By Lee Travis
I don’t mind eating crow. And by the Doctor, did I eat so much crow this week. After last week’s less than an enjoyable episode, “The Eaters of Light,” I had several reservations going into the two-part finale of Series 10, Peter Capaldi, and Steven Moffat. “World Enough and Time” is an exciting episode that works for a Doctor Who novice (like me) to the hardcore Whovian. Regardless of the compelling backstory and lore that “World Enough and Time” explores, the episode is shocking, nerve-racking, and riveting.
*Full spoiler warning*
Within the first ten minutes, the talented and charismatic Bill is dead. No opening in Series 10 has had such a mic drop moment. Though our human heroine doesn’t remain deceased for long, the heart pounding (along with the missing titular organ) sets the tone for the rest of the adventure. As the Doctor has to deal with time displacement, he and Bill as separated by hundreds, if not thousands, of floors in a spaceship that spans 400 miles. Bill’s next few years of her human life is filled with turmoil, robots, and mystery while time hardly passes for the Doctor.
The Series 10 themes of redemption permeate all throughout “World Enough and Time” with the Doctor, Missy, Bill, and Razor, who is a resident of the lower levels in the massive colony ship. With time moving differently from floor to floor, due to the ship's proximity to a black hole (which does displace time in real life), we are presented with a tale of two timelines. Bill is trapped in the bowels of the vessel but repaired. She is still too weak to travel upwards, which is an arduous task, and is stuck in a ghoulish hospital while she recovers.
However, gloom doesn’t dominate the episode. The playful banter between Bill and Razor is an incredible ray of light in a dark, depressing environment. Over the years, the two grow closers and appreciate each other. Which only makes the cliffhanger ending hurt even more. Not all is what is seems. Razor is a previous incarnation of Missy (classic Time Lord trickery) and strips Bill’s humanity by converting her into a Cyberman.
With strong elements of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein throughout the “World Enough and Time,” the episode takes those classic themes of humanity and reverses them. Bill, our central human in Series 10, questions her new environment to learn more about not only where she is, but the urgency of these people to survive and march upwards in the ship. The gruesome operations, replacing both physical and emotional attributes of what makes a person a human, show the dastardly plan of The Master to create this army of robotic soldiers.
With the “World Enough and Time” being the first part of the Series finale, it exceeded all previous episodes. The climatic resolution that is coming in the next will change the landscape of Doctor Who for years to come. So, no pressure there.
What did you think about part 1 of the finale? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @lostthenumbers.