Synopsis of 10×11: We’re almost to the end, and Moffat is pulling out all the stops. Missy makes a new (old?) friend, Bill gets an upgrade, and some truly Classic villains make an appearance.
The set-up: The Doctor and crew are giving Missy a spin at being good. They arrive at a random distress call that is nearing a black hole, only to be attacked by a blue man. Said blue man is not human, therefore probably connected to Dah-rren from “Oxygen.” Or is he? Who cares, because he shoots Bill.
Ok, as we’ve said before, Bill is the new Rory. She dies every two or three episodes, so her getting a giant hole shot through her is not surprising. Nor is her return to life. She has a giant piece of tech in her chest now. Also, she was clearly shot in the stomach, so why do they keep talking about her heart?
Bill is taken down to the bottom floors of a 400-mile long ship. Time travels differently here, with the top end accelerated by the black hole. Ten minutes in the Doctor’s time is many year in Bill’s. Luckily, Mr. Razor, a strange-looking, heavily accented man becomes Bill’s companion. Together, they clean the halls, mop the hospital floors, and watch the Doctor slowly moving on a CCTV.
Bill waits for the Doctor, as he instructed, and eventually is converted to a Mondassian Cyberman. These are the original Cyberman, those who wore cloths on their heads, and gloves on their hands. Frankly, they’re terrifying.
The Doctor, on the other hand, finishes out his plot quite quickly, since in 10 minutes he figures most everything out. Together, the three dash to the basement, only to discover it’s too late to save Bill.
Missy, on the other hand makes a separate discovery. Mr. Razor isn’t who he led us all to believe. He’s in fact, John Sim as the Master. Surprise! Or not, since his guest appearance has been talked about for a while now. How much better would it have been had we never known!
So my questions are:
1: Will Missy turn good? They’ve been hinting at it all season, and I’ve theorized before that she’ll turn so good that she’ll commit bad deeds in the name of goodness. Is that now?
2: How did the Master know they would be there? And how long did he wait? The long-game he’s playing is insane.
3: Will Bill die? Companions have never crossed over with the showrunner. So our beloved Bill might have actually met her end in this one?
4: Who is the Doctor regenerating into? The episode opens with him alone in the snow, regenerating bit by bit, his hair all afloat and crazy. But no replacement has been announced.
5: Is Moffat hinting at a female Doctor? There’s a discussion between Bill and the Doctor about Time Lords and gender. And we’ve seen two Time Lords change gender already. Will we finally get a female Doctor?
I love call backs to Classic villains and this is one of the best. 1960’s Cybermen never scare me, because you could see through the 1960s limitations of costuming and tech. But these Cybermen, at the beginning of their rise, are peak creepy.
This episode seems like a wonderful penultimate episode for Capaldi. Clara was shot, and Bill was shot. He couldn’t save either of his companions. How will he process all this loss?