Villordsutch reviews Doctor Who Series 10 Episode 7: The Pyramid At The End Of The World…
Directed by: Daniel Nettheim
Written by: Peter Harness & Steven Moffat
Doctor – “What do you depend on?”
Nardole – “Air, Water, Food, Beer.”
Following on from last week’s rather excellent Extremis – in which we discovered that not only was virtually the entire episode a simulation for an upcoming invasion of Earth, but also what occupied the Vault under Bristol University – this week’s episode, written by both Steven Moffat and Peter Harness (The Zygon Invasion/Inversion), marks the initial step over ‘the line in the sand’ for the corpse-like Monks.
It’s ‘take-two’ with Bill and Penny, and as they sit discussing in Bills flat the supposed goings on that happened during their last “date” – and the failed evening of romance due to the rude injection of his Holiness the Pope – they are again interrupted but this time it’s a squad of UN Soldiers bursting through the door, along with the Secretary General of the UN close behind. It appears an ancient pyramid has appeared in between the armies of America, Russia and China, and because of this they really need help from the President of the Earth.
With the Doctor begrudgingly becoming involved, it quickly becomes apparent that those at the centre of all of this are the Monks who have been running numerous simulations of Earth’s history, its people and their probable futures. When an attempt at communication leads to a dire message being sent to everyone around the area of this newly placed ancient structure, they’re given two choices: watch Earth die or ask the Monks for help.
This is a fantastic episode of Doctor Who. Here’s a mystery of a Pyramid appearing in the middle of a highly sensitive area, there’s a possible incoming invasion, Earth is placed under threat of Armageddon, and there’s a very easy way out. Not only this nut the enemy you’re facing has for an unknown amount of time been planning every possible outcome to how you may/may not respond to the problems set in front of you. Also, I forgot to point out the Doctor is still very much blind too.
Peter Harness – as we know – can do invasion stories. The Zygon Invasion/Inversion was a corking two-parter and here again his pen delivers another truly hopeless situation for the inhabitants of Planet Earth – even with a Companion with bucket loads of common sense and positivity also a blind Doctor who still can see what is really going on.
Again, Doctor Who wouldn’t be as good as it is if it wasn’t for the people in front and behind the camera. Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie make for excellent Doctor and Companion and with the addition of Matt Lucas added to mix, these three become a fantastic team. I don’t want this season to end as it will mean these three will leave and that won’t be a happy day.
One thing however was odd in this episode – where’s UNIT gone? Surely they would have been better suited dealing with this extra-terrestrial threat? Instead we see a squad of UN Soldiers and the minimal armed forces of three separate nations. Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and the forces of UNIT would have been much more on the ball here.
Last week we didn’t expect an invasion story and come the close of this week’s episode, well who would have thought we’d be seeing a three-parter?