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Doc needlessly spreads propaganda for the enemy, performs a regeneration fake-out and kills innocent dock workers in the last part of the Monk trilogy

It’s just another ordinary day on the tranquil streets of mind-foggy Monkdon Town. Crowds of sheeple goggle through the window of Magpie Electricals, drinking in Doctor-narrated visual soma in blissful acquiescence to Priti Patel’s totalitarian wet-dream goose-stepping all around them.

Bill and her mind’s-eye mug-minding mum are having none of it though, resisting the urge to believe the televised truth and walking the streets like Martha in Last of the Time Lords, clinging desperately to the hope that the Doctor has a plan beyond being Monk GB News’s lead anchor in perpetuity.

Just as all seems lost, enter Nardy, once again breathing because some time has passed, and handily equipped with a thing that out-things the thing the Monks are using. Off they sneak to the wild waters off Scotland where 12 lurks in a prison hulk, but can this rebel-bait be convinced to switch?

Here's what we think of N139 The Lie of The Land

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

2.0

Drew | @drewbackwhen

1.0

Marie | @hammashandjelly

2.8

Here's what we think of N139 The Lie of The Land

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

2.0

Drew | @drewbackwhen

1.0

Marie | @hammashandjelly

2.8

Here's what you think 4 Responses to “N139 The Lie of The Land”
  1. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    A strong dose of ‘we have always been at war with Eurasia’. Psychic control and a secret police reminds me of series 3 and the Saxon/The Master plot. Any other eps? It feels a familiar plot from general fiction, certainly the fake memories with Torchwood and Star Trek having done that a few times.

    Hmm, the Doctor regeneration fakeout twist happened too early in the episode. It happened 18 mins into it, when it should have happened 5-10 mins later. It just left the rest of the story a bit light on content or a bit more drawn out than it needed to be. That was something I felt at the time and still did on rewatch for this review.

    That said, I like Bill talking to her mum (I realise that Chibnall nicked that for next series). Nice setup for the end of the episode. Asking the Missy for help feels like the reverse of all those Pertwee stories where the Master realises he needs the Doctor’s help as he’s mis-calculated, though is similar to Logopolis I suppose.

    Thinking back to my question in the previous mini, I suppose it was a trap for the Doctor and Bill. The Monks need someone pure of heart and sincere and Bill fits the, er, bill (sorry…). As she’s the lynchpin, the Doctor can’t really take any action against her. The ending isn’t particularly novel, we’ve had ‘love saves the day’ before so that counts against it for me.

    A little bit of a let down on the previous couple 3.3/5

    Cheers

    Kieren

  2. Tanz Sixfingers | @TanzSixfingers

    Hello Leon, Drew, Marie, and Jim!
    Lie of the Land wraps up the three-story arc of the Monks’ invasion nicely.

    I find the odd correlation between your Classic Who and New Who podcasts intriguing, in that there is also currently a three-story arc in classic as well. This also happened when you reviewed Into the Dalek just after Invisible Enemy, which both involved shrinking people, and Journey to the Center of the TARDIS just after Deadly Assassin, where both referred to the legendary Eye of Harmony. I know it has happened numerous times before, too.

    I thought Bill did a marvelous job of carrying the episode, especially at the beginning, when we don’t even see the Doctor for a while. I enjoyed Nardole (as always); he has such an expressive face. He’s also a great counterpoint to Bill.

    I didn’t understand why the Doctor took so long to send Nardole to get Bill, unless he had some way of knowing whether she had broken through the hypnosis, or he was just gathering other forces.

    I loved Missy in this! I thought the part about her feeling regret for each death a nice touch. I think this is the best iteration of the Master since Delgado.

    I did not care for the appearance of the monks. Unless they are the literal remains of a long-lived race, I don’t know why they would look like desiccated corpses.

    This story emphasized spectacle over substance, so I rate it 2.8 out of 5.

    ~Tanz Sixfingers
    On Instagram @Tanz6Fingers

  3. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club

    Likes:

    • The fake news Trumpian satire stuff.
    • The Doctor’s charade to Bill. Fooled me! You total dick Doctor, said I.
    • Missy on the piano.

    Beefs:

    • Déjà vu to Saxon Master’s Earth. Why such a 1984 shittip? It would have been WAY better had the monks created an illusion of utopia, with only Bill seeing the real world.
    • Why are the monks, uber indestructible in Pyramid, now super naff?
    • Why didn’t the monk on the boat recognise Bill as The One who consented away Earth?
    • The monks remained a bit of an enigma. What did they really look like? Why did they want the Earth? What are their hobbies?
    • ‘They do what oppressors always do when they realise who’s really in power. They run’. Except for the ones that fight horribly to the death, usually bringing their countries collapsing around them. Why did the monks just leave? Why not zap the Earth from orbit in a huff?

    Summary: a disappointing finale to one of the best three parters in New ‘Who.

    Rating: 2.3/5 ‘memory criminals’ being summarily zapped. Zoink!

  4. Eddie Rock | @TheEddieRock

    Well, here we are at the end of this long and epic saga. This brilliantly original take on an alien invasion story can be summed up in one word. Unfortunately that word is: anticlimactic. But first, the good stuff.

    Nardole’s high-pitched screaming when confronted with a chair made me lol. Every Fraking word Missy says in her scene was pure gold. The psychout of The Doctor’s betrayal was so good it almost had me convinced the first time. Which leads directly to my first BEEF.

    Showing The Doctor starting to regenerate when supposedly being shot was cheap and lazy. I’m sure it made for a compelling clip in the trailer but it served no purpose except to trick the audience. Which was completely unnecessary after the fantastic scene which led up to it. Even this though doesn’t compare to the tragedy that is the final act.

    This whole serial was so unique and original and it really brought its A game to Capaldi’s final season. So why was the whole thing completely undone by an imaginary memory? Yes, it’s clever that they brought the story of the pictures back around but nothing in this story felt lazy until the trick with The Doctor regenerating, after which EVERYTHING was just sloppily rushed along. Very disappointing culmination to what could have been remembered as a favorite Doctor Who story.

    Overall, I give this episode a 2.6 out of 5 sanity saving Sony Walkmans. Until next time, ROCK ON

    -Eddie Rock

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