selenak: (Bill Potts by Ella_Rose88)
[personal profile] selenak
Finale time!

Bill ended more or less how I expected, with Heather/Pilot, off to new adventures. She wasn’t reverse engineered, but Heather-as-Pilot altered her state so she could be basically anything. Which, btw, I think was an important factor , as was Heather not making this dependent on the two of them being together. Bill didn’t join Heather because she’d be dead/a cyperperson otherwise, and her continued survival isn’t dependent on Heather – they’re together because Bill wants to be. The tears turned out to be one of those Moffatian plot devices carefully planted at the start of the story, not simply a sign of continued emotion. And a return appearance is always possible, if Chibnall or any future show runner wants her to come back. In conclusion: I approve, other than for the part I’d have loved to have Bill around for longer as a Companion. I’ve grown very fond of this particular Team TARDIS – Bill, Nardole and the Doctor. Well, there’s always Big Finish to hope for, now that they’ve got the licence for New Who characters as well!

Missy and the Master: also mostly (but not completely) as I expected. Considering the mirror/reverse parallels between the Doctor and the Master, it made sense that since any multi Doctor story had the various regenerations bickering with each other but ultimately working together, our first multi Master story would have the regenerations celebrate a love fest (and wow, Moffat didn’t hold back with the self cest, no fanfiction writer could have done better) but end up backstabbing each other. Furthermore, the Master has always been torn between the wish to torment the Doctor and the wish to get his friend back, with both impulses usually intermingled completely. It made sense that with two regenerations around, one of them would be all nihilism, selfishness and torment while the other would go for the friendship and actual change. (Well, “change” in that the episode left it ambiguous whether Missy was just improvising and changing her mind by the minute, and that ambiguity is okay.)

What I hadn’t expected was that the mutual backstabbing would turn out to be so tragic (also darkly funny - it was fitting for the Master's sense of humor that they both laughed about it) for Missy in that it fulfilled River Song’s definition of a good deed exactly – with no witness, and no reward. The Doctor will never know what she’s done, that she was going to stand with him and the end. Now I don’t think the Master is gone forever – the Master never is in the Whoverse – and there are any number of ways Missy could have survived this one, starting with her fibbing about not remembering the details of her regeneration, because if she remembered in time, she could have simply altered the setting when the Master wasn’t looking. But I think it’s probably going to be a good while until we see any version of the Master again, and if we do, it probably won’t be Missy. Which, though she probably is my favourite version of the character after Delgado now, is okay – her story has come full circle. In my end is my beginning. No wonder the newly regenerated Missy is going to pinch some Cybermen and start Project Heaven. As for Simm!Master, of course the wish to torment would win with him – this was easily the most spiteful regeneration, and absolutely the one most unable to admit defeat. Goes to figure he wouldn’t even want a future version of himself have a happy ending with the Doctor on the Doctor’s terms.

Of the scenes the Doctor had with him/her/them, the one that will stick most in my mind was his reaction to Missy’s flippant “I was always on your side” - “Were you?”, asked totally serious, and then the way he looked at her, repeating the question. That absolutely desperate need/wish to believe. That he wasn’t wrong about believing but will now think he was is yet another aspect of the tragedy/fascinating train wreck that is the Doctor/Master relationship.

So I was thinking through the episode that it was amazing the BBC had managed to keep the identity of the next Doctor hidden, but lo and behold, the regeneration was once again postponed – to the Christmas Special, where we not only will get Capaldi one more time but THE FIRST DOCTOR. That was, after an intense episode, the perfect squeeful note to end with.

Given David Bradley already played William Hartnell (and Hartnell-as-the-Doctor) in “An Adventure through Time and Space”, he was the perfect choice. And hey, the First Doctor already has been played by two more actors other than Hartnell. Also, it strikes me as a very Moffat idea to end his time as showrunner with a story that takes Doctor Who right back to the very beginning, by letting the first and the latest regeneration meet. So, at which point of the Doctor’s timeline does he encounter his Capaldi played self? Because it begs the obvious follow up question – will there be a recast of a younger Susan (and/or Barbara, Ian, Vicky etc.?). Of course, there needn’t be, they only need a line of dialogue that *insert First Doctor era Companions* are currently engaged in activity X while One has been wandering off. But who knows?

Anyway: bring on the Christmas Special! And damn, I will miss this Team TARDIS. And I want all the stories about the Doctor and Missy through those decades in Bristol.
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