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Spyfall (Part 2)

ShowDoctor Who / Series XII / Episode 2
First Broadcast2020/01/09 - 20:01 (Link: ABC TV)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeSpyfall (Part 1)
Next EpisodeOrphan 55

There was a lot to take in during this episode. The Doctor took one path, met up with some key figures from history, notably Ada Lovelace, and did the usual thing of saving the day by out-thinking the Master. The rest of the team followed their own path, saving themselves from the plane and chasing down Daniel Barton. It all came to a head when everyone coalesced together at the end and the good guys won out.

Overall, it wasn't too bad, things moved along and it was interesting. However there was almost too much happening, not to mention plot holes and clunky dialogue. Given that Spyfall (over two parts) was the first episode in a year, it's disappointing the writing wasn't better. This was a big budget production judging by all the sets and action - they should have invested more in the script.

My favourite bit was the Doctor reaching out the Master over the telegraph with the simple four beats - the drumming.

The biggest revelation was almost unrelated to the episode. The Master's words to the Doctor about everything being a lie are more fully explored. It seems the Master has discovered something about Time Lord history suggesting all is not what it seems. So when the team press the Doctor on who she is and where she's from, perhaps she's no longer sure. I suspect this revelation and the identity and meaning of the Timeless Child will be a recurring theme this season.

Question: does playing around with the Time Lords suggest a lack of imagination? When Doctor Who resumed, it began with the startling idea that the Doctor was the last of the Time Lords and that he was the one who destroyed them. The 9th, 10th and 11th Doctors were haunted by this until the Day of the Doctor when they collectively saved Gallifrey. The 12th Doctor eventually tracked down his home planet. Now, with the 13th Doctor, we find their whole history might be fake. Surely there are other ways to create drama.