Doctor Who “The Lie of the Land” Review
The episode starts off with a PSA featuring the Doctor about the monks and their presence in the world. They have brainwashed people into thinking they have been here during the human race’s entire history. A woman is arrested trying to convince people that they have only been in their lives a few months, but people don’t listen.
In this episode, there are flashes of the monks during each character’s story or thoughts. Bill frequently blinks them out of her mind. She has a moment of hallucination where she talks to her mom, who all know died when she was very young. Bill doesn’t remember how she escaped them after asking for help. She thinks that everyone has been brainwashed. Nardole comes and interrupts her conversation. Bill tells him that she has to remind her that everything is real that she and the Doctor did.
Nardole says that he has found the Doctor, but he can’t track them but has figured out a way to find him. The Doctor is being kept on a boat, and they need to find a way to get to him. They head to the ship that is set to bring supplies to the prison ship where the Doctor is being held.
They do a check on their papers, and they get lucky and able to get on the boat without being checked when the monks arrived on the ship. One of the monks stops with Bill and Nardole and stares at her then walks away. Nardole and Bill manage to find the Doctor, and he calls the guards and tells them they shouldn’t have come. He calls the monks to tell them Bill and Nardole are there. The Doctor says that the human race is stagnant. The Doctor lectures Bill for her terrible decision to ask for their help to get him get his sight back. She tries her best to get him to prove he’s playing a part and not on their side and she is devastated when she is wrong. Bill takes a gun and threatens the Doctor, and she shoots him. We start to see the Doctor regenerate, which is a trick. It turns out that he was trying to test her.
The Doctor decides that he must finally release whoever is in the vault. They head back to the university, and he opens the vault, walks in and we see Missy playing the piano. They have some witty banter back and forth. Missy agrees to help and gives information about the monks to the Doctor. The Doctor discovers that the statues are transmitters and that he must kill whoever the person is that gave consent.
The Doctor makes a plan to replace the signals with his brainwaves so that the Doctor can intercept what they are hearing. Bill, The Doctor, Nardole and the people the Doctor has recruited head to the transmitter so that they can help the Doctor. When one of the soldiers is shot, his concentration is broken and can be manipulated by the monks again. The team presses forward.
They find the transmitter, but the one soldier tries to shoot the Doctor when he is under their control. Nardole saves them by using a pressure point. The Doctor enters and sees the transmitter. As the Doctor tries to change it, the transmitting monk fights back, and the Doctor starts losing the fight. Passed out, the Doctor wakes up, and Bill tries to say goodbye. She is going to try to save everyone. The Doctor fights his way out but not in time to stop Bill. As Bill takes over, we see her memories, and the monk fights back to replace her memories. She is back talking to her mom again, and it gives her the strength to change the memories back and rid the world of the monks.
Bill broke the signal, and the people start to revolt. The monks retreat and leave the Earth as it was. They have even erased themselves from the mind of humanity. The Doctor tells Bill she needs to write her paper on free will. Back in the vault, Missy and the Doctor are spending time together, and she remembers all the people she has killed and is remorseful.
This episode has more of a serious tone than previous episodes. The episode has a weird voice over where Bill is telling what has happened and her thoughts. It is very distracting and takes away from the story.
The special effects in the episode are well done. The gun battle scene when the group tries to take on the monks is pretty impressive. The slow motion lightning was particularly well done.
While the story felt like it lagged, it was still entertaining and dealt with some fairly interesting and relevant topics. Doctor Who is a joy to watch and a great reminder of what is great about humanity and the world.