The latest episode of Doctor Who took us into a world of dystopia and fake news, only slightly different from our own due to it being caused by zombie space monks rather than, say an orange businessman. Let’s talk about the truths revealed to the Doctor and Bill in our weekly spoiler-filled chat thread!
OK, so hands up: the fakeout that was like, pretty much the first 15 minutes of “The Lie of the Land” might be one of the trolliest moments in Doctor Who history, where I’m not quite sure if I’m annoyed or delighted at the major fakeout — the Doctor siding with the Monks, Bill’s nightmarish survival of their Dystopian rule, and even the much hyped and heavily teased moment of Regeneration — being nothing more than a frankly outrageous scenario the Doctor dragged poor Bill through. I’m amazed she didn’t knock him flat on his back then and there. But at the same time, it was excellently done: Pearl Mackie has become such a joy to watch on this show, week in, week out. And the anger and horror and grief she put on display in the moment she pulled the trigger solidified her as one of the greatest companions the show has had in quite a while.
Post-fakeout though, “The Lie of the Land” became a bit humdrum, with the Monks, built up as being so horrifyingly sinister, being about as much of a threat as a damp paper bag as the Doctor and his tiny resistance carved a clean path right through to their “love conquers all” climax. Yes, it’s another one of those kinds of endings, which going by your taste for sentiment is either infuriating or just sort of overdone on Doctor Who at this point.
As a mushy sap who can cry at the drop of a hat, I lean more towards the latter, but even though this Monk trilogy didn’t really count for all that much in the end — other than some very intriguing hints about where Missy is going this season — “The Lie of the Land” was mostly made worth it for another truly fantastic performance from Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie. I’ve said before that these two are so good together they can make average Who brilliantly engaging to watch, and the focus on them once more in this trilogy has only served to prove that point further. For me, season 10 has only rarely faltered, but even when it does, the Doctor and Bill’s relationship always shines.
We’ll have more on “The Lie of the Land” in our recap, but for now, let us know your thoughts in the comments below!