Doctor Who Series Guide: A Look Back at Series 10


Whether you like what we’ve seen or not, there’s no questioning that this year’s Doctor Who has taken us on our rollercoaster of emotions. From the debut of Pearl Mackie’s stunning Bill – the most modern and heartfelt companion yet – to the way she’s brought out Peter Capaldi’s departing Doctor’s kind side, Moffat’s upped the ante for his final series as showrunner. As we wait for the nights to draw in ahead of Capaldi’s last Christmas, look back at The Edge‘s thoughts on Series 10 right here!

Episode 1 – ‘The Pilot’

Written by Steven Moffat

Credit: BBC

Meet Bill Potts. She works at St. Luke’s University, serving chips to students, and nothing ever, ever happens. Then, one day, she finds there’s another world beneath the one she knows. A familiar face in a pool of water, and a love that is over before it can begin, will change her for ever – because this is the day Bill meets the Doctor.

???????????????? “Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) is the new young, black, gay companion, who smiles at things she does not understand. For the first half of this series premiere, I smiled for the same reason. In the second half, I just smiled.” Sophie Jones

See our full review here.

Episode 2 – ‘Smile’

Written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce 

Credit: BBC (Screenshot)

In the far future, at the edge of the galaxy, there is a gleaming, perfect city. This brand-new human settlements is said to hold the secret of human happiness – but the only smiles the Doctor and Bill can find are on a pile of grinning skulls. Something is alive in the walls, and the Emojibots are watching from the shadows, as the Doctor and Bill try to unravel a terrifying mystery…

???????????? If I was watching this episode of Doctor Who as one of the emoji-obsessed colony that appears in Smile, my face would have depicted a solid ???? – which ‘Emojipedia’ (yes, that is a thing) defines as a ‘slightly smiling face’. So my survival would be pretty touch-and-go.” James Barker

See our full review here.

Episode 3 – ‘Thin Ice’

Written by Sarah Dollard

Credit: BBC (Screenshot)

In Regency England, beneath the frozen Thames, something is stirring. The Doctor and Bill arrive at the last of the great frost fairs and find themselves investigating a string of impossible disappearances – people have been vanishing on the ice! Bill is about to discover that the past is more like her world than she expected, and that not all monsters come from space.

???????????????? Some Doctor Who episodes are all about the monsters. Some are just fun, timey-wimey space romps. And some really take a look at who the Doctor is. Thin Ice, the third episode starring the magnificent Bill (Pearl Mackie), and the first in which she explores the past, is one of the latter, as we get treated to the fascinating dynamic between the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his latest companion.” Sam Law

See our full review here.

Episode 4 – ‘Knock Knock’

Written by Mike Bartlett

Credit: BBC / David Suchet

Bill is moving in with some friends and they’ve found the perfect house! So what if it’s strangely cheap to rent, and the landlord is a little creepy? The wind blows, the floorboards creak and the Doctor thinks something is very wrong. What lurks in the strange tower at the heart of the building – and why can’t they find any way to enter it…?

???????????? Knock Knock, the fourth episode in Doctor Who‘s so-far acclaimed tenth series, is a bit like the house it’s set in. Whilst appealing on the surface, if you look too hard it’s not hard to find it’s full of holes and a bit creaky. Sounds a bit like most students’ house, really.” Josh Nicholson

See our full review here.

Episode 5 – ‘Oxygen’

Written by Jamie Mathieson

Credit: BBC / screen grabs

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole answer a distress call in deep space, and find themselves trapped on board space station Chasm Forge. All but four of the crew have been murdered – and the dead are still walking! In a future where oxygen is sold by the breath, and space suits are valued more highly than their occupants, the TARDIS crew battle for survival against the darkest evil of all.

???????????? “A bit messy, but ultimately Oxygen ups the stakes and keeps the standard high. […] But a word of advice, Steven Moffat, don’t pretend to kill your companion five episodes in; your audience know they’ll be back five minutes later. Don’t do a Rory.” James Barker

See our full review here.

Episode 6 – ‘Extremis’

Written by Steven Moffat

Credit: BBC (screenshot)

In the Haereticum (the Vatican’s secret library of blasphemy) there is an ancient book known only as ‘The Veritas’. Throughout history, anyone who has ever read it has immediately taken their own life. Now a new translation is online, and the danger is spreading. The Vatican appeals to the Doctor. Will he read ‘The Veritas’? But can even the Doctor survive the ultimate truth?

???????????? Interesting concept, botched execution; Moffat’s second episode this series showcases his ability for double the plotline with half the heart.” Sophie Jones

See our full review here.

Episode 7 – ‘The Pyramid at the End of the World’

Written by Peter Harness and Steven Moffat

Credit: BBC (screenshot)

A 5,000-year-old pyramid stands at the centre of a war zone, where the Chinese, Russian and American armies are about to clash. There are many problems with that, but the one that intrigues the Doctor is this: there wasn’t a pyramid there yesterday. The Doctor, Bill and Nardole face an alien invasion unlike any other – before conquest can begin, these aliens need the consent of the human race.

???????? “The Pyramid at the End of the World is very ‘Series 8’ (a.k.a. very badly paced, very over-complex, and worst of all, quite boring). Unlike the pyramid this episode focuses on, this particular installment of Doctor Who is definitely not one of the Wonders of the World.” Damian Meaden

See our full review here.

Episode 8 – ‘The Lie of the Land’

Written by Toby Whithouse

Credit: BBC (screenshot)

The world is gripped by a mass delusion and only Bill Potts can see the truth. When even the Doctor is fighting on the wrong side, it’s up to Bill to convince the Time Lord that humanity is in deadly danger. And if she can’t do that, she may just have to kill her best friend.

???????????? “You can still feel showrunner Steven Moffat’s creeping influence of convolution at times throughout, but on the whole writer Toby Whithouse does a good job with ‘The Lie of the Land’ to bring the Monks’ story, and hopefully Series 10’s mid-season slump, to an end.” Sam Law

See our full review here.

Episode 9 – ‘The Empress of Mars’

Written by Mark Gatiss

Credit: BBC / screen grabs

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive on Mars and find themselves in an impossible conflict between the Ice Warriors… and Victorian soldiers. As the Martian hive awakens around them, the Doctor faces a unique dilemma – this time the humans, not the Ice Warriors, are the invaders. When Earth is invading Mars, whose side is he on?

???????????? The Empress of Mars isn’t revolutionary in any sense of the word. However, it’s a refreshing change of pace after the over-complicated Monks trilogy. It works well as a self-contained – if slightly forgettable – adventure for the Doctor and Bill.” Josh Nicholson

See our full review here.

Episode 10 – ‘The Eaters of Light’

Written by Rona Munro

Credit: BBC / screen grabs

A long time ago, the Roman legion of the ninth vanished into the mists of Scotland. Bill has a theory about what happened, and the Doctor has a time machine. But when they arrive in ancient Aberdeenshire, what they find is a far great threat than any army. In a cairn, on a hillside, is a doorway leading to the end of the world.

???????????? “Despite teething problems, Munro weaves together an enchanting story with foundations in Scottish myth, and the episode really comes into its own in the last twenty minutes. It’s great to see her avoiding the sickly sweet “solve it with love” solution we’re all so tired of; there’s a real grittiness to the actual resolution, propelled by genuine emotion thanks to fantastic performances from both the main and guest cast.” James Barker

See our full review here.

Episode 11 – ‘World Enough and Time’

Written by Steven Moffat

Credit: BBC / screen grabs

Friendship drives the Doctor into the rashest decision of his life. Trapped on a giant spaceship, caught in the event horizon of a black hole, he witnesses the death of someone he is pledged to protect. Is there any way he can redeem his mistake? Are events already way out of control? For once, time is the Time Lord’s enemy…

???????????????????? Kicking off the Series 10 finale, World Enough and Time is a brilliantly executed adventure for the Doctor, Bill and Nardole. It’s been years since I’ve regarded a Doctor Who episode as perfect, but I’m struggling to find any fault with this masterful work of storytelling.” Josh Nicholson

See our full review here.

Episode 12 – ‘The Doctor Falls’

Written by Steven Moffat

Credit: BBC America

The Mondasian Cybermen are on the rise. It’s time for the Doctor’s final battle…

???????????? “The 12th Doctor hid from compassion in Series 8, loudly re-embraced it in Series 9 and now fully embodies it in 10 – see yet another wonderful monologue about the necessity of kindness. He is now unwilling to change, and rightly so.” Sophie Trenear

See our full review here.

Doctor Who returns at Christmas, with a festive special marking the end of Peter Capaldi’s time at the Twelfth Doctor and Steven Moffat’s as showrunner. David Bradley will guest star as the First Doctor, originally played by William Hartnell.



About Author

Editor of The Edge 2017-18. Culture Editor before that. Sporadic writer for the Wessex Scene, DJ on Surge, known photobomber of SUSUtv's videos. Bad habits include Netflix, not doing my work and drinking too much tea.

12-year-old possessive lioness and shiny goddess of all things nerdy. I am usually great and sometimes Deputy Edit. I support everyone and like everything @faithfulpadfoot. If you speak ill of musicals I may or may not bite thee.

Culture Editor, Pokémon Master, Time Lord and occasional History student. Just don't ask me anything about music.

I play/watch/listen to things, then write about playing/watching/listening to things. Special powers include downing two litres of tea at a time and binging a 13-episode Netflix series in only 12 hours. Records Editor 2018/19 OMG

Third year Film and English student living in D.C., self-proclaimed go-to Edge expert on Cloverfield, Fall Out Boy, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Loves mostly those three things.

Damian is a final-year History student, part-time motorsport media professional and a lover of films and stand-up comedy.

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