- I’m still waiting for Bill to really stand out as a character from other companions, but I do still like how she’s progressing with each adventure: from looking astounded upon arrival at the Frost Fair, and telling the Doctor, “I’m going to try everything” like she’s on holiday, to her response as she comes to see the Doctor’s darker side. She’s also fulfilling a traditional companion role by making human connections more effectively than the Doctor does, when she talks to the orphans.
- Having Bill around does seem to be doing the Twelfth Doctor some good, as he has some more cheery moments. But for much of this episode, he reminded me strongly of the Ninth Doctor: first his experienced, pragmatic attitude towards death, then leaving the audience in no doubt that he does still care about life. There’s a strong central theme of compassion throughout this episode, which definitely works: I loved Twelve’s little speech to Lord Sutcliffe – when Twelve delivers speeches, they tend to be awesome.
- I liked the scene where the Doctor and Bill see the beast underwater for the first time and there’s no dialogue. The reminder of what the orphan boy’s hat looked like was unneccessary, though.
- I can’t remember the last time we saw the psychic paper.
- Some more explanation for the beast would have been nice: who managed to trap it in the Thames in the first place? Were those others of its kind calling as it swam away, implying that it is terrestrial in origin and there’s a whole population of them?
- I understand the Doctor telling Sutcliffe, “I preferred it when you were alien” – we all know there are humans without compassion, but it’s still easier to accept evil aliens. It reminds me of an episode of Supernatural where Dean says he would rather fight a monster than an evil human: monsters he understands, but humans are just crazy.
- Not a great moment for the visual effects department when Sutcliffe falls through the ice – more suited to a SciFi Channel movie!
- If we’re only going to get Nardole in small doses like in this episode and the last, I suppose I can accept him. Though I would still argue against having Matt Lucas’s name in the opening credits.
- Whoever’s in the vault knocks four times just as the episode ends. And given that we already know John Simm is coming back….oh yeah.
After two disappointing episodes, this one was more enjoyable. It felt more like a standard Doctor Who adventure, and that simplicity works in its favour. Rating: 4/5.