Doctor Who 10×07 continued the narrative started in the previous episode. Now that the Doctor knew about the alien monk things trying to take over the world, the next logical step was for them to attempt just that. But somewhere, mixed up in the whole domination plot, the world was actually nearing its end. Cue the Doctor, President of Earth, here to try to save us all. Still blind and lying about it, following his exposure earlier in the season, the Doctor ultimately failed as a hero in Doctor Who 10×07, leaving Bill to consent to the aliens’ takeover on his behalf. Aside from a few good lines and the massive outpouring of feeling toward the end, Doctor Who 10×07 failed in a lot of ways, too.
Logic? What’s that? A plot worth following? Meh. But hey: At least there’s a third episode in this mess of a serial! Thanks, Moffat.
So, to be clear: In Doctor Who 10×06, Simulation Bill’s first date with Penny was interrupted by the Pope. Now, in Doctor Who 10×07, her date ended prematurely because the Secretary General of the United Nations wanted to talk to the president. Nope, not that one. He’s not the U.N.’s president (or mine). The president in question was none other than the Doctor, president of the Earth.
I didn’t realize that was a thing. And please, for the love of God, don’t tell Drumpf that he has a larger title for the Russians to help him steal.
Once Bill’s weird, “let’s talk about the simulation I was trapped in last week” date was interrupted, President Doctor wasn’t far off. All it took was sneaking the TARDIS onto a plane — by no logical means — while he was inside of it, having an emo jam session with his guitar.
To be fair, those quotes about the end of the world were well-written. To be blunt and not remotely care about fairness, the rest of Doctor Who 10×07 wasn’t. Not in the least.
Doctor Who 10×07 could have raised a lot of interesting issues; the problem was, it tried to raise way too many.
Since a 5000-year-old pyramid appeared in a military hotspot, Bill and the Doctor quickly realized that something alien was to blame. Because they were on the lookout for the monks (really, we can’t come up with a better name?) following the whole simulation fiasco, the immediate assumption — and overly convenient plot point — was that said monks were the aliens to blame. This caused everyone to believe World War III was imminent and destined to cause the apocalyptic future that the aliens were kind enough to show us.
I mean, obviously, we should always believe the grilled-up monsters that want to lord over us when they show us “the future.” Furthermore, the Big Bad always shows up immediately after you’ve found out it’s planning to attack.
First, all of the big, tough military folks wanted to use a “show of strength” to divert the aliens’ attention away from us. Strength equals bombing the pyramid in which they were camped out, by the way. Did that work?
So, demonstrating strength isn’t going to help.
Nope. The chargrilled monsters just beamed the missiles and war planes right on down.
Was Doctor Who 10×07 supposed to be a commentary on war and/or humanity’s misguided belief that blowing things up means showing strength? You might think so, but then there was the whole, “hey, we’re distracted by war, when there’s really something going on at a biological level” bit. There was also the weird consent bit…which brings me to my next point.
Doctor Who 10×07 had a lot to say about consent. Let’s all hope it wasn’t a grossly misguided commentary on sexual consent, ok?
The alien flambé carcasses created the simulation garbage from episode six to help them better take over our world. Then, they actually came here and made a grand entrance via transporting an ancient pyramid to a war zone. But, like…Then, they decided to offer up their services to save humankind from imminent doom — but only if we consented to letting them dominate us.
After seeing the dystopian future, the Secretary General decided to hand over the planet. Unfortunately, his consent wasn’t good enough because it was given out of fear.
Gee, I wonder where the fear came from. Perhaps that whole Doomsday clock and “hey, you’re all dead soon anyway” vibe? Nah? Whatever.
You act out of fear. Fear is not consent.
Consent borne out of fear equals alien overlords don’t want you, so…they get to burn you to a crisp. Cool. A later attempt to give it up to the ugly dudes resulted in a similar punishment. This time, the consent was given out of strategy, which was also not good enough.
To rule, there must be love. Your consent must be pure.
If Doctor Who 10×07 wasn’t messy enough, this idea that “love equals ‘pure’ consent, equals being ruled” thing would really destroy it. The implications of that message, even within this weird alien takeover thing, are bizarre at best. If there’s supposed to be any message here, though…Yeah…Let’s not go there.
In Doctor Who 10×07, the apocalypse was happening because of bad lab etiquette.
This is bizarre.
Scientists were researching a bacteria that could kill any living thing, so that meant an overly-tired Science Bro should totally come to the lab. He should also go without goggles. And fail to wear a helmet after it was clear the toxin was on the loose. Also, what was with the lab’s automatic ventilation system being set to release the stupid thing into the air? That’s…not the way to do this. That’s not how this works at all.
After massive amounts of Googling, the Doctor was able to find the lab in question. His brilliant plan, once he learned that there was no way to stop the “safety” measures from contaminating the Earth with lethal bacteria, was to simply blow the place up.
So, we’re back to the “exploding things saves lives” logic from the not-WWIII section of the plot.
Once he activated his bomb, the Doctor had very little time to escape the lab. He was foiled by a combination lock, thanks to his inability to tell the truth to anyone (except Nardole) when it came to his blindness. Like, Erica probably could have warned him about the lock, thus leaving a chance to make an alternate plan, had he put aside his pride to tell the truth. But nah.
Rule number one: The Doctor lies.
Doctor Who 10×07 ended with Bill giving consent — whatever that even means at this point — to the crispy critters. It was the only way to save the Doctor, given that Nardole was unreachable, having been exposed to the bacteria. (Do we know whether he’s dead or just unconscious? Either way, Nardole deserved better.)
After getting what they wanted, the aliens were even “kind” enough to restore the Doctor’s eyesight. Yay? Oh, Benevolent Kentucky Fried Overlords, thank you for allowing the Doctor to see again. Now, he will be able to navigate his adventures without a sidekick along to state the obvious for him. And without every idiot around him failing to realize something is obviously off.
Really, this is a mess.
I don’t know what consenting allows them to do to you. You don’t know what you’re agreeing to!
Exactly, Doctor. And same.
The few good things in Doctor Who 10×07: good quotes and big feels.
- The Doctor’s utter sense of self-defeat when he realized his blindness was going to cost him his ability to save the world, aka one of Peter Capaldi’s best played bits to date. Good angst. More of this, less…whatever the plot was supposed to be. Please.
- “How would I know the president? I wouldn’t have even voted for him. He’s…orange.” Doctor Who 10×07 went there. Pretty sure this is proof that, much like the Doctor, Bill wouldn’t be a fan of 2017 America. Hashtag blessed.
- “The end of your life has already begun. There is a last place you will ever go, a last door you will ever walk through, a last sight you will ever see.” Emo Doctor musings are prettily written.
- “I’m busy thinking.” He gets me.
- “It’s not my first dead planet.” Heh.
- “Yes. Well, it’s been doomed before. Guess what happened! Me.” I love him.
- The Doctor’s pure glee when preparing to blow up that lab? Priceless.
- “Sit down and Google!” And Nardole did just that, becoming Doctor Who 10×07’s version of a Willow Rosenberg or Penelope Garcia.
- “I’m totally the president of the Earth!” No, really. Gleeful Twelve is my favorite.
- “I made a mistake! I have to face that!” A thing the Doctor realizes, even though “superheroes” on certain other series basically never do. Brilliant.
That’s it for Doctor Who 10×07.
Make sure to tune in to the next all-new episode of Doctor Who to find out if Nardole’s dead or just close to it…and maybe even learn what exactly “consent” means to the aliens with the cigarette ash faces.
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