TV Club: A frustrating Doctor Who lacks the courage of its convictions

The first bit of tonight’s episode is really good, at least. It’s an irresistible premise: In the wake of Bill’s surrender at the conclusion of “The Pyramid At The End Of The World,” the Monks have insinuated themselves into Earth’s history, fooling humanity into thinking these invaders have been our species’ benevolent guardians since we first crawled out of the sea. In that task, they have the help of the Doctor, who has emerged as chief propagandist for the new regime. In reality, people have only endured six months of this dystopia, but half a year is still plenty long for people to suffer, to lose hope, even to turn on one another and become willing puppets of the Monks. Placing Bill at the center of that story instantly recalls episodes like “The Last Of The Time Lords” and “Turn Left,” which similarly forced companions to …

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