Peter Capaldi‘s time as The Doctor is coming to an end with the recently released episode, “World Enough and Time,” opening with the Twelfth Doctor about to regenerate and the episodes in this two-parter showing how this event occurring.
The Doctor receives a distressed call from a large colony ship passing a black hole and the Time Lord see this as a perfect opportunity to test Missy (Michelle Gomez) in the field. The situation quickly escalates when Bill (Pearl Mackie) is shot and taken to the bottle of the ship where time moves much faster because of the black hole. The Doctor, Missy and Nardole (Matt Lucas) need to find a way to save Bill whilst Bill sees horrific scenes in the colony hospital.
“World Enough and Time” is the darkest episode in Series 10 so far and, as someone who likes their Doctor Who being dark, it was greatly appreciated. Some of my favourite episodes in the modern series include “Dalek”, “Blink” and “Heaven Sent,” episodes that are filled with atmosphere and either have a great threat or pushes The Doctor to his limit.
Steven Moffat is in his element with this episode, making something dark, complicated, full of twists and combining ideas from both the modern and classic eras. When Moffat is at his best he makes tightly formed stories and this episode used the series rich mythology.
The majority of the episode is told from Bill’s perspective because she is taken to a hospital and ends up having a life support machine attached to her, preventing her from leaving. It is a dark sequence because Bill sees people in bandages and through a voice box hears their agony.
Life in the bottom of the ship is one of disease and decay because of the time distortion. The people that lived in this polluted environment were the descendants of the original crew and have to take desperate measures to survive.
It’s a similar situation to the one facing humanity in the Series 3 episode “Utopia.” The twist at the end of the episode was like what happened to Amy Pond in “The Girl Who Waited.” It’s wonderfully tragic.
Moffat also has to be praised for how he reintroduces a classic foe of The Doctor’s and how they came to be whilst keeping their original design. It is an inventive way to explain why these beings have a kitschy design and the follow-up episode should hopefully show how and why they evolve.
Michelle Gomez was again having a blast as Missy and with the writing by Moffat made it seem like she was breaking the fourth wall. She called herself Doctor Who because it cuts out the middle man when The Doctor says his name and people answer, ‘Doctor? Doctor Who?‘ Missy also boils down what Bill and Nardole’s roles are with The Doctor into one simple definition.
Series 10 marks the third time Rachel Talalay has directed the series finale for Doctor Who and each time she seems to be improving. Series 8 had an awful finale, Series 9 had a great start with “Heaven Sent” but ruined its follow-up episode, so hopefully, third time’s the charm for her. Talalay got to use a lot of special effects for showing the exterior and interior of the colony ship and it was money well spent for the show.
Talalay also nailed the horror atmosphere within the hospital – giving the institution a slightly historical look: the corridors are dark and concrete and the patients and nurses were wearing 19th-century outfits. Talalay also got the look of streets of the colony ship, having smog fill the air and the people, including children, are sick and dying. Depressing in a good way.
“World Enough and Time” is the best episode of the series so far: it is an episode who like Doctor Who to be atmospheric and ambitious. Hopefully, Moffat and Talalay don’t stuff up the ending like they did with “Heaven Sent” and “Hell Bent.” A returning cast member does give fans high hopes.