The Lie of the Land rounded off the series 10 trilogy of the
Monks in controversial fashion, with some viewers feeling cheated by the much
publicised faux regeneration and others worried that the ending was all a
little bit sentimental. Thankfully though, the resolution didn’t play out as
many fans were speculating and this dystopian Earth ruled by the Monks was the
real deal and not another simulation.
Instead humans were being brainwashed (1984 fashion) into
believing that the Monks had been a benevolent force from the beginning of
history, and it was up to Bill, Nardole, and the Doctor to break the illusion - thereby forcing the Monks to do a runner. The reset button was of a very
different kind, one that didn’t bring back the lives of those already killed by
The plot was straightforward, allowing plenty of opportunity
for Whithouse to add some truly laugh out loud lines of dialogue and well as
perhaps an overindulgent section on the Doctor’s clever but not-so-nice method
of testing Bill, and the subsequent reaction when she passes.
But ending such a
major threat so quickly nevertheless left many unanswered questions. From the
Doctor’s actions to the tantalising possibility that Missy might just be
succumbing to his own form of manipulation there is plenty of room for some
good old-fashioned speculation.
Paul Driscoll is a freelance writer and author across a range of subjects from Cult TV to religion and social policy. He is a passionate Doctor Who fan and January 2017 will see the publication of his first extended study of the series (based on Toby Whithouse's series six episode, The God Complex) in the critically acclaimed Black Archive range by Obverse Books. He is a regular writer for the fan site Doctor Who Worldwide and has contributed several essays to Watching Books' You and Who range. Recently he has branched out into fiction writing, with two short stories in the charity Doctor Who anthology Seasons of War (Chinbeard Books). Paul's work will also feature in the forthcoming Iris Wildthyme collection (A Clockwork Iris, Obverse Books) and Chinbeard Books' collection of drabbles, A Time Lord for Change.