Doctor Who: Spoiler free preview for The Doctor Falls
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While series nine of Doctor Who might still be Peter Capaldi's best, series 10 has been on fine form for the most part. The Monks trilogy was a little drawn out and Oxygen aside, it took until last Saturday's World Enough and Time to deliver a true classic. But Pearl Mackie's Bill has been a true breath of fresh air and Matt Lucas has won over plenty of critics (myself included) with his endearing performance. Michelle Gomez has delivered a different side to Missy and Peter Capaldi has been nothing short of brilliant.
But it's the finale that has to prove itself; we can have fantastic first parts (The Sound of Drums, Heaven Sent) but if the resolution isn't satisfying, it can leave the series on a bit of a sour note. Unfortunately, for me, series nine's Hell Bent did that, throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the finale, squandering the return of Gallifrey and undoing Clara's perfect ending. It ended the series on a frustrating note. Fortunately, The Doctor Falls is a far superior ending - the best series finale in fact since Matt Smith's The Big Bang.
As always, it's difficult to discuss anything without spoiling the plot. What fans are probably most looking forward to is the first on-screen multi-Master story. You'll be pleased to know that John Simm and Michelle Gomez are great together in a suitably twisted will they-won't they kiss/kill/team up/betray each other kind of way. They have a great banter with Capaldi's Doctor too and there is a phenomenal Twelfth Doctor speech (which I will miss terribly when Capaldi leaves) involving these two villains. I'm also pleased to report that Simm is still delightfully insane but delivers a more subtle performance after his overblown shenanigans in The End Of Time. This is the Master I always thought he could be.
It continues to be a great Cyberman story too; I was worried that the presence of multiple versions of the Cybermen would make the finale a bit of an overblown mess but the action is well placed and the differing time periods of the ship heading towards the black hole continues to used for dramatic effect.
Finally, this might be both Pearl Mackie and Matt Lucas's best episode of the series. I won't delve too deep into Bill's story post Cybermen conversion but it is certainly quite harrowing, given last week's cliffhanger. And Lucas's comic timing and his banter with Capaldi are perfection as Nardole is truly given a hero's journey.
There is a lot I'm leaving out here. The one thing I will urge viewers to do is watch the episode live or avoid the entire INTERNET until after you have watched it. There is going to be a lot of talk about The Doctor Falls after it airs.
See you on Saturday for Capaldi's penultimate [sob] episode of Doctor Who...