I am a fan of Doctor Who, no wait, a superfan at that. I have seen 98 percent of the classic Doctor Who episodes and all of the current "Nu Who" has its called in some circles. This season, for the most part, has done something spectacular, it's managed to bridge the gap between the past and the present. From seeing old classic who villains like the Daleks and the Ice Warriors to referencing the original Doctor (William Hartnell) his granddaughter Susan (Carol Ann Ford). And the trailer for this week's episode strongly hinted we were going to get the biggest case of past and future collide ever. Something for fans of "Nu who" and old Doctor Who alike. With not one, but two incarnations of The Master and the original Mondasian Cybermen last featured on screen way back in the 60s. This was the episode I couldn’t wait for most. This was the one I pinned the season on the most. So did I like it? Will you like it?
It's at this point I normally start by giving a brief overview of the episode. But I need to address something first. Way back before the first full trailer dropped I believe. One of the UK media had found out that John Simm's Masters was returning and it was the start of a series of small mistakes that would go to haunt this episode a little. Because once that very cat was out the bag, the first trailer then slotted him in it for a blink and you will miss it a moment, for the trailer climatic moment. The media also reported a rumor that the Mondasian Cybermen were due back as well. Reporting these two things helped to subdue an episode that could have broke the internet and thus the viewer's mind. So for that reason for the next season, I will attempt to not watch any trailers and try to avoid mainstream media.
This episode has a pre-credit scene I will talk about later on in my review because it’s a big one. So we find ourselves in space for the start of this adventure on a very very big ship on its way into a black hole. Missy leads her Tardis crew of Nardole and Bill on a rescue attempt while the three of them are guided by the Doctor, who is watching from within the Tardis. It's not long before all goes to hell very fast, as Bill is fatally shot in the heart, I guess you could say. Prompting something sinister and vaguely familiar to come out of the lift and take her to the other end of the ship to be repaired. It's while being repaired and recovering Bill meets the eccentric and funny Mr Razor. Mr Razor does explain that the front end of the ship and the rear end of the ship are traveling towards the black hole at two different speeds. The closer you are the slower you go. Meaning that Bill is stuck at the bottom of the ship with Mr Razor for a while. It's while she is with Mr Razor she learns what's happening to the people. People are slowly getting weaker and slowly converted into Cybermen and while Mr Razor seems like Bills only friend it turns out he is far from being a friend. In fact he is The Master in disguise. Helping to give us a strong ending of the old Master reveal and the tease of a team up with Missy and the shock of Billy being fully converted into a Cyberman.
What did I dislike about this episode? Well, very little as it was all done to a high standard and definitely one of the strongest endings of the revival we have had, but spoilers from the media took the shine off it in a big way for me and it might do the same for you. Also, the pre-credit scene of The Doctor starting a regeneration. It felt like we getting teased with no payoff. Just like the whole thing in the Monk trilogy. Which made me not care a little and the last thing I wanted was a long drawn out regeneration. David Tennant had all the specials to do his dying swan act and by the time his end came I was glad. I still felt emotion as I did in this episode, but I was only half in. So while some things failed for me personality, oh so many things worked and worked well.
The Cyberman were scary as hell again and not silly robots that stomped around. The slow reveal of them. The sock head, then the gloves and the metal cap and the emotions inhibitor were all just a great stroke of work by the writers and directors this time. Peter Capaldi gets outshined only due to his lack of screen time to John Simm's Mr Razor/Master. He made me forgot that weird power hungry over the top Superhero/Villain thing he did last time he was around and when he had a brief scene at the end with Missy. I found myself like a user, wanting more of that good stuff. I could have exploded with joy at a great episode.
When the credits rolled I shouted in my head that I wanted more. Too much was needed to be answered. Will we get a new Doctor? Will Bill be saved? Will the Master and Missy win? How many times will I re-watch this episode? The trailer hinted that we would see more Cyberman old and new and some sort of standoff. So this gave me one last question will "Nu Who" be able to deliver a good first and 2nd two parter? I need to lie down in a dark room and take it all in.
10/10 Shiny Stars