Synopsis: The Tardis picks up a distress call from deep space, and when the Doctor, Bill and Nardole respond they find themselves trapped on board an eerie space station called Chasm Forge.
Review: In this episode the Doctor is longing to go into space again. He picks up a distress signal from the Chasm Forge space station, and goes with Bill and Nardole to help. Oxygen is a precious commodity on board Chasm Forge, and the Time Lord and his companions run into dead workers whose oxygen supply has given out. When their own oxygen supply is in jeopardy and with the dead crew closing in the Doctor makes a desperate gambit to save the lives of the remaining crew members. The time travellers return to the present where it is revealed the Doctor has lost his sight.
This was a fantastic and very gripping episode. The grittiness of space travel is conveyed well in this episode, as are the major themes of Who; kindness to others, anti capitalism and acceptance of life in all its forms. The Doctor makes an excellent statement when he says “We show our true face by how we respond.” The interactions between all three main characters was a pleasure to watch. Racism is touched on in this episode with Bill’s reaction to Dahr-ren, played by Peter Caulfield. There is some amazing camera work that shows Bill’s point of view when her oxygen is turned off and the dead crew members put me in mind of the water zombies from The Waters of Mars. A strong anti capitalist message is put forward here, with the human crew being seen by their employers as no more than replaceable parts in a machine. The Doctor threatens to blow up the space station making it more expensive for the crew to be dead than alive, thereby saving them.
There is some fantastic acting from all three of the main actors in this episode. Peter Capaldi plays a blinded Doctor perfectly, and Pearl Mackie‘s fear at being left to die is palpable. A new side to Nardole emerges this episode, with Matt Lucas literally shouting at the Doctor for his irresponsibility. The Doctor is heroic yet much more arrogant in this episode, for which he pays the price by losing his sight. The wham line at the end of the episode was incredible, with the Doctor revealing he is still blind.
Overall, this was an incredible episode which made me excited to see what happens next.
- Incidental Music8.5