she had created in trying to save the Doctor in the episode before. It was quite heartbreaking though to see how Bill reacted to the Doctor’s ‘tests’ early in the episode. In doing so we get to see just how strong willed Bill really is, for the whole time the Doctor his claiming his loyalty to the monks and beating her resolve down she doesn’t waver. Just how far the Doctor had to take the tests show just how strong the Monks power was, and so just how much they would need to do to fix things. It is here though that the Doctor decides to turn to Missy, his nemesis, the one who has been locked in the Vault since before the events of episode one. To turn to her for help, it seems the Doctor has lost faith that he can fix things himself.

Here we see just how much the Doctor does actually care for Bill, as inevitably the earth’s cure is in the eye of the storm. The only one who can take down the mind control is Bill, and of course, there is no way she’ll survive the ordeal. So in true Doctor style he spends the rest of the episode trying to find any way to fix things other than the solution Missy presented, one which Bill thinks is possibly the only way. This episode’s conclusion, though leaving me relatively satisfied, also left me with a feeling of dread. If they are willing to play the ‘almost death’ card for Bill so soon after playing it once before with the space zombies, what does that mean for Bill in later episodes of this series. The Doctor’s claim at the end of the episode that “In amongst seven billion, there’s someone like you. That’s why I put up with the rest of them.” in answer to Bill’s question doesn’t just show how much he cares, but also makes me worry for Bill. It is no secret that the more he cares the more your fate is sealed, and not in a good sense. Though I am probably getting ahead of myself!

Overall this episode brought more emotional scenes than I had expected, along with a relatively satisfying conclusion. I won’t ever get enough of Bill coming in and saving humanity, ever. I just hope that next time there is much less of a likelihood of her dying as a result!

Rating: 8/10


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