Welcome to Who New and review, a podcast from the Galactic Network
So as with all my reviews I will give the synopsis – what you mean that wasn’t the synopsis. The good bits, the bad bits. The most whoniversal bit and then my rambling musings.
An 'ancient' pyramid appears overnight. Every clock in the world begins counting down to the Earth's destruction. Three opposing armies lie ready to annihilate each other. An alien race stands ready to offer humanity a deal that could save them, but enslave them. It is a terrifying race against time to save the world. Will the Doctor be forced to accept their help?
The Good Bits – Bills date and its interruption from the UN
The Bad Bit – The monks, humans are idiots and would recoil from such horrors, except these ones, and the doctors indifference to war
The whoniversal bit – It was a pure sci-fi romp like the good old days
Two lab technicians, one hungover, one missing her reading glasses, are sleepwalking into the apocalypse, with a string of seemingly small moments threatening to unleash a biohazard that will wipe out the entire human race. After a pacey, impressive set up then, The Pyramid At The End Of The World admirably slows down to slide more things into place. The episode could quite easily have been the opening of a two-parter, as much the middle part of three. As things stand, I’m still not quite sure as to where Extremis fits in now, certainly to the degree that it seemed to a week ago. I get the story strands, and the computer simulation, but it took a whole episode to set up to that. And then The Pyramid At The End Of The Earth escalated the threat anyway, and made it a real one. The middle segment of this one I had a few quibbles with. I liked the impending sense of doom, which had a tinge of Torchwood: Children Of Earth to me. Also, as the biological threat escalated, I did make a mental note to dig out a copy of Steven Soderbergh’s thriller, Contagion, for a deserved rewatch. Furthermore, ticking Doomsday clocks are always fine fodder for building tension, and making clear the stakes. They proved to be so again. Doctor Who "brings it" once more with 'The Pyramid at the End of the World'. It's not a perfect episode – there's an occasional over-reliance on technobabble, with more than one problem solved by some nonsense tinkering, and while the Pyramid gimmick is attention-grabbing, it never really goes anywhere. (The Monks' craft could have been disguised as a Waitrose for all the difference it'd make to the plot.)
For the most part though, this is a smart and distinctive sci-fi tale, visually impressive and told with pace and heart.
And even if it's not perfect, well – it's not the end of the world.
Let’s Do the News
Those wags over at Digital Spy have ranked all the new Doctor who episodes. I am telling you just as a matter of course. I disagree with a lot of what they have said and advising you to avoid it at all costs.
Rachel Talalay will be directing the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Pearl Mackie and past time traveller Billie Piper have just been added to the growing guest list for the upcoming Wizard World convention in Philadelphia
Agent Carter actress Hayley Atwell