Doctor Who 10×06 is a very Moffat episode. So, if you’re into far-too ambitious stories that have more twists and turns than substance, you probably loved it. Otherwise, you might’ve spent the majority of Doctor Who 10×06 tweeting things like this. Or maybe you went with something a little shorter, like this. Either way, we’re here to try to figure out what, out of the whole mess, might have been worth remembering. But don’t worry. If you have no idea what the “Extremis” plot was supposed to be, it doesn’t matter much. Because luckily, most of this never happened.
Doctor Who 10×06 is a bad figment of some alien race’s simulated imagination. I think?
So, the Pope comes to visit the Doctor because he needs someone to translate the Veritas. Forget the fact that, as of the previous episode, the Doctor is too blind to do that. Since he has his (otherwise silly) sonic sunglasses to
hide behind help him see, the Doctor is still totally the right person to ask to read the thing. Who else would willingly read something that’s caused its previous readers to commit suicide anyway?
Right. Whoever those guys at the Pentagon, about to commit suicide, were. That’s who.
While the Doctor’s busy zapping himself to get temporary eyesight so he can do some not-so-light reading, Nardole and Bill go exploring. They’re magically transported from the Vatican to the Pentagon, where they find some folks who are ready to explode themselves. But then they’re back in some random white room, where Nardole realizes the whole thing is a simulation and promptly disappears after pixelating.
Bill’s left behind, but eventually she apparates to the White House, where the president has taken some pills and, subsequently, dropped dead. (Sadly, Doctor Who 10×06 didn’t really happen, if you get my drift.)
Bill meets the Doctor in the White House — because he’s just appeared here, too — and he tells her his whole spiel about how he knows he and Bill are fake because they’ve both recited the same random numbers. Something, something. Computers are bad at numbers. And this is where people remove themselves from the game — when they’ve realized they’re actually not real. Via suicide…but it’s not real suicide because nothing is real, I guess?
I don’t know.
The Doctor knows he’s not real, but he can’t exactly kill himself. So, here we are.
Once Bill’s back in reality, the Doctor comes face-to-face with the creepy alien monster-of-the-week…things. Or one of them. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter because it’s not real.
The whole point of the simulation — yes, Doctor Who 10×06 tries to act like it has a point — is that the aliens are coming to attack the Earth and are using this to “assess the abilities of the resident population.” But, as the Doctor tells one of ugly ol’ burnt-faced things, their simulation is just too good. Since the Doctor himself has gotten into this thing and has his sonic sunglasses on-hand, he can email himself all about the threat. There are about 6 billion logic fails here, but I’ll go with them all because the Doctor said some pretty, flowery things in the process.
Also, there’s this:
So, forget everything that supposedly happened in Doctor Who 10×06. The plot was virtually non-existent, at least in any remarkable sense. But we now know what our Big Bad probably is going forward. Emphasis on the probably part. These whatever-they-are aliens have been put on notice, though, and that’s the bottom line.
Consider this a warning on the eve of war. I am the Doctor. I am what stands between you and them.
Oh, and the Doctor may just have an ally in this war. Either that, or everything is about to get even worse for him. Either way.
Remember this line from the second episode of the season?
A thing happened. As the result of the thing, I made a promise. As a result of the promise, I have to stay on Earth.
Doctor Who 10×06 finally showed us what that “thing” was. More importantly, it revealed the nature of the promise and also solved the mystery of what was in the vault. Through a series of flashbacks, we learned that the Doctor had promised to look after Missy’s body for 1000 years. What he didn’t promise was that he’d actually let his friend be killed.
The Doctor always lies, after all.
At the time of what was supposed to be her death, Missy had pleaded with the Doctor to teach her how to be good. She’d also told him she was his friend. Well. Now’s the time to put up or shut up because the Doctor needs help.
Missy, if it comes down to it. If you’re all I’ve got left and I need your help…You said you were my friend.
Something’s coming, Missy. But I’m blind. How can I save them when I’m lost to the dark?
All of this raises the question of exactly how many of the promised 1000 years have actually passed. Then, there’s the issue of whether Missy will be more harm than help. Oh yeah…and what happens when the Doctor lets his prisoner out early?
Most importantly of all, will we be free of these wtf plots when Moffat’s gone? Please.
More thoughts on Doctor Who 10×06:
- Seriously, nobody was smart enough to figure out that the Doctor couldn’t see anything? Not even when he asked otherwise stupid questions or when Nardole was always explaining the obvious? I’d say “seems fake,” but since the whole plot was fake, that’d be a waste.
- “I’ve just been executed. Show a little respect.” I love Missy. Now, if the Master could regenerate to this preciously sassy woman, why can’t the Doctor be a woman? The gang and I have even given y’all some options to argue over with us. Shameless plug. Clicky.
- “Funny. I don’t believe much. I’m not sure I believe anything. But right now, belief is all I have.” He gets me.
- “Maybe all my future regenerations will be blind.” Will someone actually notice if they are? Seriously, how did nobody notice???
- “Maybe I won’t regenerate. Maybe I’ll drop dead in 20 minutes, but…” Well, both of those are verified fake.
- “Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage. Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit, without hope, without witness, without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis. This is what he believes, and this is the reason, above all, I love him.” River’s journal. All the feels.
- “I have very strict rules about men.” “Probably not as strict as mine.” Yep. Still love Bill.
- “Assume nothing. Assumption makes an ass out of you.” Notice he doesn’t add the “and me” to that saying.
- “Memories are so much worse in the dark.” Yep. He totally gets me. More of this, less…whatever Doctor Who 10×06’s “plot” was supposed to be.
- “Life can be a cunning enemy.” The folks with the X-Files-style emo voiceover totally get me, too.
That’s about as much sense as we can make out of Doctor Who 10×06. Anyone want to fill in some blanks?
Will the Doctor and Missy defeat the weird Matrix-creating alieums? Will Bill get to have a real date with Penny now that the Doctor has told her the other girl’s not out of her league? Can Peter Capaldi go back to working on going out with a bang, rather than going out with an epic level of Moffat-style nonsense?