The Test of Shadows, or “Near Death”

Spoiler-Free Synopsis of Doctor Who, Season 10, Episode 6, “Extremis”:
The Vatican has a secret book in an unknown language. Everyone who translates it and reads it commits suicide. The Vatican has two options: make sure no one ever reads the book again…or ask the Doctor to read it. One of those options makes for a better story.

First of all, turns out other people really liked the last episode, “Oxygen.” I sometimes like episodes that other fans don’t like, but the opposite doesn’t happen to me often. No accounting for taste, and all that. Oh well.
This week, the Doctor is still hiding his secret from last episode. He’s even hiding it from Bill, because as soon as he tells her he’ll have to actually deal with it. But he still wants her to come along with him, even on this particular adventure, because she’s his companion. As I said before, I love companion dynamics.
What doesn’t make sense is why he would bring the Pope and the cardinals along to pick Bill up, just so they could hop out of the TARDIS to surprise her and her date.
Oh yeah, her date. I’m calling it: Bill is going to come out to her foster mom at a very inconvenient moment, like when their lives are in danger. And her mom is going to be totally fine with it, because at least she’s not dating boys. And the fans of LGBTQWXYZ+ will rejoice, and the Christians will have no choice but to grin and bear it. So it is written, so it shall be.
On the bright side, Nardole finally has a purpose! Whether it’s helping the Doctor keep his secret out of friendly loyalty or being “secretly a badass,” I actually like him now. While the Doctor was indisposed, Nardole played the Doctor’s role as only Matt Lucas could. He even stopped complaining about…oh! Almost forgot to mention the vault.
We finally know who’s in there, mainly because this episode didn’t have 40-something minutes of plot so they had to add flashbacks. Not that the flashbacks had much to do with the main plot.

7/10 Latin words that make things sound cooler than they really are.

What did you think of this episode? Let’s Connect!


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