We’ve reached that point in the series where most of our
predictions about season long arcs will be exposed as flights of fantasy or
deliberate red herrings. Barring another surprise twist next week, it certainly
looks as if all the speculation surrounding the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan
and a possible connection to Bill was off the mark. The mystery of Nardole also
appears to be going nowhere with him now looking every bit like a regular
companion, and the trilogy of the monks, which left all kinds of unanswered
questions, at least for now looks like being a self-contained mini-adventure
It will take quite a dramatic shift in emphasis if any of
these three points are to be addressed next week in The Doctor Falls. So for
now, after the airing of part one of the series’ only two-parter, speculation
will inevitably turn towards Bill’s fate, the Doctor’s coming regeneration, and
the relationship between Missy and the Master.
This was very much a set-up episode in the mould of series 8’s
atmospheric Dark Water, and it’s about to go completely Death in Heaven crazy if
the brief trailer for next week is anything to go by. The pre-credits sequence
suggests some of our questions might carry over to the Christmas special, but
with only two episodes to go Steven Moffat has plenty of plot points to resolve
before he passes on the baton to Chris Chibnall.
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.