The Doctor Falls
Doctor Who Logo 'The Doctor Falls'
(Story Code 10.12)

by Steven Moffat
The Twelfth Doctor, Missy, the Master and Bill

“Who I am is where I stand. Where I stand is where I fall. Stand with me.” – The Doctor

“While there’s tears, there’s hope.” – Bill Potts

Inside the Mondasian spaceship, on an idyllic green hillside on level 507, stands a children’s home. It is protected by villagers armed with guns, who see off attacks from cybernised patients, and make scarecrows out of the defeated creatures. One of the children, Alit, goes for a walk in the fields and hears what sounds like thunder - then a shuttlecraft bursts up from the ground, crash-landing nearby. A Cyberman emerges from the wreckage, carrying the prone form of the Doctor…

Earlier: the Doctor wakes to see Missy and the Master gloating over the many deaths of their arch-nemesis. The Doctor recalls the events back in the operating theatre, when he was attacked by the Master and Missy, allowing Nardole to escape in the scuffle. Waking again, the Doctor finds himself tied to a wheelchair atop the roof of the hospital on level 1056, where Missy and the Master dance as the city below burns. Missy seems to have reverted back to her evil persona, taunting the Doctor about his failure to save Bill by just two hours. Behind them all stands Bill, her body converted into that of a Cyberman. The Master explains that after he returned to Gallifrey to defeat Rasillon he was cured of his madness by the Time Lords; when they subsequently threw him out, he arrived in the Mondasian spaceship, where he quickly rose in power and took over the city, only to be deposed and forced to hide in disguise. Missy and the Master gloat that the city has now been transformed into a mass-production line, churning out hundreds of Cybermen; but their glee is curtailed when the main transmitter changes its signal, causing ranks of Cybermen to turn and head for the hospital. The Doctor reveals that while he was being attacked in the operating theatre he changed the settings on the ship’s computer, altering the algorithm for humans from one heart to two – now the Cybermen are coming for the three Time Lords. Missy and the Master fight off their attackers with sonic umbrella and laser screwdriver, but are forced to agree that only the Doctor can stop the Cybermen. After knocking out her earlier self, Missy frees the Doctor, who calls Nardole on his sonic screwdriver. To the Time Lords’ joy Nardole appears in a shuttlecraft liberated from the loading bay, and drops them a rope ladder. As Missy grabs the Master and shoves him up the ladder, the Doctor is electrocuted by a Cyberman; as he falls to the ground the Doctor is saved by Bill, who blasts her friend’s attacker with her headset weapon. Inside the shuttle, the Master and Missy fail to convince Nardole of the Doctor’s death, and have to wait while Bill grips the rope ladder for the Doctor to climb…

The present: while Bill carries the unconscious Doctor, Missy, the Master and Nardole ask Alit for help…

Two weeks later: Hazran, the woman in charge of the children’s home, enters a barn to leave blankets for a seemingly human-looking Bill. Having just woken up, Bill is confused to learn that the Doctor put her to sleep, and is concerned to hear that her friend has sustained injuries; Bill’s questions scare Hazran, who is desperate to leave… Later, while Nardole organises the villagers into building a barricade around the children’s home, Bill receives a visit from Alit, who brings her a mirror; looking into the glass, Bill is horrified to see the face of a Cyberman staring back at her. The Doctor arrives at the barn; he walks with a limp and his hand is swathed in bandages. After sending Alit away with a jelly baby, the Doctor explains the truth to his student: to protect her sanity and humanity Bill’s mind has altered her perception, making her see herself as human instead of a converted Cyberman. At this news Bill becomes angry, and inadvertently blasts off the doors of the barn. Seeing a real tear in Bill’s eye, the Doctor insists there is still hope; he is interrupted by the arrival of the Master, who is greatly amused by Bill’s predicament. When Bill refuses to rise to the bait, the Master takes her and the Doctor to see Missy; but as they pass near the woods the Doctor stumbles, golden regeneration energy leaking from his injured hand. Dismissing his pain, the Doctor tells Bill that the children are a prime target for the Cybermen, and that an attack is imminent. Bill is convinced she will not survive, and with the knowledge that the Cybermen are slowly taking control of her, she makes it clear that she would not want to live as the creature she has become. The Doctor, Bill and the Master meet up with Missy, who has been busy deactivating the holographic shielding on the lifts. The Time Lady recklessly calls one of the elevators, which brings with it an upgraded Cyberman; Missy, the Master and Bill use their weapons to destroy the creature, but the Doctor warns that they have given away their position; he also points out that due to the time dilation from the black hole they can’t reach his TARDIS, as taking the lift to the bridge will give the Cybermen years to devise a plan to reach them… Down in level 1056, Operation Exodus begins: the many versions of Cybermen activate their jetboots and blast up into the roof, attempting to break through to the next level… With the Cybermen on their way, Nardole busies himself with a laptop and rifle while the Doctor works on a plan. Showing Bill the hidden service duct he has found in the house cellar, the Doctor makes her blast it open with her headset weapon. Outside, Nardole shows the villagers that their countryside surroundings are not what they seem: by shooting at a windmill and a bush he causes massive explosions. Missy plans to use the Master’s TARDIS, which she has surmised is at the bottom of the ship; when the Master confesses that he TARDIS doesn’t work, having blown its dematerialisation circuit attempting to escape the influence of the black hole, Missy plants an idea in her earlier self’s mind, and reveals that now she always carries a spare circuit. With the Cybermen smashing their way through the ship’s many levels, the Doctor and the villagers prepare for the oncoming battle. Nardole’s work on his laptop is waylaid by the romantic aspirations of Mrs Hazran, which in turn are spoilt by the arrival of Bill: the jumpy Hazran shoots her with a rifle, before realising she is not part of an invasion. Hearing explosions in the distance, the trio race outside to join the Doctor, and watch as multiple Cybermen break through the ground and hover in the sky above. With only a few minutes until the silver giants attack, the Doctor explains his plan to hide in the solar farm on level 502; learning that the Master and Missy have decided to flee, the Doctor implores them to stay and fight; the Master adamantly refuses to listen, but Missy finds herself torn between her friend and her past self, although cowardice wins in the end. A legion of new Cybermen arrives outside the children’s home; they are met by Alit, who throws them an apple from the Doctor – which appears to detonate in a massive explosion that blasts the silver giants off their feet. Nardole explains to the villagers that under the soil lie the ship’s fuel lines and fusion turbos, which he can remotely detonate using his laptop; this makes it seem like the villagers are heavily armed, convincing the Cybermen that they face a military target, causing them to retreat and re-plan their strategy. Instructing Nardole to evacuate the children to the solar farm above, the Doctor copies the ship’s schematics from his friend’s laptop onto his own sonic screwdriver; when Nardole protests that he should be the one to remain behind to blow up the entire level, the Doctor overrules him, entrusting Nardole to keep the humans safe. When Bill elects to remain with the Doctor, Nardole makes his goodbyes and then leads Hazran and the children through the service duct. Missy and the Master make their way through the woods, avoiding Cybermen until they reach the lifts; here Missy stops to give her earlier self a hug – and then stabs him with a hidden blade. Missy helps the injured Master into a lift, knowing that when he reaches his TARDIS he will regenerate into her; but as Missy turns to find the Doctor, the Master shoots her in the back with a full blast from his laser screwdriver. The irony of their mutual betrayals is not lost on the Master and Missy, who burst into laughter. As the lift takes the Master to the lower section of the ship, Missy collapses and dies… Emerging from a hatch near the lifts, Nardole urges the children into the elevators. In the woods, the Doctor evades the Cybermen while using his sonic screwdriver to blow up fuel stores, taking out his enemies; but his wanton destruction is soon halted when a Cyberman shoots him in the back. Blasted twice more in the chest, the Doctor falls to his knees; his body begins to regenerate, but the Doctor resolutely grabs his sonic screwdriver and triggers one final, devastating explosion…

On the solar farm level, Nardole waits in vigil at the lift. Conceding that the Doctor is not coming, he joins Alit, Hazran and the children for dinner…

The cybernised Bill stumbles through the scorched battlefield, where she finds the Doctor’s broken, lifeless body. As Bill breaks down in tears, it begins to rain – and to Bill’s surprise she sees her friend Heather rising from a nearby pool of water. Bill then finds herself back in her human form, while her Cyberman body falls to the ground behind her. After kissing the astonished Bill, Heather explains that she found her lover by the tears she left in her eye, and has now transformed Bill into the same liquid-based alien form as hers. Bill and Heather take the Doctor’s body back to the TARDIS, lying him on the floor while Heather pilots the ship out into space. Heather offers to make Bill human again, but also gives her the chance to come with her and explore the universe. Refusing to believe that the Doctor is really dead, Bill kisses him goodbye, one of her tears falling onto his forehead. Bill then takes Heather’s hand, and together they set out to see the infinite of space… Back in the TARDIS, Bill’s tear revives the Doctor: after seeing visions of his past companions in his mind, he wakes with a gasp, then recalls moments from his previous selves. As the TARDIS jolts the Doctor starts to regenerate… only to will his body to hold back the change; the Doctor refuses to give up his current incarnation. As the TARDIS’ Cloister Bell sounds a warning of terrible danger, the Doctor leaves the ship to find out where it has taken him. Stepping out onto the frozen wastes of the South Pole, the Doctor falls to his knees; as he once more holds back his oncoming regeneration, the Doctor’s cries are heard by someone else. When the figure approaches, the Doctor comes face-to-face with his first incarnation


Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Pearl Mackie (Bill Potts), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Michelle Gomez (Missy), John Simm (The Master), Briana Shann (Alit), Rosie Boore (Gazron), Samantha Spiro (Hazran), Simon Coombs (Rexhill), Nicholas Briggs (Voice of the Cybermen), David Bradley (The Doctor)

Directed by Rachel Talalay
Produced by Peter Bennett
Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin
A BBC Wales production


TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
1st July 2017 @ 6.30 pm


Notes:
*Featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole, and the First Doctor

*Part two of a three-part story

*This season finale is sixty minutes long

*During the link into this episode, Duncan the continuity announcer was attacked and upgraded by a Cyberman, which then finished the introduction