After a trip sideways into a false world last week, Doctor Who thrust itself into the here and now for this week—and after some slow-burning intrigue, it ramped up the villainous Monk’s plans all the way to 11. Let’s talk about just how the hell the Doctor and Bill will get out of this one in our weekly, spoiler-packed discussion thread!
“The Pyramid at the End of the World”—a title so long I already regret having typed it out twice—started out as an extremely slow burn, even more than last week’s “Extremis”, which was already a lot of set up for this trio of stories. But even then, it managed to weave the tenseness of the doomsday scenario hanging over the world’s head—and, for once, interestingly played with the sham nature of the Doctor’s “President of Earth” title, and how little it means when humanity’s back is really against the wall—and the gut-clenchingly inevitable nature of the subplot between hapless scientists Erica and Douglas felt like it did a much better job of setting up the creepiness of how the Monks themselves operate (And their strange desire for consent and love before, you know, invading the world and enthralling it under their decaying thumbs).
Honestly, as intriguing as the idea of the doomsday the Monks were predicting being a harmless accident in a lab is, what makes the climax of this middle-part in the Monk trilogy is the complete and utter hell it puts Bill through. Season 10 has been completely okay with baptising its new companion in fire: from facing the harsh realities of life with the Doctor in “Thin Ice”, to the bleak near-death experience of “Oxygen”, and now the revelation of not just the Doctor’s lie about his blindness, but her willingness to sacrifice everything just to give him a new chance to save the day. Bill’s come out of her tribulations as a strong, reliable ally at the Doctor’s side time and time again, but it’s kind of intense just to see Doctor Who throw it’s audience surrogate into the ringer over and over. How much more can Bill take?
The next time teaser however, seems there’s much, much more to be asked of her before this saga is over. Including potentially siding with one of the Doctor’s wiliest, deadliest foes... to save him from himself?
We’ll have more thoughts on Monday—but otherwise share your opinions in the comments below!