Browse the WBW Podcast
Browse the WBW Podcast

The Genius Twins are the least of Bill’s and Doc’s worries in this highly divisive episode

Life was tranquil in The Shire 507, for indeed it had always been so, as far back as people could remember, apart from the nightly scarecrow attacks on Horny Miss Hazran’s Home for Horrible Herberts. Then to top it all off a Mondasian Cyberman shoots up through the floor carrying what appears to be a deceased Time Lord as a sick joke.

Back on the flashback deck, Missy and The Master have tied The Doctor to a chair and are torturing him into a volcanic state. They’ve turned the city into a metropolis of Cyber-foundries, but as they’re high-fiving each other and sparks are flying between them, Doc seizes his chance to make them all targets for Cyber-conversion.

Operation Exodus now proceeds on two floors and in two time zones, as ever-more futuristic Cybers ascend from the foundries and Doc, Bill and Nardole make preparations for an endless string of farewells and an inevitable ascent of their own. Can Bill retain her humanity? Will Nardole bump tankards with Horny Miss Hazran? Will Doc regenerate all over everyone?

Here's what we think of N143 The Doctor Falls

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


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Marie | @hammashandjelly


Here's what we think of N143 The Doctor Falls

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


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Marie | @hammashandjelly


Here's what you think 7 Responses to “N143 The Doctor Falls”
  1. Awesome Alfie

    Ayyy another good episode. I love the cybermen. I love the masters. I love the doctors speech! It’s kinda sad but I think it would be sadder if Bill just died instead of turning into a puddle girl. However this should have been the episode doc regenerated in instead of the boring twice upon a time.
    So this episode is a 4/5
    From the former cyberman now puddle boy, awesome Alfie

  2. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hey it’s a Moffat finale I like! I feel like it’s a novelty.

    Compared to some it’s a lowkey affair. The Doctor is set to try to save a few people because it’s the right thing to do. And the Doctor is dying due to the actions of the Cybermen, linking back to The Tenth Planet. Bill and Nardole are great and brilliant camerawork of getting the differing shots of Bill in both her forms.

    I like the Master/Missy dynamic and bickering. Is the Master dead? No, as the classic gang are about to discover in a few eps time, it’s very hard to kill the Master (and of course we know about Dhawan, wherever he fits in).

    A minor gripe that the modern stomping feels out of place with the tenth planet style cybermen. They aren’t that mechanical in nature, it just feels a bit silly.

    Also Heather turns up and sort of resurrects Bill without the Doctor knowing. Hmm, so Moffat has copied his previous finale. I’m going to say I prefer this one but it does grate a little that he effectively reused the same plot from the previous one. Also I would have preferred there to be a reference to Heather in between The Pilot and this one. That might have sold it a little better.

    A good continuation from the first half, Moffat didn’t fuck it up this time 4.0/5

    Hey, nice snowy visual of the doctor regenerat-….Oh wait….we still have that one to go…

    Next Week: Kieren Has A Rant

  3. Robbie Ellinor | @RobbieSE (Insta: @graysongridcosplay)

    Hey gang! It’s been a while, I’ve been doing a Matt Smith era rewatch to get ready for wearing my Eleven cosplay for the first time this weekend (along with my girlfriend’s Clara!) but I thought I would jump forward in time to do this mini for you guys.

    Now Twelve may not be my favourite Doctor, but wow, this man is fantastic. What an incredible episode, it pulled on my emotions over and over. Mind you, this one didn’t have me bawling uncontrollably like some of the Smith episodes I’ve watched lately, but I absolutely loved this. A double dose of the Master, a Cyber Man army, lots of heart, what more could you ask for? 4.7/5

    Robbie Ellinor

    Oh and you can tell the listeners they can follow my cosplay Instagram at Grayson Grid Cosplay, thanks guys!

  4. Tanz Sixfingers | @tanzsixfingers

    Hello Who Back When Team!!

    This episode was a great, if heartbreaking, sendoff for Bill, although much too soon. I was also sad to see Nardole leave, but maybe he can come back later, eh?

    Since I’m limited to 250 words, I’ll just stick to some of the great lines Moffat loaded into this gem.

    In the second post intro credit scene, the when they are dancing:
    Missy “Hold me.”
    Master: “Kiss me.”
    Missy: “Make me.”
    Doctor: “I guess you want to be alone. Which in your case would mean more than it usually does.” (Leon must’ve had a meltdown over this scene.)
    When the software upgrade takes effect, and the Master is confused, the Doctor says: “You two: you should know by now, when you are winning and I’m in the room, you are missing something.” And the whole exposition there, ending with “Welcome to the menu.”

    And “You know the stories. There’s only been one way to stop that many Cybermen: Me.”

    When Nardole brings the shuttle and The Master enters: “The Doctors dead. He told me to tell you he always hated you.” Then Missy comes in and says the same thing.
    Then Nardole says, “Yeah, I heard you the first time.”

    When they are asking the Doctor “how many ways have you died?” Missy says “I know you have fallen.” which is a callback to Logopolis (Tom Baker’s farewell story).

    The Master calls Missy “Sister” and “Lady Version” among other things.

    When they camouflage the lift in the woods:
    Doctor (referring to Bill): “Do as she says.”
    Master (mockingly): “‘Do as she says?’ Is the future going to be all girl?”
    Doctor: “We can only hope.”
    I had a few small beefs with this episode, but no words left.
    I give this 4.7 mondas cybermen scarecrows out of 5

  5. Daniel McGinley

    There’s a lot here that doesn’t make sense and the base story is flimsy but overall it’s a decent adventure, really about the characters with some excellent performances.

    May be a cliché but Capaldi acts his socks off. AGAIN. The scenes with Bill in the barn and in the Tardis are excellent, but the real highlight is the being kind monologue. Sublime. Yet he’s uncharacteristically nego, giving up on helping Bill and saving everyone.

    Mackie is great as Bill and the scenes switching between her and the cyberman are well done. Nardole as the hero was fun and of course Michelle Gomez is captivating as Missy. Wasn’t it heart-breaking the Doctor never saw her become good. And why didn’t she regenerate? Because it was a ‘full blast’. Yet Doc can choose not to regenerate. Consistency please!

    Floor 507 has a dangerous volume of explosives, surely a health and safety issue.

    Did Bill really need to tell the Doc that she liked girls her own age? That was clunky.

    Anything involving time in Who is good and the reasoning for not being able to go to the Tardis was clever – but surely it applies to those coming up from below too? Hmm my head hurts thinking about it.

    My major issue with this episode is the same as almost every cyberman story – no one can resist the cyber programming; unless they happen to be a companion. GRRRRRR.

    The resolution was a RIDICULOUS Deus ex machina. When the Pilot tells Bill she can do anything (it’s just atoms after all) does she ask to help the fallen Doctor? Nope, she sods off into space with her new emo girlfriend. See ya Doc.

    Still, really enjoyed this story and David Bradley ended it with a brilliant bang. 4.2 / 5

  6. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club


    • Missy & the Master’s delicious chemistry and perfect demise. More multi-Master/Missy stories please.


    • Bill coming back from the dead as some alien ghost puddle. When companions die they should stay dead. Adric is as dead as a dormouse and we respect him all the more for it.
    • The kids. And the Peter Pan ‘if we really believe it, the apples will be real grenades’, or something (or were they real grenades? I didn’t really get that).
    • Those Cybermen are blasting the Doctor over and over. How is he still standing? Those lasers are blowing up trees. Cyber Bill blew the side off a barn. Chunks of the Doctor’s flesh should be decorating the forest.
    • Missed opportunity for some Seventh Doctor era Cybermen booming ‘eradicate them!’ whilst shaking their silver fists.

    Summary: There should have been another way.

    Rating: 2.5/5 Waltons kids not being horribly slaughtered in sufficient numbers for me to fully enjoy the episode. My audience demographic is not being catered to!

  7. Ben / Tanz Sixfingers

    Especially in the screenshot you have displayed above, it makes me wonder if Moffat started with the idea of the Doctor’s companion becoming a cyberman, thus having the Doctor fail in the worst way. Every time I see a Mondasian cyberman, I can’t help but think of “Mister Bill” from Saturday Night Live in the 80s. This makes me think Moffat had this planned out long ago, and named the character “Bill” specifically for that reason.

    If you are not aware of this character, do an image search, and you will see the resemblance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you haven't already... Subscribe now!

Subscribe to us on iTunes now! We're dropping a new episode every week (pretty much), reviewing Classic Who, New Who and all kinds of bonus stuff from spin-offs and conventions to Doctor Who comic books.

We last reviewed...

N183 73 Yards