Oxygen is the one thing lacking when The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on a spaceship… despite the fact they can walk about due to artificial gravity PLUS they can breathe due to an air seal thing from the TARDIS.
The premise is: 4 survivors, one distress call, but originally there were 40 crew members, so as we see from the pre-credits scene, there are 36 zombies walking about… and they’re gunning for the blood of the living, the whole problem down to the spacesuits containing the instruction: “Deactivate your organic component”, so the robot suits were told to kill off their users inside. Talk about “Computer says no”(!)
Early on, intrigue was attempted as our heroes found a crew member who’s standing up, but dead… like that guy in Blue Velvet… yet, in this case, it’s his suit’s gyro-stablisers which is helping with that.
And why do spacesuit helmets in TV and films always have lights INSIDE? There’s NO use for that whatsoever!
Alas, this was just another episode when the gruesome threesome were just pottering around a ship for the majority of the running time – not even running because they were making their tracks away from slow zombies – with the good guys get picked off one by one, even if when this was done last week in Knock Knock, everyone was fine in the end.
The zombies broke The Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, so there was a slight plus that they could rely one an easy deus ex machina with that, but I bet he was thinking… if only he still had those stupid sonic sunglasses.
Oh, and at one point, it looked like Bill might buy the farm… since we know she’s leaving after one series, but I was hoping she’d die in this one! Bwahahahahahahahaaaaa!!!
There were a few amusing lines of dialogue:
After scaring them by revealing a robot space suit is empty and headless, Bill chastised The Doctor…
- Bill: “Do people ever hit you?”
Doctor: “Only when I’m talking”
And when the oxygen levels are being depleted in the ship…
- Bill: “You said those things were going to kill us!”
Doctor: “Well, on the plus side, we’re dying already.”
And when the zombies are after them, the computer says, calmly: “You look like you’re trying to run. Would you like some help with that?”
As Bill was surprised by the Blue man, he sighed, “Great, we rescued a racist!”
But as for that chap, was it Yondu or Mary Poppins from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2? 😉
Now, a brief bit about the episode in spoiler terms, so a spoiler heading is the order of the day…
Now, harking back to the start of the episode, The Doctor was back giving lecturers again, despite – after last week – everyone clearly now knowing exactly who he is and what he can do, so how come he hasn’t got the boot for an undisclosed second job?
And when he went off-track from talking about crop rotation (in the 14th Century? Was that a Young Ones reference?), and how you can quickly die in space, what was that diagram of a skull he seemingly drew?
Next week: The Doctor meets the Pope, despite still being ocularly-challenged. Missy returns, and there’s lots of mystery, but not an explanation of how the Catholic church got away with systematic abuse of children for so many years. Wonder if they’ll tackle that one in 45 minutes? Doubt it.
Oxygen is available on the BBC iPlayer until one week after the series ends. You can also pre-order Series 10 Part 1 on Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release on May 29th. Both versions contain six episodes, plus six exclusive Series 10 art-cards.
Individual episodes can be bought in HD and SD here.
Director: Charles Palmer
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Executive Producers: Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin
Writer: Jamie Mathieson
Music: Murray Gold
The Doctor: Peter Capaldi
Bill: Pearl Mackie
Nardole: Matt Lucas
Ivan: Kieran Bew
Tasker: Justin Salinger
Dahh-Ren: Peter Caulfield
Abby: Mimi Ndiweni
Ellie: Katie Brayben
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.