In tonight's all-new episode of Doctor Who
, "Oxygen," the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) takes Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) to a space station after receiving a distress call from Chasm Forge, where the space suits have killed all but four of the crew. Here oxygen is a commodity and at a premium, and the only way they can get it is from the suits. In addition, thirty-six deadly corpses are walking around the station! The trio must fight to save what's left of the crew and escape back to the Tardis, all with less than three thousand breaths.
As the weeks have gone by, the audience has been getting used to the new dynamic of the Doctor and his new companion, and by now they've completely hit their groove. Bill is still learning things, but she's all-in. It doesn't really feel like an introduction anymore as the two, and in this case as they are joined by Nardole, the three, are thrust into danger.
The mystery of the week isn't really a monster in the episode, as one of their main enemies is actually oxygen, or the lack their off, which was an interesting twist. The episode is more a comment on future corporation control, although there are the corpses they have to avoid as well, which adds even more drama.
The episode is really intense, and the danger is real in a way it hasn't been for a stretch, as Bill has to be strong as there isn't an easy fix. The Doctor can't just talk his way out of this one.
I also enjoyed that Nardole joined them on this adventure, still nagging at the Doctor the whole way. Lucas also shows a more serious side at times in the episode, which was nice to see.
As always, the acting was brilliant and the story poignant. This is definitely darker in tone than any of the others this season for a change of pace.
As for continuity, the vault is still mentioned, and even though as an audience we don't learn anything new in that regard, the episode still plays an important part, as it could greatly affect what is to come.
Tonight's episode is definitely one of my favorites of the season.