Doctor Who: series 10 penultimate rankings

Per tradition, it’s the end-of-series rankings, minus the finale. 10. The Pyramid at the End of the World I’m sympathetic: this episode had to clarify the nature of the Monks, provide a credible way for them to hold the Earth to ransom, and maneuver Bill…

Doctor Who: “Empress of Mars”

“They even look fantastic after a 5000-year nap, which is one of the pros of being a reptile, I guess. Ice Warriors are big on naps; of their six stories to date, this is the third instigated by humans thawing them out and waking them up from hibernation.”

Doctor Who: “The Lie of the Land”

“At this point it really does feel as though the Monks have always been here, so I’m looking forward to something new next week, even if it’s the Mark Gatiss episode. Fortunately, I’m one of probably few people who felt they went out on a relatively high note.”

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

“The question on my mind about the Peter Harness episode of Series 10 was: would this be more like ‘Kill the Moon’ or ‘The Zygon Invasion/Inversion’? The answer is that it’s a very special blend of both: swaggering geopolitical melodrama combined with a ridiculous plot requiring every character to be a heedless idiot.”

Doctor Who: “Extremis”

“I was going to put a spoiler warning at the top of this, even though I usually don’t, because it seemed like an episode where much of the appeal would be undermined by knowing all the surprises from the outset. As it turns out, the opposite is true: it’s better the second time. Nevertheless, maybe don’t read this until you’ve seen the episode.”

Doctor Who: “Oxygen”

“If you can’t appreciate and relate at least a little bit to a story where the people you work for seem to view your most basic human needs as an unwelcome expense…you just might be one of the suits.”

Doctor Who: “Knock Knock”

“Things in ‘Knock Knock’ are a little bit magic because it’s a horror film packed into a Doctor Who episode, and almost every horror film is at least a little bit magic.”

Doctor Who: “Thin Ice”

“It’s the Doctor and his companion righting wrongs in a worthwhile, thorough, and satisfying way. One can imagine the churl who’d object to any of this, but one cannot agree with him, nor quite respect him.”

Doctor Who: “Smile”

“This is of course the second episode in a row concerned with technology that is both incredibly powerful and colossally dumb, causing enormous harm through a misguided and clueless desire to help.”