[UPDATED] Need a Space to Talk About That Dramatic Doctor Who Finale? Your “The Doctor Falls” Open Thread

The second half of the Doctor Who Season 10 finale that began last week with “World Enough and Time” debuted today. Come chat about “The Doctor Falls” with your fellow Whovians.

I normally wouldn’t put up an open thread until later but seeing as how the finale has already aired in the U.K. I figured some folks might be looking for a place to chat about that dramatic episode. “The Doctor Falls” was written by departing showrunner Steven Moffat and once again directed by Rachel Talalay. It starred Peter Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Michelle Gomez, John Simm, and Matt Lucas.

In case you missed it, here was the open thread for the season premiere. I’m still sworn to secrecy on spoilers until it airs in the U.S. but spoilers away in the comments if it’s already aired where you live…


That deus ex machina, while “sweet,” was completely ridiculous and unearned. I felt like there were a lot of emotional moments in the episode that were ruined by the overall state of things. I mention this in the comments below but Bill’s ending was incredibly similar to Clara’s. A cheat of death and going off on adventures in space and time we’ll likely never see with a woman. Having her turn into a Cyberman was also incredibly like Danny Pink’s arc, which was also frustrating. Pearl Mackie gave a powerful performance throughout, I just wish she’d been dealt a better hand.

This season has been mostly standalone adventures, which I was surprised by considering Moffat’s tendency to go grand. While Missy’s thread carried through several episodes, these last two seemed like they were trying to achieve a lot in a short amount of time.

I said it previously but now that we’ve reached the end of the season I’ll say it again… I don’t know Bill as well as I should for having watched 12 episodes of her traveling with the Doctor. I feel like we were given shorthand as to who she is as a person. We met her foster mom and then she disappeared, we met some friends but none with an actual relationship with her, and we had a love interest for five seconds. It just didn’t sit right with me. And while there’s a chance Bill will show up in the Christmas special (or next season), they still didn’t touch on this:

Yeah, remember Peter Capaldi’s image in the mirror in the photo of Bill’s mom? Unless (and even if) the entire Christmas episode revolves around this it feels a bit “too little, too late” for that kind of character development. I thought for a while that the little girl, Alit, on the ship was going to turn out to be Bill’s mom but nothing developed there. Looking back, Bill didn’t even get to know the Doctor all that well either (she leaves him “dead” on the floor of the TARDIS). And don’t even get me started on what a waste of time having Nardole around was…

Suffice to say, even if the next Doctor is a woman, it’s going to take a lot more to get my excited about watching again.

20 Responses to “[UPDATED] Need a Space to Talk About That Dramatic Doctor Who Finale? Your “The Doctor Falls” Open Thread”

  1. […] well as companion (who we’re not sure is joining Whittaker yet) Pearl […]

  2. After falling in love with the Doctor and Clara last season, this one left me cold. I still have 2 and a 1/2 episodes unwatched (I skipped to the two-parter finale) and I’ll probably leave them that way. We never got to know Bill, the forced attachment the Doctor had to her never fit, and Nardole was about as fetch as they come.

  3. shlincoln says:

    When the Doctor first met Bill she had no pictures of her mother. So the Doctor went back in time and took pictures of her for Bill to have in the present. That’s pretty much all that reflection of the Doctor in that photo is supposed to mean. He went back and did a nice thing for Bill.

    • But why not actually acknowledge that on screen even if it’s only a “Hey, you did something nice for me, thank you?” They could always explore it in the comics or an audio play too I suppose but I personally would have liked to see the kind of explanation there was for this “stranger” taking photos of her.

  4. Heidi says:

    If the Doctor changed the Cyberman’s search parameters to look for two-hearts why did the Cybermen go back to hunting humans? Did I miss something?

  5. Heidi says:

    Oh, and I HATE when Moffat makes me cry over stupid endings like Pilot-girl and YES, I WANTED MORE BILL! She got so cheated. She needs books, at least.

  6. Heidi says:

    The only bit I really appreciated was when the Master was reapplying his eyeliner, because obviously I had been laughing at him for it, and I guess we all were.

  7. Oh, and, the world really could have done without another Tr*mp reference, Moffat.

    • Heidi says:

      YES! It’s like he’s TRYING to shove in Trump info to make up for the fact that NO ONE in reality saw Trump coming.

  8. Al Butler says:

    I have several questions. 1) Wasn’t Bill’s ending just like Clara’s from last season–a woman comes and whisks her away to see the universe? 2) If the Master was Missy’s past, how come she could not remember that coming (when she remembered other things) and did not prepare for what the Master did? 3) Instead of writing code for 2 hearts, why not change it to no hearts? 4) Why not end the Cyberman threat once and for all if this is where they started? Get those people off the ship via the TARDIS and destroy the ship. No more Cyberman threat. 5) Haven’t we seen a crying Cyberman before? There was another woman (during a different Doctor) who was changed and, while fighting other Cyberman, shed tears. 6) When Capaldi regenerates, will he seen his companions again like Smith did?

    • Mark Compton says:

      Answer to number 2 just like the multi doctor episode from last season when multiple incarnations of timelords interact in the same time. They do not remember their interactions which is why the doctor didn’t remember that Gallifrey was still out there

      • Al Butler says:

        Either way, this was a mess and should have been handled better. If you are correct, Moffat was just reusing old plot devices again (like I mention in point 1 and 5).

    • Bill’s ending was incredibly similar to Clara’s, that was certainly one frustrating point. Her turning into a cyberman was also incredibly like Danny’s arc, which was also frustrating.

      • Heidi says:

        I’m still pissed off about the Danny Pink arc. Where did that future relation of his come from?!?!

    • teenygozer says:

      5. Yes, we did see another woman crying as a Cyberman, exactly as you said, but I think the whole point was that Bill was able to hold onto her own personality and attack other Cyberman instead of joining them, etc., just like the previous woman. The tears showed us that both women were strong enough to fight the programming.

      • Al Butler says:

        I agree with you about it demonstrating Bill is a strong woman but that has been demonstrated throughout the season since she saved the world from the Monks among other things. My point is that this episode was reusing things from past episodes.

        • teenygozer says:

          Yes, and I do hate that they reused the bit from a finale of a previous season where the weirdly physically changed companion goes off to have further lovely inter-galactic adventures with another weirdly physically changed woman, but I think the reuse of the tears idea worked in this instance. The fact that that previous woman had the physical presentment of impossible tears to show she held onto her humanity enough to fight the programming and attack what should have been her “fellow” Cybermen, and so did Bill. It was a common theme that, I think, worked in this instance.

          Plus, although you might hate it (as I sort of do), the secondary use of Bill’s tears was that it tied into Bill’s first episode as the tears themselves called forth the Wet Manic Pixie Dreamgirl to save Bill with that sort of Velveteen Rabbit transformation. I might not like what they came up with to save Bill, but at least it did function as a call-out of that previous episode.

      • Heidi says:

        But that was taken away because it turns out, they weren’t HER tears and Cybermen can’t cry (even though we’ve already seen it at Canary Wharf, I wanna say)

    • shlincoln says:

      To point number 4, we don’t know for a fact that this is the definitive origin of the cybermen. It could be that while the Master was dicking around with the colony ship trapped by the black hole people on Mondas were also developing Cyber technology in parallel. The Doctor does say, essentially, that there isn’t a set starting point for the Cybermen, but that instead the concept is something that humanity will inevitably bumble into. All this has happened before, etc etc.

      Also, within the episode the Doctor couldn’t take the people to the Tardis because of the time dilation effects the closer you got to the front of the ship, and even if you did navigation around the black hole is wonky

  9. Eric Guillory says:

    So Jill, Do you think based off a certain line while waiting for a lift is a tease for the 13th Doctor?