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 clich├ęs 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.
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