So after 12 years we finally have a story written by someone who wrote for the classic series. Seems strange to have taken so long when there’s a few still writing. Rona Munro wrote Survival in 1989 which could easily have slotted in to any of the 21st century seasons.
We get another historical setting and this one feels as real as the past few. Again we start with great interplay from the three regulars, I love the fact they’re only there because Bill said she knew more about the Romans than The Doctor. Bill getting separated early on and for a reasonable time means we get a bit more of Bill than we have over the last few episodes whilst The Doctor and Nardole get into the normal kind of trouble (getting captured and ending up talking their captors round). I like that Nardole goes native very quickly whilst waiting for The Doctor
Like other stories the alien threat is almost incidental to the story of the romans and the picts who’ve unleashed it to battle and have to sacrifice themselves to save the world. However the dialogue crackles and is almost lyrical in places and the idea that The Doctor thinks everyone sound like children is a good one and makes sense considering he’s from an advanced civillisation and is a nice counterpoint to it being children who save the world.
We end with another Missy scene and it’s still hard to decipher if she’s attempting to change her ways or playing on The Doctor’s desire for her to change. Michelle Gomez is wonderful in these scenes as is Peter Capaldi, I wish we could’ve had more of this before we get to what will be a hectic finale.