Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Sunday Doctor Who Review


I will be discussing my thoughts and feelings of the Doctor Who episode "Extremis" after the cut. I will not worry about spoiling the plot, so read at your own risk.


Doctor Who: "Extremis" - The Doctor gets a very strange email.

Well, I guess we know for sure who's in the vault. The only thing we don't know is how long she's been in there. That doesn't seem nearly as important, but it still could be vital in the future.

After the pre-credits scenes, I turned to my husband and said, "That was really odd." He said, "I've heard it gets more odd." Sure enough... All the scenes with Missy can be pulled out and looked at on their own. Doing that makes the rest a little less crazy, in my mind, although it's pretty nutso. The Missy bits are actually really straightforward, although Nardole's part in it, having been sent by River, seems a little off to me. How did he, or she, know what was happening?

The executioners were not at all pleasant. I was initially amused by the opening monologue and how it turned around to reveal them as executioners, but their role in this whole thing makes them just another enemy. I do wonder how Missy got herself captured and sent to them, though. And why they thought The Doctor would just do their bidding.

At least we know why Nardole knows about the oath. He was there. But here's the thing - what is such an oath to The Doctor? He's a man who ran out on his people, even when he was their leader. He swore an oath as a Time Lord of the Prydonian Chapter, but what's that worth, really? Remember, The Doctor lies.

The story itself is very Fortean. Are we living in a simulation? The test was disturbing. Why wouldn't the monks have wanted to spread the information? If the suicides were actually an act of defiance, wouldn't they have tried to get the word out? I'm a little confused as to the sequence of events as depicted. Why would the aliens run the simulation far back enough for monks to create the test?

Speaking of monks, the whole "running around with the Pope" and "That's the Pope in your bedroom" thing was freaking hilarious. Yes, that alone made the episode worth watching, even if it was really silly.

I have hated the sonic sunglasses since they were introduced, but finally they have a point in this episode. They certainly don't give him his sight back, but at least they give him something to work with. I liked the views from his glasses that we were given, with the data that was sometimes not at all useful and sometimes very useful.

Nardole was interesting in this episode, finally filling a role in his own unique way. I liked the interaction between him and Bill, as they seem to have come to an understanding if not a sense of comradeship. I think Nardole is feeling guilty that he can't tell Bill about the Doctor being blind.

The random numbers thing... let's not go too deeply into how silly it is. As a plot device, it works. It's simply and yet compelling. As a real thing, it's just annoying and wrong, and common sense could tell you that - as well as computer programmers. Yes, computers have difficulty with random numbers, but not THAT much difficulty. I'll let it slide, but it was a weak point in an otherwise interesting episode.

So, what we've got here is a very strange episode with lots of strange things happening that aren't really happening because they are just one version of reality. Presumably, in the real world, the Shadow Test would fail and therefore the monks wouldn't have committed suicide and ... I'm getting really confused.

From the trailer for next week, this is a continuing story. Maybe the future episodes will affect how I think about this one.

TL;DR summary - I've got mixed feelings about this one, but overall, I'm not sure I liked it.