Doctor Who Discussion: “The Pyramid at the End of the World”

The invasion heralded last week begins with weaker writing than we’ve seen this season, but a review will wait until we’ve learned where it’s going to go. In the meantime, here’s the place to discuss “The Pyramid at the End of the World,” the monks, deals with the devil, and a certain curiously understaffed laboratory.

8 replies on “Doctor Who Discussion: “The Pyramid at the End of the World””

  1. It’s actually the second part of the three parter, not the first.

    Agreed 100% on the weaker writing – the sheer number of plot points that were poorly conceived and ill thought out really dragged the episode down for me, not helped by Bill’s almost Homer Simpson like levels of observation, deduction and imagination. The design and operation of the lab and the Doctor leaping to the correct conclusion as to the cause with no supporting evidence providing the most glaring examples, but also simple things like the contrivance of Erica propping a door open with her bag to break her glasses despite having the keys in her hand, and the Monk’s shifting requirements from the “purity” of love of them specifically to just love. Even then, consent from just one essentially random nobody – even if they are a representaive of the “President of Earth” – isn’t likely to prevent the rest of the population from rebelling. I’m only expecting some more illogical handwavium to address that next week, not to mention the still vague reasons as to just why the Monks are doing all this in the first place – just *why* do they need an entire planet to love them, and how’s that even going to work when they don’t really have it as Bill only acted on behalf of the Doctor?

    Given the almost casual dismissal of the workings of the simulation last week – “it looks different from this side” (admittedly a cute play on the TARDIS inside/outside running gag) – I’m not expecting many (or any, really) of those points to be addressed in the final part. So far, it just feels like they chopped the overall story outline up into three parts, assigned them out, then never bothered to compare notes to make sure it all worked as a whole, and that isn’t filling me with much hope for a redemption in the conclusion that makes it all work.

  2. Right. The first/second part issue has been addressed in a re-edit.

    I’ll accept inscrutable motives on the part of the aliens, but the rest of the story should make sense.

    You addressed several of the sloppy plot points, so here’s a different sort of note:

    We learn that the monks chose their appearance. Alien minds or not, if they (1) want to be loved and (2) know all of human history, I can’t help thinking they would choose a different appearance.

  3. So, the Doctor is wearing glasses that can record and email anything they see, and he’s talking to Bill on a cell phone, and the solution is submitting to alien rule instead of just texting her a picture and saying ‘What position are the dials in?’?

    • That one actually hadn’t occurred to me, although I did note the ridiculousness of a dial-based combination lock rather than a keypad to get *out* of a lab in lockdown just to further the plot. In my defense, by that point I think I’d probably given up under the constant barrage of ill thought out plot elements and bad science (even for Doctor Who) and was mostly just waiting for it to end.

      Apparently, the writer’s previous works for the series are “Kill the Moon”, which also got a lot of flack for its bad science/tech, and the “Zygon Invasion/Zygon Inversion” duology, which were mostly about the cast and social issues that are both generally well thought of. I think all four episodes explore some interesting concepts that are classic Doctor Who material – even Moon and Pyramid; which only fail in the execution due to the depiction of the science and tech. Hopefully, if they get assigned any further scripts, that pattern will get taken into account.

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