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TV Reviews: FTN Reviews Doctor Who Season 10 Episode 05: Oxygen

May 14th, 2017 by Todd Black Comments

And the horror train continues! lol. I noted last episode that the theme of this season seems to be making you afraid of things you wouldn’t expect. Water, emotions, ice and sound, the place you live, and now, with “Oxygen” it’s the very air you breathe.

Admittedly, this was a very clever episode in both form and resolution. After a very chilling space opening (you had to feel bad for that woman who wanted to have a baby), we find ourselves back with the Doctor and Bill (and Nardole) on Earth, with the Doctor wanting so much to go back into space, so when he found a distress call, of course he took it!

What I really liked about “Oxygen” was that it was a true case of 2001: A Space Odyssey meets The Cold Equations. With the suits AI being the thing that was killing the astronauts, and the reason for the killings was nothing more than the cost of keep them alive was “too high”. Or as the Doctor called it, “space capitalism”. It was a really fun twist, as well as a good warning about what happens when money becomes all we care for.

There were plenty of spooky moments in the episode, including, but not limited to, Bill almost dying…TWICE! Seriously, you knew she wouldn’t die, but the show sold that she just might. Now true, the reason for her second non-death was a little convenient, but oh well.

The Doctor’s plan about “dying well” was equally as brilliant. After all, if killing people is cheap, but losing a space station for killing the people is expensive…wouldn’t you stop killing the people?

Plus, we got to find out that the “complaint” filed by the remaining astronauts helped start a revolution that stopped “space capitalism”! Happy endings all around!…or so we thought.

The Doctor is blind now because he saved Bill from her first “death”. I’m very curious how this will play out. Especially with how this will tie to the vault. Which is my only other complaint, we’ve been hearing for 5 episodes now that the vault “needs” to be protected, and that someone “has to” watch over it, but is that really the case? They’ve traveled all over the universe now and the only time the vault has opened was when the Doctor made it open. Why is it so imperative that they protect a seemingly locked vault? We’re halfway through the season, we really need to know soon.

In the end, “Oxygen” was another great take on fear, and it led to a twist that I hope will last for at least another episode, maybe two.

4 out of 5 nerds

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians (guardians-comic.com). He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!

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