selenak: (Missy by Yamiinsane123)
[personal profile] selenak
In which whoever did the trailer after the last episode should not do so again, since it already gave away the two key twists, but even so, this was a suspensful and good first part - may the second one live up to it.



Also, chock full with Classic Who nods, from Venusian Aikido - the Third Doctor would be so proud - to the Master donning an elaborate disguise (though he finally quit with the anagrams in his alias - I mean, "Razor"), complete with big reveal scene, and Simm!Master thereafter sporting a Delgado-style goatee. Since the trailer had given away he'd be in the episode, this was less of a surprise, but otoh I hadn't guessed he was in fact Razor until the scene with Missy. More about the Master and Missy, implication and speculation in a moment.

The other thing the trailerfrom last week had given away was that Mondasian Cybermen (aka the originals) would be in the episode. Even so, the body horror was considerable. I should make it clear that I don't think Bill will end this season either a) dead, or b) an unfeeling Cyberman forever. First of alll because Stephen "Everyone Lives" Moffat wouldn't do that to a Companion, and fake deaths are his thing, to an by now annoying degree (not that I want Bill to be dead or condemmed to a tragic fate, I hasten to add! Au contraire! But I could do with less fake outs), and second because I think I can guess what will happen. Bill will end up reverse engineered to a state where she doesn't need the armor (because there's no way they'll stick Peal Mackie in that thing during her inevitable goodbye scene to the Twelve Doctor) but otoh can't go back to Earth anymore, will reunite with Heather from "The Pilot" and will get an ending somewhat siimilar to Clara's, i.e. Companion leaves to explore universe with another extrardinary being.

Who will do the reverse engineering, you ask? That's where my speculation re: the Master and Missy comes in. The episode by giving us the scene with Missy alone with her other self, where she has no reason to fake or lie, provides us with the information that she really does not remember these events, as opposed to having lured the Doctor here in a trap. At the same time, the Doctor is guaranteed to assume the later, especially after past stunts of Missy's involve nearly converting all of humanity to Cybermen and putting a Companion of his in an enemy suit (the Dalek's) so that he was set up to kill her. By stating that the Doctor will never forgive her for doing this to a Companion Simm!Master has practically thrown a challenge. So, here's my theory: Missy is going to fake being on her past self's side but in fact will reverse engineer Bill, which due to having detailed knowledge of Cybermen by now she's capable of. In the course of these events, she'll also wipe her own i.e. Simm!Master's memory which is why she truly does not remember any of this. At the same time, she'll also come to the conclusion this doing good thing is fruitless and leave, which means we'll end up with a status quo for the Doctor and the Master again (i.e. as frenemies, neither complete enemies or allies). Depending on quite how nostalgic Moffat is feeling, he might even go for what supposedly had been the planned ending for Delgado!Master, prevented by Roger Delgado's death, i.e. the Master sacrificing himself for the Doctor in some way. Since there are two of him/her around right now, this could happen literally, i.e. Missy doesn't leave it at a mind wipe but does something that triggers the Master's regeneration, possibly in connection to whatever happens to trigger the Doctor's regeneration. (Or to counteract it? Who knows.)

The opening scene with Missy playing at being the Doctor was Moffat going meta again, which sometimes I find funny and sometimes irritating; here, it was funny. And of course I loved all the Doctor/Master background conversation between the Doctor and Bill. (Incidentally: Bill saying she's afraid of Missy was to me one of the episode's few missteps. Not that this isn't a sensible reaction to have to the Master in any incarnation, but the thing is, Bill never experienced Missy unleashed. Presumably Nardole gave her a summary of the Master's career, but hearing something isn't the same as having personally experienced it, and about the only thing Bill might personally remember of the Master is the British PM publically killing the US president on tv in her childhood, since anything after falls under "The Year That Wasn't" and was reversed.) "Man Crush" indeed. And Bill's dig about the patriarchal implication of "Time LORD" in reply to the Doctor's lofty assurance they're beyond gender clichés was perfect. Not to mention that this conversation brought back Murray Gold's Doctor/Master theme song "This is Gallifrey - our childhood, our home" back into the soundtrack.

Also: we've seen the Doctor displaying persistence in a stuck situation a lot during Twelve's turn, both the hellish variety (aka Hell Bent, where he has to go through his own death for millennia) and the more benign professor on Earth variety this season. But that other easily bored Time Lord clearly displays the same quality, for sticking to the "Razor" disguise for years certainly qualifies - as does, of course, Missy staying in the vault for decades instead of trying to break out.

Date: 25 Jun 2017 09:25 (UTC)
watervole: (Default)
From: [personal profile] watervole
I always switch off before the trailers, so I came to this completely unspoiled and had the pleasure of real surprise at the big reveals.

Date: 26 Jun 2017 17:46 (UTC)
selenay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] selenay
I know from experience to never, ever watch the trailer for the final episode of the season. It's a thing I did at the end of S1, so I had no idea the regeneration was coming, and it's served me well :-)

Date: 25 Jun 2017 09:26 (UTC)
watervole: (Default)
From: [personal profile] watervole
Razor reminded me of Zathras.

Date: 25 Jun 2017 17:56 (UTC)
jainas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jainas
My boyfriend said exactly the same thing! But I didn't catch any B reference though...

Date: 26 Jun 2017 17:47 (UTC)
selenay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] selenay
It wasn't just me! Yay!

Date: 25 Jun 2017 11:25 (UTC)
contrary_cal: (Default)
From: [personal profile] contrary_cal
Missy wouldn't need to wipe the Master's memory, though? This is a situation like The Day of the Doctor and previous multiple-Doctor adventures, so the same rules apply - in an encounter between multiple incarnations of the same Time Lord, the memory fades until the oldest version of the Time Lord in question syncs up with the encounter, as a protection against paradoxes. So as soon as the Master leaves, he'll forget what happened autmatically.

I loved their encounter, though, and I'm also entirely unconvinced that Missy has just fallen in with her earlier self no questions asked. I mean, it's the acid test of whether her change is genuine, isn't it - her coming literally face to face with the most vicious, vile and contemptible version of herself, and having to decide what to do? The Doctor did say the trip was a test; he just didn't realise how much more genuine a test it would be than anything he could construct! So I suspect her reaction will prove to be more complicated than the cliffhanger makes it look. Otherwise there's no story.

I didn't have any problems with the spoilers in the trailer from last week. Even knowing the Master was going to be showing up, I didn't spot that he was Mr Razor - I actually thought it was another actor entirely! And so much of the tension was in knowing what was coming, and putting together the how the episode would get there, piece by piece.

Date: 25 Jun 2017 12:18 (UTC)
felis: (upside down)
From: [personal profile] felis
I knew that Simm!Master would be in this, but between the mask and the voice, I didn't recognize him at all, so the surprise at the end still worked very well.

Bill saying she's afraid of Missy was to me one of the episode's few missteps. Not that this isn't a sensible reaction to have to the Master in any incarnation, but the thing is, Bill never experienced Missy unleashed.

Interesting. I had the opposite reaction to Bill's line, it felt immediately right to me. I didn't take it as a reaction to the Master's past evil so much as a reaction to Missy's personality. The way Michelle Gomez plays her is very striking and intense and Bill has experienced that in quite a few scenes now. There is not even a pretense of stable ground with Missy, of reliability, and that's something you pick up on pretty quickly IMO. The feeling that she could turn on you and dismiss you any second is informed by her past, yes, but even more so by her presence.

As for the rest of the episode, I'll reserve judgment until I've seen the second part, but I will say that the body horror you mention was striking indeed. For me, this was one of the creepiest episodes of the show ever, and watching all of it happen to Bill made me rather uncomfortable.

Oh, and I thought there were some echoes of "Utopia - Last of the Time Lords", what with the Master helping to corrupt yet another civilization on the brink of extinction. (I'm not entirely sure how much of a hand he had in the creation of the cybermen here, and how much of it was just witnessing their genesis, as he says.)

Date: 25 Jun 2017 22:15 (UTC)
pujaemuss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pujaemuss
I'm with you on Bill's line about being scared of Missy - she's so effortlessly casual in her superiority and openly disdainful of the importance of lesser lives that I can see exactly why Bill would be scared.

Thinking of echoes, the Red Dwarf books did exactly this plot with a long ship near a black hole and time running faster at one end than another. Obviously they took it a very different direction, but the opening pan across the ship was very Red Dwarf as well, so I wonder if it was a deliberate homage/nod to having ripped off the premise.

PJW

Date: 26 Jun 2017 17:51 (UTC)
selenay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] selenay
but the opening pan across the ship was very Red Dwarf as well,

I had the same thought :-) I was almost expecting to hear the theme tune start!

Date: 26 Jun 2017 17:59 (UTC)
selenay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] selenay
I knew that Simm!Master would be in this, but between the mask and the voice, I didn't recognize him at all, so the surprise at the end still worked very well.

Same here. I wondered whether I was supposed to have guessed, but now I've seen so many people saying they didn't regonise him that I feel much better :-)

For me, this was one of the creepiest episodes of the show ever, and watching all of it happen to Bill made me rather uncomfortable.

It was definitely the creepiest for me, too, and having it happen to Bill--knowing it was going to happen to Bill--upped the creep factor a lot. It also made it impossible to argue that it shouldn't have been Bill it happened to, because so much of the impact of it was rooted in Bill and our empathy with her.

I really hope they find a way to reverse it for Bill. Selenak's points about Missy having past Cyberman experience are excellent and something I'd completely forgotten, so I have more hope now.

Date: 25 Jun 2017 22:01 (UTC)
dhampyresa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dhampyresa
The episode ends on cyber!Bill crying so she's definitely not going to be an unfeeling cyberperson forever. Which is great, because I love Bill!

I'm kind of hoping we get to see Simm!Master and Bill bond under his real face next episode.

Date: 26 Jun 2017 07:36 (UTC)
vilakins: (bill potts)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
I don't watch TV trailers (and they're bloody annoying and unnecessary) so I didn't realise it was cyberpeople (with Bill on that) till I saw the attachment that would make them not care about pain. I yelled, "Genesis!" and sure enough the word came up - I've actually seen Genesis of the Daleks in a sadly very short rerun which never got as far as cyberpeople. I didn't guess it was the Master though.

I don't see how they can reverse-engineer Bill, at least not with her own body; Nardole has second-hand body and organs. But then I heard that both Capaldi and Mackie are leaving after this season so maybe this is it for Bill. Oooh, sudden thought: maybe the Doctor will regenerate with her body because he's thinking of her. Speaking of that, what the hell was that regeneration scene in the snow at the beginning? A fashforward, I assume. Is there a new Doctor set up to go, or is it still under wraps?

I do understand her fear of Missy though as Missy's all great power and zero responsibility with a huge dose of capriciousness.

Bill should have called the Doctor on his "man-crush" description as well as TImelords; if gender is irrelevant, then it would just be a crush. But awwww. I don't know enough about the Master's past.

Anyway, scary stuff. However the next ep goes, I shall miss all three of them if it's goodbye.

Date: 26 Jun 2017 19:01 (UTC)
shyfoxling: Ravenclaw crest (Default)
From: [personal profile] shyfoxling
Missy doesn't leave it at a mind wipe but does something that triggers the Master's regeneration

I suppose we don't know that the regeneration line is directly Simm -> Missy, but wouldn't it be a hoot to see Michelle Gomez in his clothes?

Date: 28 Jun 2017 18:20 (UTC)
labingi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] labingi
Thanks for the lowdown! I haven't seen this one yet, due to vacation and schedules being weird, but I love spoilers, so now I'm more excited. :)

Date: 1 Jul 2017 02:25 (UTC)
kalypso: Missy and the Master (Missy)
From: [personal profile] kalypso
Given that there'd been a lot of publicity pre-season about the return of (a) Mondasian Cybermen and (b) John Simm, and we'd got to the final two-parter without them, I didn't feel spoiled by the trailer - only by the one person who tweeted a pic suggesting what had happened to Bill before I had time to watch, because that was the twist I had no reason to expect.

For some reason Radio Four has been running trailers for the finale for several days, so I do have a mild spoiler for a key conversation that's coming up...

I didn't guess Razor was Simm on my first viewing, though second time round I could occasionally hear his voice under the accent. (Is the disguise specifically for Bill's benefit? It seemed odd he cited his spell as Prime Minister as the reason for it, as the Mondasians seemed unlikely to know about that - unless he'd done it to them, too! - but the point that Bill would remember him as Saxon is a good one. He never tests the disguise on the Doctor.) I wonder if one of the reasons for Bill expressing her fear and distrust of Missy was to underline the irony of her spending years with the Master as her only pal, while he was plotting to betray her in a peculiarly horrible way? Which Missy has not (yet) done to her, though she did something almost as bad to Clara; Missy was blasé about Bill's death being the way to stop the Monks, but (unless she was lying, which hasn't been suggested) there wasn't anything very treacherous about it.

The episode seemed to be set up as Missy's Last Hurrah - more so than the Doctor's, though I presume he'll be more central to the next one. There's the opening scene where she's auditioning as "Doctor Who" (while being particularly Missyish in her umbrella flourishes). There's the Doctor's passionate declaration about the bond between them - has he ever been so explicit about this? - and I'm not really talking about the man crush, just about his insistence that he's never met anyone else so like himself. An Emotion, indeed! There's the interesting visual moment when they get into the lift and Missy is the central figure, framed by the Doctor and Nardole until the doors begin to close, leaving her alone visible. She's allowed to identify the ship's home planet as Mondas a second before the Doctor recognises the Mondasian Cyberman. And of course she's the one who gets the big reveal with Simm. (How did the Master work out who she was? Presumably he could see the TARDIS in the background, which would tell him one of them was the Doctor even before Bill confirmed it. I wonder whether he had secret sessions where he speeded up the television to catch the dialogue, or whether he could do that in his head?)

Anyway, the showcasing of Missy makes me think this will be the end of her story. You may well be right that she will get the sacrifice Delgado was denied.

[Probably completely misguided speculation, but a bit of spoiler space just in case]









Some have suggested that the Doctor could regenerate into Gomez, and after this episode I'm rather taken with the idea. That would make the "audition" scene pure meta. And, thinking back to the generation of the Doctor-Donna, where there was clearly some element of crossover caused by the almost-regenerational energy, I can easily imagine that two Time Lords regenerating simultaneously might have a very strong impact on one another. (Just suppose it worked both ways, and Capaldi is leaving as the Doctor but will guest as the Master? Actors alternating parts on stage is very popular at the moment...) I haven't followed gossip enough to know whether the regeneration is due tonight or at Christmas. The last couple of times they've had a special programme to announce the new casting, but they might skip that if they were planning a really big surprise.

But probably not.

Date: 9 Jul 2017 12:27 (UTC)
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
From: [personal profile] lokifan
I was also spoiled by the trailer but didn't guess until they were alone together. And yes EEEEEEEK to the body horror, omfg. Poor Bill. But she was crying at the end, and I agree it would be totally out of character for Moffat to kill off a Companion, especially at the end of his last series. (Haven't seen 10.12 yet, as you may be able to tell - I'm catching up on reaction posts as well as episodes!)

MISSY IS EVERYTHING. I love her. I want mooooore. And even though I'm like UGH GO AWAY MASTER YOU'RE GOING TO CAUSE HER LEAVING IN SOME WAY, multiple Masters is so cool!

Bill's dig about the patriarchal implication of "Time LORD" in reply to the Doctor's lofty assurance they're beyond gender clichés was perfect.

So great. And that was a nice, more subtly meta touch, I thought - both the utopian element of sci-fi and the reality of it being written by people of their time.

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