Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 2: “Smile”

  • Personally, if I were writing for Doctor Who, I wouldn’t name my monster after a well-known English football player.
  • Hey, that’s Rani’s mum from The Sarah Jane Adventures!
  • This episode reinforces what an utterly worthless character Nardole is, given that he only briefly appears at the beginning and the episode is all the better for it. Also, apparently Nardole – who was once a living man with the misfortune to be decapitated and forced inside a giant robot – is now being kept as a slave by the Doctor. Okay…
  • In fact, having the Doctor and his companion as the only (organic) characters for most of the running time works well; it allows for more focus on their budding relationship, as Bill comes to understand the Doctor better and the Doctor tries in vain to keep her out of danger.
  • This is a good first off-world adventure for Bill. Her self-awareness and pointing out the holes in things is still rather irritating, but I liked her pure enthusiasm at seeing the future colony, and her slight crisis at the idea that humans come close to extinction in the future.
  • Once again, originality is lacking here. Robots killing their human masters and using their bodies to keep their environment running – that’s from The Girl in the Fireplace. Microbots threatening to destroy people just because they’re following the logic of their programming and don’t fully understand humans – that’s from The Doctor Dances. And as unnerving as that early scene is, with the skeleton crew trying to smile on pain of death, it still made me think of that Simpsons Halloween special where Bart is a god and forces all of Springfield to think happy thoughts.

This episode was better than last week’s, but still not something I’d bother to rewatch. It wasn’t too scary (apart from the opening), it had a flimsy resolution which I can’t see working long-term…and is a universe where emoji survives for thousands of years worth living in? Rating: 3/5.

About R.J. Southworth

Hi there. I've been blogging since January 2014, and I like to talk about all sorts of things: book reviews, film reviews, writing, science, history, or sometimes just sharing miscellaneous thoughts. Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you find something that interests you!
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3 Responses to Doctor Who – Series 10, Episode 2: “Smile”

  1. smilingldsgirl says:

    As someone who has only seen 3 episodes of the show I thought this was kind of dumb…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Screensage says:

    This episode was good for the Doctor and Bill’s relationship and furthering that vault mystery. I probably won’t find myself rewatching this episode either it just doesn’t have that rewatchability that other Doctor Who episodes have.

    Liked by 1 person

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