daibhidc: (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] daibhidc

The opening scene is good - a dark twist on the tendency toward opening narration we've been seeing from the Doctor lately. It quickly becomes clear this is a memory alteration thing rather than a time travel one, and Bill (amongst others) remembers the truth.

The Doctor's speech about why he'd thrown in with the Monks was cleverly done. (Even if why he'd actually done so was never really explained.) His stating he wasn't totally keen on their methods, but they got results, made it a lot more plausible than if he'd been praising them to the rafters, in which case you could just think "Affected by the mind control". And then he passes Bill's Bluff the Imposter question, which according to the rules of narrative, should mean that everything he's saying is true.

The fake regeneration, of course, was just outright trolling.

(We will, of course, move swiftly on from the fact that the Monks displayed their mistrust of the Doctor by leaving him unobserved while he turned the guards and plotted with Nardole. Even if, as revealed later, they're short-handed, that's a bit of an oversight.)

Given Nardole's usual fussing about the Vault, I'm surprised he didn't make more of a protest about consulting with Missy. And obviously, Missy's solution is to kill someone. I did roll my eyes slightly at her disparaging the Doctor's version of "good" as "vain, arrogant, sentimental", all apparently things she would never be. Well, one out of three ain't bad.

(Side note: I've never seen Into the Woods, but I once read a bit about it in a Discworld fanzine. Apparently, the Witch dismisses the characters who won't make hard choices as "you're not Good, you're just Nice" whereas "I'm not Good, I'm not Nice, I'm just Right". There's something of that here, I think.)

Since Extremis, Pyramid and Lie were originally three separate stories, it was quite neat that the Kill Bill solution does actually tie into the whole consent bit from Pyramid. It also leads to - sigh - the Power of Love ending. Which, you know, is one of those.

I'm a bit disappointed that two theories I saw online didn't pan out: the idea that the Monks would turn out to be the Original Cybermen (who also open their mouths to speak, but don't move their lips - and yes, I suppose they may yet...) and the idea that, with the deal broken, the Monks would withdraw from their side of the bargain, making the second restoration of the Doctor's sight as short-lived as the first.

I mostly enjoyed this one, although it has a lot of elements that don't quite come together; much as I think the Monk Trilogy as a whole ended up being slightly less than the sum of its parts. Never mind, Ice Warriors next week!
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Daibhid C

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