Extremis
Episode / May 21, 2017

Aired 20 May 2017 SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW Steven Moffat has taken the opportunity in each of Peter Capaldi’s three years as the Twelfth Doctor to bend expectations and show a Doctor in a much more raw and defenceless state than is usual. After ‘Listen’ explored a mental vulnerability and ‘Heaven Sent’ explored the lengths to which an isolated Doctor would go even when countless versions of himself could not directly benefit from his actions, ‘Extremis’ once more shows a more susceptible Time Lord at the brink of death to set the scene for the first 2017 multi-episode story of Doctor Who. Indeed, without swerving into the sometimes blisteringly chaotic pacing and shifts in location that have defined some of Moffat’s bigger episodes, ‘Extremis’ continues the slower and more deliberate stylings of this year’s offerings to tell what end up being two disparate plot points and bringing them to the point of dovetailing. In doing so, the mystery of the Vault’s occupant is apparently revealed (though the Vault has yet to be opened and someone or something could be there alongside Missy), and ‘Extremis’ confidently delves into a flashback that initially toys with the prospect the Doctor being executed on a…