Saturday, May 20, 2017

Doctor Who--"Extremis"

      “Etremis” was the best episode of the series thus far. It manage to take a premise I cannot usually stand—it was all a dream/simulation—and turn it in to a consequential and highly entertaining story. Missy returns in all her glory, we get a good look at the tenth series' major villains, and much more about the overall arc of the series. As a bonus, it was the first part of a trilogy, so expect the good times to lat at least two more weeks.
      The episode is split into two intersecting stories. I will address them in full one at a time to minimize any confusion. I do not want anyone becoming sick with all the yo yo movement between them. I will address the main story first. .
      The Doctor is till blind. Only Nardole knows it, and the Doctor is working hard to keep it a secret by using his sonic sunglasses The sonic sunglasses do not completely restore his site, but they do aid him enough to fake it for the most part. Think Daredevil for a close match. The Doctor I contacted by the Vatican to translate a text that has been in their Library for centuries called the Veritas. Anyone who tries to translate it commits suicide. The Doctor agrees. In the Vatican Library, he ends Bill and Nardole on a wild goose chase so he can use a device to help him read. He is attacked by aliens referred to only as Monks in promotional material. He flees them and escapes through a mysterious light portal.
      Bill and Nardole discover a light portal themselves and enter. They wind up in a central area in which they can travel to various secure locations on Earth like the Pentagon, CERN, and the Vatican they just left. Via CERN, they figure out it is all simulation because everyone comes up with the same numbers when asked to choose a random set. Knowing this instills a compulsion to commit suicide. . Nardole does, but bill enters another light portal to arrive at the White House where the Doctor already is.
      By this point, the Doctor has read the Veritas and knows this is all a simulation to prepare plans to invade Earth. A Monk intervenes and erases Bill from the simulation. The Doctor, who is now aware he is a simulation, keeps the Monk talking as he downloads the record of the last few hours into his sunglasses and sends the recording to his real self on Earth so he can prepare a defense.
     Interwoven in the main story is one told in the past in which a race of executioners has sentenced Missy to death. As only a Time Lord can execute a Time Lord, they recruit the Doctor to carry out the sentence. He fakes doing so, but honors his vow to hold her prisoner for a thousand years. So it is Missy inside the vault. The Doctor requests her help through the vault door to assist him in saving Earth from the impending invasion.
    Speculation time! The monks appear to be walking corpses. Perhaps they have been affected by a plague, natural disaster, or toxic fall out from a war. My guess is they are the people of Mondas before they became Cybrmen. Maybe they want Earth because its environment is similar to theirs. This might explain why some early versions of the Mondas Cybermen are in the trailer for series ten. Some fans speculate these Monks are the Time Lords. I guess their return would send show runner Steven Moffat out with a bang, but why would the Time Lords want to invade Earth?
      I cannot say much more than what i said in the opening paragraph about how good this episode is.  I liked “Etremis” a lot, and I am excitedly anticipating the next two parts.
      Rating: **** (out of 5)

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