World Enough and Time

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    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well, here’s my random impressions of World Enough & Time.

    It starts out quite light-hearted and slightly camp, with Missy’s usual black humour –
    (In passing, top marks for the excellent special effects for the giant ship and the control room.)
    MISSY: Hello. I’m Doctor Who. And these are my plucky assistants, Thing One and the Other One.
    BILL: Yeah, we’re not, we’re not assistants.
    MISSY: Okay, right, so, so what does he call you? Companions? Pets? Snacks?

    And Missy teases Bill (us?) with the Doctor’s ‘real’ name

    – and the banter continues – until the blue alien idiot shoots a hole in Bill. (That stunned me, when I first saw it. About as much as the ending of Easy Rider. This is not going to be a fun Butch-Cassidy-in-Space romp at all, is it?)

    The Doctor’s obsession with the Master/Missy is beautifully described in the scene in the kitchen with Bill and Nardole. But the whole episode is so well-written, with really tight dialogue, if I quoted one line I’d have to quote hundreds. (But I do love Missy’s ‘Because if somebody kills you and it’s not me, we’ll both be disappointed.’)

    And even after the horrors of the post-op ward (with its patients silently screaming), the Moff can still make me burst out laughing –
    RAZOR: You were sick, very sick. Broken. Heart broken. New heart. Good, is it?
    BILL: I haven’t dared look yet.
    RAZOR: Is good. Is very good. Shiny. You can carry it off. Not everybody can. For some people, it all goes a bit, you know –
    BILL: What?
    RAZOR: Vending machine.

    Oh, and I can’t help myself:
    MISSY: Hello, ordinary person. Please maintain a minimum separation of three feet. I’m really trying not to kill anyone today, but it would be tremendously helpful if your major arteries were out of reach.

    But the final scene – where we get the reveal of the Mondassian cybermen, and the Master, and – most shocking of all, that Bill is now a cyberman (all those things were hinted at, but maybe I didn’t want to admit the possibility) – that was like a punch in the stomach. I was sure Bill would be rescued, somehow. I can’t recall any other episode that toyed with my emotions so, not even Face the Raven.

    And in the midst of it all were genuinely clever lines that had me chuckling.

    Incidentally, after initially doubting the mechanics of the time shift, I now realise it was all correct in physics terms. Even the motion of the lifts was in accordance with the way time dilation would operate. (The lift that the Doctor sonicked to go to the rescue was maybe an exception, but he is a Time Lord after all).

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    I see the last post on this was – me. But my brief comments below are slightly different this time so I’ll post them anyway.

    A unique mixture of horror and comedy. The exchanges between the Doctor, Missy, Bill and Nardole are genuinely funny.
    In fact the episode is shaping up to be a comedy classic right up to the point where Bill suddenly has a big hole where her heart used to be.

    The scenes in the ward are best described as slow creeping horror, as we gradually realise what the medical procedures imply. I can’t remember the point at which I suspected the Cybermen, maybe not until the final reveal. Even though Razor used the magic word ‘upgraded’.

    I do recall, having seen a photo of the original Mondassian cybermen in the past, thinking that was the lamest ‘monster’ suit ever, painfully obviously just extras in overalls. I couldn’t understand the Moff’s high regard for them. But now, having seen their development in this episode from ordinary surgical procedures, they are frighteningly convincing, absolutely logical, and the scariest Cybermen of all.

    I didn’t suspect Razor of being the Master until his reveal, either. He was quite a sympathetic, if quirky, character – until he wasn’t.

    I think the Moff has got the mechanics of black hole gravitational time dilation absolutely right, by the way. Though it took me quite a bit of reflection after first watching the episode to get it straight in my mind. It’s General Relativity, not Special, by the way. Or at least I think so. I assume the ship has powerful anti-grav shields that stop it being torn apart by tidal forces. Can’t help thinking shields would screw with the time dilation too, or maybe not, my brain boggles at this point, but it’s sci fi, what the hell.

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