Doctor Who 10.2 "Smile" Review
n my opinion, this week's episode was far superior to the previous one. The concept was better and therefore I was much more invested in the plot. In fact, it had me smiling throughout!
he episode follows the Doctor and Bill on their first intergalactic adventure. However, before leaving we are provided with a small bit of information about why the Doctor is currently on Earth. He has promised to stay there and guard the vault. We still don't know what's in the vault though, who he is guarding it for or who he is guarding it from. I hope it doesn't take all series for us to find out but I expect that it will. This show loves to have a mysterious thread running throughout and this will be season 10's.
We also now have a good idea of how Nardole will have a fairly insignificant role in the series. It seems that he is the wet blanket that wants to stick to the rules and keep the Doctor in check. He insists that Doctor should stay on Earth, as he has supposedly promised he would. Of course, NO ONE can keep the Doctor in check. If the time lords couldn't do it, then Nardole definitely can't... and thank goodness for that! The Doctor has been exiled to Earth before (the third Doctor specifically) so there's no need for a repeat of that.
Anyway, the episode occurs on a future colony, after Bill decides she wants to see if the future is happy. Their destination is fully prepared for humans but strangely empty. Well, mostly empty- it is populated with robots that seemingly "speak emoji". I promise it isn't as lame as it sounds. In fact, this is quite pivotal the episode. The robots recognise these basic emotions and respond to them accordingly. The Doctor and Bill soon realise than unless you are happy- or at least smiling, then you will be killed by a swarm of bug-like drones! Which of course, is not something to smile about...
The episode has some twists and turns and it has a very rare example of when the Doctor is wrong! The only thing that separates this episode from an episode of Black Mirror, is that Smile felt less like a cautionary tale and more like an adventure- but it was close! We had the technology being used in a dark way that destroys lives, which is a staple of Black Mirror.
We get to see further fun interactions between our main duo as they spend the majority of the episode alone in this empty colony. Bill continues to entertain with off-the-cuff remarks and slightly more obscure questions than what the Doctor (and the audience) is use to. It feels like a fresh dynamic, I'm definitely starting to fall for Bill !
This episode gets an A- from me and is a huge step in the right direction for the series, now I just hope that they can keep this up for the next ten episodes.