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[personal profile] selenay
I don't think it's spoilery to say WOW. But I can't say any more than that without going into spoilers, so I'm going behind a cut.


I keep thinking we've hit the best episode of the season and then a new best one appears and I revise my opinion. I'm really not sure how they better this one, though, although I really hope they try, because this episode deserves an amazing second.

The episode was fantastic. Horrific and terrifying and breath-taking, so it's not going to be an easily rewatchable, but fantastic.

First, though, I need to talk about the thing that might have soured it for some, namely, the POC character has been given the awful fate. I can definitely understand why it's upsetting for some fans. Doctor Who finally has an amazing black woman as a regular, she's queer and visible, and she's been turned into a Cyberman. If they don't find a way to undo that next week, I will join the anger. BUT. It was also, narratively, the only choice they had. For this episode to have the full hit of body horror and terror, someone had to be cyberised. It couldn't be the Doctor, Missy, or Nardole, because they're not human. It could have been a damsel of the week, but the impact wouldn't have been there. It had to be a regular. That meant it had to be Bill. So I understand the anger, but I don't think there was another character they could have used without losing a lot of the impact of that final, awful moment, or the dread I felt as I slowly realised that Bill *had* to be converted, it was where this story had to go.

Trust me, I adore Bill to pieces and I will be right there with everyone if she isn't fixed by the end of next week's episode. The first regular black queer woman on the show can't be left with such an awful fate, not without sending a lot of messages that are pretty shitty.

Leaving that aside, this episode was brilliant.

That scene in the infirmary, with the half-cyberised men screaming their pain AND HAVING THEIR CRIES TURNED OFF was horrific. Gut churning. It made the knowledge of what was coming even worse. And utilising the unsophisticated, laughable look of the original Mondasian Cybermen and making it so utterly terrifying? That was a piece of genius.

I figured out the time dilation thing fairly early, but that's because I'm a nerd. I suspect there will have been a fair few viewers who wouldn't have figured it out. Actual proper physics as plot point! It made me very happy. Seriously, this episode made me do geeky joy things in so many places.

I didn't figure out who Mr Razor was, though. I knew the eyes looked weirdly familiar, and I knew this was the episode where the Master came back, but I didn't put those together until Mr Razor appeared behind Missy and I went "OH SHIT". Well done, guys. I am not entirely sure the disguise thing totally worked, bearing in mind how long he would have had to keep it up around Bill, but still. Good work.

And hey, it's totally a Master thing. He did disguises so many times :-)

I was almost starting to think Missy's turn was real. Certainly I wanted to believe in it, at least, although that's more because of the Doctor's speech about how much he's missed his best friend. It was when he said that she'd been so busy destroying all the stars that she never looked at them that really got to me.

And in a way, I'm not 100% sure she's actually on Simm!Master's team. I think (or maybe hope?) she's still torn, possibly playing him to see where it goes and how she can undermine him. It would be a Missy thing to do.

(I'm still half convinced that Michelle Gomez is the new Doctor, in some weird Doctor-Master mash-up, but I haven't figured out how that will work yet.)

I've missed a dozen things, I'm sure. This episode had so much! It really was totally compelling. And as hard as it will be to rewatch, I also think it's one I'll need to rewatch to pick up on all the tiny details I missed the first time.

I didn't watch next week's trailer. I'm avoiding spoilers, so please don't spoil in the comments!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-25 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] selcaby
True about the black character meeting the awful fate. But the blue character was spared, apparently because he wasn't as human as everyone else. Which, yeah, maybe, technically, but he comes across as human; last time we met someone blue, there was a conversation about racism.

Totally agree it had to be Bill, on balance. But I suspect she's not going to be cured, but instead will go out heroically, c.f. Danny Pink. Because if you can undo cyber-conversion, it becomes less frightening.

(Are the blue people related to the ones in The End of the World?)

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