SPOILERS FOR EXTREMIS (DW S10E06) BELOW!
DO NOT READ THIS PIECE IF YOU HAVE NOT VIEWED EXTREMIS!
Last week’s Extremis brought forth a number of big reveals, including the identity of who, exactly, is being kept in that vault - and the introduction of a new species which appears to be S10’s predominant dramatic foil. If its not a ‘foil’ - it’s safe to assume this species is an ‘instigator’ - or ‘facilitator of a far larger narrative’ - at the very least.
The reveal that Missy/the Master was the individual locked away in the vault…and that the Doctor was fulfilling an oath to watch over him/her for a thousand years…fell flat and felt predictable to many. But Extremis’ overall story arc of invading aliens creating a (MATRIX-like) simulated Earth to rehearse an invasion of our actual reality was potent, unexpected, and opens up a number of possibilities for S10 and beyond.
How, or whether, the Missy reveal and the alien agenda intersect has now become a chief mystery of S10. Given how DOCTOR WHO tends to work, it seems likely that these two plot strands will ultimately inform each other in some way, although it’s difficult to see just how… yet.
Is the Doctor playing a long-game, utilizing Missy/the Master as a pawn in a grander equation than we’re able to discern at face value? Or is Missy/the Master secretly orchestrating these events towards nefarious ends? Ends which may well result in the Doctor’s regeneration?
Trailers for The Pyramid at the End of the World, this week’s episode…
...and official promo images...
…indicate we’ll see more of Extremis’ ‘invaders’ this weekend. I strongly suspect said invaders may not be as clear-cut/one-dimensionally ‘bad’ as first impression would suggest.
Daniel Nettheim (who brought us Extremis) also helms Pyramid, which is co-scripted by The Mighty Moff and Peter Harness. Harness has previously written S8's Kill the Moon for DOCTOR WHO, as well The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion. The two Zygon tales were, incidentally, also directed by Nettheim.
I found the Harness/Nettheim Zygon collaborations a bit uneven, and many folks didn't enjoy Kill the Moon (which I, personally, didn't mind), so it'll be interesting to see how Pyramid shakes out this week.
Come what may, setting aside some story quibbles, Nettheim directed Extremis very nicely, crisply, and smartly. Hopefully such sensibilities will convey into Pyramid on Saturday.
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