The Doctor Falls ticked all the relevant boxes when it comes
to what makes a great Doctor Who finale. The stakes were higher than ever, with
the usual ratcheting up of explosions and emotions to keep the audience on the
edge of their seats.
As expected a number of threads from earlier in series 10
were neatly rounded off, such as Missy’s rehabilitation and the inevitable
return of the Pilot to whisk Bill Potts away. Some however were completely
ignored, with Bill’s imaginary mother being the most notable absentee, while others
were intentionally left open-ended, such as the identity of Nardole, which remains
a mystery even after Hazran’s gentle questioning.
The limitations of some of the clever plot devices - Bill
still being Bill despite appearing like a fully converted Cyberman (with the
audience’s point of view continuously shifting from Bill as she sees herself
and Bill as others see her), time passing at different speeds across the ship,
and the two Masters meeting, may have resulted in a story that would've been hard to get
completely lost in, but for the fact that the cast were all at the top of their
game constantly pulled us back into the moment.
If we were looking for closure, then like the Doctor himself
we probably haven’t quite found it, and there are several outstanding questions
to consider as we gear ourselves up to Moffat and Capaldi’s swansong.
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.