Thursday, 18 May 2017
Oxygen - The Review
Hands up who thought that GUS was back. I think they missed a trick by not having the homicidal computer system behind Ganymede Systems rather idiosyncratic approach to labour relations. I was wondering how they were going to explain zombies in a science-fiction setting. The corpses were just along for the ride, and it was the suits that were really doing the walking and shocking.
Said corpses were one of the most disturbing things we've seen for a long time in the programme -especially that chap who they first came across in the workshop.
It was a great opening sequence, though I was annoyed that the lady whose oxygen was on the point of running out kept blabbing away. The implication was that she already knew that her comms system wasn't working properly. No wonder this lot of miners were regarded as being less than efficient. The shadows of the dead pair descending was a great image.
We were promised a big shock in this episode, and twice it looked as if it was going to involve Bill. First she gets exposed to the vacuum of space - only to survive without any ill effects at all. Then she seemed to get killed by the suited zombies. Again, despite being given an electric shock - enough to scar her face - she recovered straight away. No, it was the Doctor whose life has been turned upside down. He was blinded after giving up his helmet for Bill, and at the conclusion he revealed that Nardole's cure did not work. No sign of regeneration energy being used to heal his sight, which is odd. How long will he stay this way? Is this just a temporary thing - so that he can get away with handling the Veritas next week without dying like all the others who have read it, so merely a linking thing? It would be interesting to have a Doctor with a disability for a while, though I'm sure the sonic spectacles will compensate.
One slight negative this week. I thought the racism thing was a bit laboured. I don't recall it being made such a big issue with Mickey or with Martha. The ending was a little too close to that of the Flesh two-parter as well, with the survivors going off to challenge Head Office. The whole idea of a space crew only having a finite amount of oxygen seemed a bit too far-fetched. We saw at least three suits in for repair, so surely accidents with the oxygen can occur. Not very efficient for a business not to give its staff the tools to do their jobs. Had they been more efficient, wouldn't they have used up their oxygen faster, doing all that hard work.
Nothing really new on the Vault front this week, except that whoever is in there does pose a threat (so not likely to be Susan or anything like that).
Next week we are promised something special. Apparently it is two parallel stories for the price of one. I'm assuming this means that Missy's strand will be seen separately from what the Doctor gets up to. This also opens the three interlinked tales that make up the mid-point to the season.