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Oxygen

ShowDoctor Who / Series X / Episode 6
First Broadcast2017/05/14 - 19:40 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeKnock Knock
Next EpisodeExtremis

The unevenness of the series continues and we have bounced back with a much better episode. As usual there is a puzzle. How do the crew members survive when oxygen is so limited? And why are the suits malfunctioning and turning the humans into zombies? In a not-so-subtle dig at extreme capitalism and possibly machine learning, we find it is simply the natural(?) outcome of the algorithm monitoring the station. As the humans' productivity drops below the cost of keeping them alive, the algorithm terminates them (having first ordered a replacement crew).

As the episode reaches its climax and Bill's suit malfunctions, the Doctor is forced to take the risk of exposing himself to the vacuum of space. The consequence of that is that he goes blind. He claims it is temporary and finds something in the TARDIS to fix the situation, but we later find out he is actually permanently blind. This is a big development - for the first time the Doctor is disabled. No doubt this will prove crucial down the track. It also highlights the risk of leaving the vault - is the Doctor's ability to guard it now adversely affected? No doubt, we'll see.

Sidebar: this is the only episode title of the entire new series to begin with the letter 'O'.