The Lie of the Land
Episode / June 5, 2017

Aired 03 June 2017 SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW Toby Whithouse’s ‘The Lie of the Land’ is tasked with rounding out the loosely-linked Monks trilogy, one that has so far seen a virtual invasion dry run and the heartbreaking events leading up to humanity unknowingly accepting a world in which the Monks have always benevolently guided them. Six months into this changed dystopian version of events with the Doctor seemingly acting as the chief propagandist for the Monks and their cause, Bill finds herself guided by her belief in the Doctor and the mother she never knew as she continues to question the facts before her. As Bill and Nardole quite easily find and gain entry to the hub of the Doctor’s communications, it’s worth noting just how strong the argument is that he makes in the Monks’ favour given his usual abhorrence to any such stratagem or outcome. Sprinkling in plenty of not-so-subtle allusions to present-day affairs, Capaldi shines as he emotionally decrees that humans continue to make the same mistakes time and time again and that history is littered with warnings against fascism. Unfortunately, after an equally-brilliant counterargument from Bill that the Doctor’s foundation has always been built upon individual…

The Pyramid at the End of the World
Episode / May 28, 2017

Aired 27 May 2017 SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW Building off the virtual events of ‘Extremis,’ ‘The Pyramid at the End of the World’ brings the threat of the Monks into the real world in a wonderfully tense episode predicated upon misdirection. As a 5,000-year-old pyramid appears in a war-torn region of the world and the doomsday clock continues to near midnight, Earth’s major powers must unite to decide if the Monks represent devastation or salvation. This is, of course, a story in which the ending will be the major talking point, but to ignore the preceding events would be a tremendous disservice to the work co-writers Peter Harness and Steven Moffat put into crafting an emotionally charged situation in a world on the brink of destruction. Given that so little of ‘Extremis’ actually happened to the Doctor and Bill in the real world, ‘The Pyramid at the End of the World’ cleverly interlaces the present with those previous events to explain just how much the characters know while bringing everyone into their necessary positions as the UN Secretary General humorously interrupts Bill’s date with Penny and the Doctor in his TARDIS is unknowingly taken aboard a plane through office windows that…