03rd Jul2017

‘Doctor Who 10×12: The Doctor Falls’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


So, the season finale is here and we all knew that Doctor Who was going to die. It isn’t a surprise, Peter Capaldi is leaving, as is Steven Moffat. With just the Christmas episode to go before Doctor Who returns in an all new form, does this episode live up to all expectations? Oh, and what of the expected regeneration?

With Bill (Pearl Mackie) seemingly a Cyberman, and The Masters (John Sims and Michelle Gomez) in control, how can The Doctor find a way out? The answer is of course, quite easily and with the help of Bill and Nardole (Matt Lucas) he fights to help a tiny band of humans from being “upgraded” by the Cybermen.

With all the focus on how The Doctor will regenerate, and who he will be played by, it was hard to really concentrate on the story in this episode. This may be why the story itself did feel quite weak. What was more important though was the questions of what would happen to Bill, The Masters, and of course Nardole.

Firstly, Matt Lucas deserves a lot of credit in this episode, he stood tall in an episode where there were some good actors all vying for attention. There was a lot of focus on his character of Nardole, as in many ways he was the unnoticed one who could get stuff done while all hell was breaking loose around him. What we saw from Lucas and his character though was heart, and that was important in an impossible situation.

In many episodes this season he has been the one to talk sense into The Doctor and many times even tell him off for being reckless. We see this again here, and it really is moving. He knows he is arguing against something he can’t win though, which will touch the hearts of Doctor Who fans.

The fate of The Masters is an interesting one, especially when we knew Michelle Gomez was quitting the role after this season. I won’t say how it ends, but it is a fitting way not only to answer what would become of the John Simm version, but also how Gomez would leave this episode.

I’m a fan of The Master in all his forms, so I have to admit this was a very fitting way to deal with the two characters. Oh, and yes, they were fabulous together in every scene they were in. It does have to be said though that Gomez had much of the hard work to do in this episode. The conflict she feels is very evident in the way Gomez portrays Missy, and her final decision works well.

How does it all end for Bill? I’m sure that some would call this ending a bit of a cheat, but I like it. It is an ending that connects to the first episode’s and actually leaves the door open for the future. I know I’ll be one fan wanting her to return to Doctor Who, but when will that be? We’ll have to see.

With all the star power on show, The Doctor’s ending is an interesting one, but before we get to that Capaldi shows off what made him so good as the character. We have his heroic monologues and we have him arguing with The Masters why they should fight a war they know they can’t win. It says a lot about the character and just what Doctor Who as a show stands for, which is a fitting end.

So, the regeneration? I can’t spoil it really, and that is all I will say. It is nice to see that they set up the Christmas episode though, and confirmed something we already knew about it. The Doctor may have fallen, but he has one more story to tell.

While The Doctor Falls may not be one of the best episodes of the show, it is a fitting end to this season. We see Peter Capaldi going up against not only The Cybermen, but also two versions of The Master. With so many Easter eggs hidden in the episode harkening back to the other incarnations of The Doctor, I’m sure this is one episode people will watch again and again.

***** 5/5

Doctor Who will return in a Christmas special at the end of the year.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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