As with previous two-part finales, World Enough and Time holds much back – we only get the briefest glimpse of John Simm’s Master out of his ridiculous, if quite effective, costume nor do we get the sense of how his and Missy’s relationship will ultimately play out; there’s just one shot of the much-heralded return of the Mondasian Cybermen but considering it hosts what remains of Bill Potts that moment certainly packs a wallop; then there’s the Twelfth Doctor’s regeneration which, while show at the start of the episode, is left dangling as a promissory note of future thrills to come.
If all that sounds like Dark Water, dismiss such horrifying notions immediately because, as penultimate episodes go, this one is both a hell of a lot more fun and it’s positively bursting with ideas – the most eye-catching of which is the massive colony ship caught in two time zones thanks to the gravitational pull of an ever-closer black hole (although perhaps the episodes greatest trick is making the conceit of Missy playing the Doctor – complete with various ‘Doctor Who?’ jokes – not as cringe-inducing as it sounds).
World Enough and Time does an outstanding job of presenting a world so disease-ridden and miserable that a Cyber upgrade might feel like a legitimate solution. It certainly does a better job of conveying the abject body-horror of the Cybermen than The Age of Steel/Rise of the Cybermen which never really manages to make John Lumic’s overriding plan feel more than the ravings of a mad man.
The temptation might have been to bring back the Mondasian Cybermen’s aesthetic and just ignore their frankly barmy backstory – it’s not as if Mondas carries the same weight as Gallifrey or Skaro in the minds of recent viewers – but, much to its credit, World Enough and Time fully embraces the story laid out in The Tenth Planet of an upside-down Earth—hidden on the other side of the sun before it broke orbit and wandered into the depths of space with its heart on its sleeve.
Another highlight is the return of John Simm’s Master who, as someone who has always loved Simm’s interpretation of the character if not the material Russell T. Davies gave him (Moffat and Missy always felt more comfortable pushing the character to Joker levels of villainy), feels more comfortable in the role than he did under Davies’ remit of playing a darker version of the Tenth Doctor. In giving us a more concrete reason for there to be two Masters in this story – other than it being geeky fun – he feels like a more petulant incarnation of the character when compared to Missy; let’s not forget what she did to Bill. She might actually be the evillest incarnation of the character which presents a legitimate reason for Simm’s Master to be concerned for his future.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings, what did our dear readers think of World Enough and Time?
Understandably, Bar was blown away by how ‘beautifully crafted’ the episode was while making a salient comparrion to Genesis of the Daleks.
Colebox crafted this wonderful analogy for Series 10’s up and downs – while praising the revelatory qualities of World and Time Enough.
And finally, Rick got the feeling that Moffat was going for broke – and loved every minute of it.
No trip back through opinions past would be complete without a look at our non-scientific poll results which as you can see by the handy diagram below, the consensus thought the episode was ‘Masterful’ (see what we did there?), with 93 voters giving it our puntastic equivalent of 5/5.