Doctor Who Review: “The Pyramid at the End of the World”

 

The doomsday clock is ticking. The end of the world is coming. Typical Doctor Who, am I right?

**Spoilers ahead, Sweetie.**

A Brief Overview of What Happened

After the last episode were everything was a simulation and therefore didn’t really happen, we are back in the real world (or so we are led to believe so far). And the monks are here. Hiding out in a 5,000-year-old pyramid that has only just recently showed up. So, naturally, it immediately draws the attention of the United Nations, who then call on their President of the Earth, AKA the Doctor to help.

But this isn’t your typical invasion, oh no.

The monks have set every clock in the world to be the doomsday clock, counting down to the end of the world. But it’s not a threat, they’re not the ones that are going to end the world. It’s simply a warning that the world is going to end by the human’s own hands. After creating simulations of the world for god knows how long to practice on, it looks like the monks have realised that threatening and bombing the Earth gets them nowhere. Instead they have found a point in time which the world will end and are offering to stop it. Slight catch to that, though. For them to stop it, you must kind of consent to them taking over the world. Another catch; the consent must be “pure”. It can’t be made from fear, or strategy. The consent has to be made out of love. If the consent someone gives isn’t pure, it kills them.

Despite the Doctor warning them not to, we see several people try and give their consent, only for it to not be pure. Meanwhile the Doctor’s been working to pinpoint where exactly the end of the world is going to start and finds it in a lab in Yorkshire. A slight slip up in the lab in the form of a misplaced decimal point seems to be turning all living matter into sludge. And it’s about to be let out into the atmosphere. The Doctor plans to sterilize it by blowing up the lab before the gas can leave it. And he almost succeeds, as he sets the timer on the bomb the doomsday clock starts reversing. But as he gets to the doors he encounters a tiny problem. He needs to enter a combination into the door to get to safety, but he can’t see the numbers.

With Bill – who is still at the pyramid – is confused as to what is going on, the Doctor decides in his last moments to come clean to Bill about his loss of eyesight. He seems to almost accept the fact that he’s going to die. But Bill doesn’t. Despite protests from the Doctor, she goes to the Monks and gives them her consent to stop the Doctor from dying and give him his eyesight back in exchange for the world. As her consent is made out of love, it is pure. She’s just hoping he’ll be able to get the world back afterwards.

An Improvement

After last week’s slightly boring episode, this one was a little more promising. Everything happened in linear time so it was a lot easier to follow. There also seemed to be a lot more depth to this episode. It was made very clear what was at stake here, and we saw everyone put aside their differences to try and overcome it, with the American, Chinese, and Russian armies making a pact not to fight each other in a bid to stop the end of the world. I’m not too sure if they were trying to get another political message across, but after the events of Manchester, seeing people putting differences aside coming together to help one another in times of need was heart-warming and rather fitting.

Fun fact: The BBC actually had to re-edit this episode to remove some lines that spoke about terrorism or could be seen that way, after the events in Manchester. I’m not too sure how fun of a fact that is, but yeah. There’s a fact?

One thing that is for sure is that Moffat is keeping us on our toes with this whole regeneration thing. There’s been all sorts of speculation going around, especially with Capaldi saying he’s filmed the regeneration scene before filming the Christmas special. So when Twelve’s death seemed almost certain in that moment, I really thought it was going to happen there and then (before I went back and looked at the trailer and realised he’s wearing a different shirt). But of course, Bill saved the day, and ended the world simultaneously. I feel like it’s going to be a bit like Season 9 with Clara where there were moments we really thought she was going to die, but then she just didn’t. As long as it doesn’t happen too often that I get extremely annoyed like last time, then I think it will be okay.

But the question is, did Bill make the right decision? Will the Doctor truly be able to get the world back from the Monks? Honestly, I have mixed feelings about what Bill did. Sacrificing the world for her friend does seem incredibly selfish when you look at it at first. BUT, we need to remember the Doctor isn’t get the saviour of the world, he’s the saviour of the universe. If he dies there and then, then all catastrophe could be let loose. Also, would he be able to regenerate if Bill hadn’t saved him? Would the bomb have killed him before he could? Bill doesn’t know about regeneration, so doesn’t know that he may have survived it, but equally he may not have been able to survive at all.

The final part to this little story arc seems to be a promising one. The Doctor’s taken the side of the Monks? And it looks like Missy has been let loose! Does Bill shoot the Doctor? Is this when he regenerates? After all my questions had been answered in the last episode, Moffat’s just gone and left me with even more now!


Johanna an avid writer and lifelong Doctor Who fan living in the UK. By day she is a student, studying Media and Film Production, and by night she fangirls about all things TV/Film related on Twitter and writes posts for a variety of blogs as well as her own lifestyle blog.

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