Doctor Who: Oxygen

Well hello there to another one of my super quick and not very thought-through Doctor Who reviews! This one is for episode 5 of series 10 titled Oxygen. As always, be aware that this review includes Spoilers!

What was it about?

The Doctor gets a case of wanderlust and takes Bill to a dystopian space station where the crew is direly in need of some help.

My thoughts?

The formula of this episode seemed pretty standard, but by the end I was releasing a breath of relief, thinking “We are finally getting somewhere”, but more about that later. These past weeks have not been easy for me. I want to like Doctor Who as much as I used to, but it’s such a drag to watch it, because there’s simply nothing that excites me about it. No episode has truly emotionally touched me, and just to clarify, neither has this one. I remain of the opinion that Nardole has been utterly useless so far, even if he finally got a little more screen time than in previous episodes. I don’t even find him particularly funny, which is a shame, because I suppose that’s his role here. Bill‘s wonder at experiencing life with the Doctor for the first time is still fun, but it cannot save the plot. I am seriously just scraping by and trying to find things I appreciate, so here’s what I got for Oxygen:

  • I liked the constant double meaning of their remarks towards suits.
  • Bill’s mum obviously plays a bigger role and I am curious to find out what it is.
  • The show playing with the notion of racism again (as they previously did in Thin Ice).

I am not a person that gets excited about space zombies (unless we are talking Illuminae files or something like that), but I am interested in the vault, the reason for the Doctor having to stay on earth and most of all the Doctor turning blind. I know that he has a special awareness of the world around him, but I wonder how long he can keep up the ruse of pretending he can see. Will this be a permanent condition until his regeneration? It’s like the first time we don’t have an entirely able bodied Doctor and that’s an interesting representation that I am curious about.

That’s all I got for you today, except for my favourite quote of the week:

“The universe shows us its true self when it asks for help, we show ours by how we respond.”

I caught a glimpse of Missy for next week, so I am hoping that will bring some much needed urgency to the episode! What are your thoughts, folks? Did you enjoy Oxygen?

16 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Oxygen

  1. With Bill’s Mother, I thought it was that she was in danger, so that’s who she’d be thinking about in that moment, rather than it being a foreshadowing of anything.


    • I wouldn’t exactly use the word foreshadowing either, but that same image of her has kept appearing over and over in almost every episode. It’s like a thread through them and the Doctor took more than one photo and I just think that there might be more to it. I am going to be disappointed if that’s not the case.


  2. Yeah I thought this episode was pretty average too. It had an interesting concept, but I think the execution and writing could’ve been better. Especially with the anti-capitalist message: I’m wary of the ills of capitalism as much as anyone, but I feel like the way they handled it in this episode, it sounded like a Soviet or North Korean propaganda piece about “the evil capitalist monsters out to kill you!” It definitely could’ve been explored a bit better, like in the episode with the possessed Ood.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s definitely starting to build up momentum after those final few minutes. I’m with you though, the script writers are missing something with Nardole, he either gets no air time or when he’s on his jokes are disappointing.. I want him to make me laugh but instead I sit there thinking ‘really?!’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This whole season has been underwhelming. Moment by moment, there’s been a ton of witty dialogue, and Capaldi is just incredible with the material. But the plots have all been dull and formulaic. I did like the political overtones and racial commentary (though the line “some of my best friends are…” is not something a protagonist should be saying). A decent episode, but this season is just… there. It’s not particularly brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

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