Doctor Who Review: “The Lie of The Land”


Brain washed humans and dictatorships. Doctor Who got kind of dark this week!

**Spoilers ahead, sweetie.**

A Brief Overview of What Happened

6 months after the events of “The Pyramid At The End of The World”, the monks are holding a dictatorship over the world. They’ve rewritten history by broadcasting signals and images to the world, convincing humans that the Monks have been with them since the dawn of time; Nurturing them, guiding them, and saving them. And that all they ask for this, is for humans to be obedient. Anyone who questions the monks, or is not obedient gets sentenced to spend time in a prison camp. So far it’s starting to look like a George Orwell novel.

Bill is on her own, biding her time, waiting for the Doctor to bring everything back to normal. With the help of Nardole, they manage to locate the Doctor, who is being held on a prison ship by the monks where he has been broadcasting messages to the human race showing support for the monks. Bill’s almost certain he’s faking it, but when she comes face to face with the Doctor, she is led to believe otherwise. The Doctor telling her that he has joined the monks to try and save humans from themselves. One gunshot aimed at the Doctor and a fake regeneration later, this was all explained to be all staged to make sure that Bill hadn’t been brainwashed by the Monks. With the team back together, they head back to mainland to get some help from the only person almost as smart as the Doctor.

Missy only has a small cameo-like part in this plot, in which she tells the Doctor how to defeat the monks. By killing the person who formed the link in the first place. Naturally, given its Bill who formed the link, the Doctor is reluctant to do so and comes up with another plan. Sneaking into where the monks broadcast their telepathic signal and replacing it with his true memories of the Earth.

The Doctor tries and fails, and this time Bill takes matters into her own hands, and uses her mind and memories to erase the monks’ fake ones. Funnily enough, it is the memories of her mum that are the strongest, the ones the monks can’t fight against. The human race finally see that what the monks have been telling them is a lie and begin to turn against them, and the monks admit defeat and run away.

Final Thoughts on The Trilogy

Now that the “monk trilogy” is all over and done with, I think it’s time to give some final thoughts on it all.

Over all, I’m not keen on it at all. The Monks have been added to my list of least scariest monsters to have the privilege of being on Doctor Who. It was refreshing to see a villain/monster that didn’t take over the world through violence. But I didn’t quite understand their motive, other than that they wanted power. Aside from creating fake history in order to assure the humans didn’t revolt, and set up prison camps for the ones that did, they didn’t actually do anything else to the world. Everything else appeared to stay relatively the same. The whole episode seemed like “The Last of The Time Lords”, except from the monks were just sort of there after taking over the world. Not to mention, when they were finally defeated they just left without so much of a fight. Maybe I need to be more accepting to Moffat trying out something different when it comes to villains, but they were just completely un-terrifying.

I’ve already said that I thought the first episode of this trilogy, “Extremis” was pointless. I was more accepting of “Pyramid At The End of The World” and I have similar feelings for this episode, too. I LOVED the beginning. Everything was shocking. The Doctor was siding with the enemy and we finally saw Bill truly shine. She had a choice; to just accept the Doctor had turned and admit defeat, or fight back. And oh boy did she fight back. We see her shoo the Doctor, and then we have the suspense of a regeneration… or fake regeneration. I think that had to be one of my favourite scenes of this series.

But after that everything seems to suddenly become rather rushed and flat. Moffat spent a lot of time writing the first few scenes in detail that it took up the rest of the episode, and he rushed everything else to make sure it all fitted. Because of this, I’d have much preferred “Extremis” never existed (all it did was introduce the villains, which could have easily been done in “Pyramid At The End of The World”), making “Pyramid At The End of The World” the first episode of the trilogy, and then “The Lie Of The Land” being split into two episodes so the second half could have had the chance to have more depth.

I won’t deny it was interesting to try out the idea of a three-episode arc in NuWho. But for now I think we should be sticking to 2 at a maximum.

Also my opinion on Nardole has completely changed. I really like him now. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like it too much when he makes cringe worthy remarks that are a horrible attempt at comic relief. But now we’ve seen more than him, I’ve grown to see him as a lot more than an attempt at comic relief. He’s actually starting to seem to have a role in the new TARDIS trio. I loved his interaction with Bill.

What have you thought about this Trilogy. Give me a shout on Twitter as I’ve love to talk about it!


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.