Cast and Crew
Peter Capaldi as The Doctor
Pearl Mackie as Bill
Matt Lucas as Nardole
Michelle Gomez as Missy
John Simm as Mr. Razor
Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the Cybermen
Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Rachel Talalay
World Enough and Time originally aired on June 24, 2017.
A 400 mile long ship is falling into a black hole, and extreme dilation affects only the subset of physics that is convenient to the plot of the episode. What was intended as a training mission for Missy’s redemption takes a very different turn, particularly for Bill.
This is the most effective cliffhanger we’ve seen in a long time.
I spent most of the episode hoping Mr. Razor would become a new companion, but it does not appear that is in the cards.
I feel bad not giving a huge score for originality, because the episode as a whole is great. It’s another story based on old villains, but they are doing something new-ish with those villains, including one particular element I’ve been hoping they’d do for a long time. I’d be more specific, but that’s a large component of the cliffhanger. I hear it was spoiled by earlier “coming up” bits, but I’ve avoided those, so it was a very welcome surprise for me. I give it 4 out of 6.
The effects were limited to makeup and exterior shots for the most part. The tear didn’t look terribly realistic, but the rest looked good. I was going to knock it for makeup that looked like makeup on one character, but I now see that was clearly intentional. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story was compelling. True, the science nerd in me wanted to gripe about how the time differential was “working” as signals from the “top” of the ship wouldn’t reach the bottom nearly quickly enough to function as depicted here, but the emotional component of the story worked so well that’s easily forgiven, or handwaved by a society that had 1000 years to study the issue and implement some sort of high speed signal amplifier/work around. I give it 6 out of 6.
The acting was great from all. Mr. Razor’s bumbling is amusing and endearing, few can chew the scenery as effectively as Michelle Gomez as Missy, Matt Lucas’ delivery is as spot on as ever, and Bill had some shining moments here. That’s all on top of what we get from Capaldi himself. I give it 6 out of 6.
The emotional response is great. Two weeks ago, I expressed dissatisfaction with Empress of Mars for feeling bland. That felt like a continuity fix that had just enough story to hold it together. This, on the other hand, feels like a compelling story that happens to fill in some continuity questions along the way. I give it 6 out of 6.
The production is remarkably difficult this week. They needed to directly echo a story from the era of the first Doctor without laying all of their cards out on the table and without seeming out of place with the modern sensibilities, all the while telling a tight little horror story. Somehow, they pulled it off. I give it 6 out of 6.
Overall, this is the strongest episode of the season to date, and one of the strongest from Capaldi’s entire run. I give it 6 out of 6.
In total, World Enough and Time receives 39 out of 42.