Caution: There Are Spoilers In Our Doctor Who Oxygen Review
Oxygen is the 5th episode of the 10th series of Doctor Who and this episode sees The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) travel to outer space in the future. The ship they travel to is in distress and it is up to The Doctor and his team to figure out why.
As a story, this one’s interesting. There’s a lot of subliminal messaging about capitalism and the value of an individual when it comes to money. I find this interesting as it’s a similar theme to what we got in an earlier episode this year, Thin Ice. In this one, workers are doing some work on a ship and when they become inefficient, it seems the bosses who own the organisation turn off their suits and their oxygen! This saves the company money and eventually some new staff come in, there’s no consideration for the well being of the people, it’s basically money over their lives.
Of course you don’t find any of this out until the end of the episode, for the most part it’s a mystery why people’s suits are turning off and seemingly killing whoever is inside. It is The Doctor who eventually figures it all out and saves everyone. Although it’s kind of sad the idea of killing unprofitable staff members.
In this episode, Bill is put in a lot of danger and nearly dies multiple times. As a long time watcher of the series, I’ve not seen a companion get into this much danger before. What Bill went through in this one, especially being exposed to space with no helmet and passing out, that’s horrible! I would be interested to see if there is any development to her character in future episodes because of what happened here and I’m surprised with The Doctor really. I mean I know he did save her, but he did end up blind in the end. Is this a sign of a certain degree of carelessness from Peter Capaldi’s Doctor?
Overall this was an interesting episode of Doctor Who. The dangers the characters faced to me seem to be great character building moments. What will happen to The Doctor’s and Bill’s relationship because of this trip? How will things change for the two characters going forward and what is in that vault that has Nardole so worried? I also really loved the theme of this episode, it’s an interesting topic of discussion, human lives and capitalism. The episode was also a little scary and had a good mystery to it.
Next week’s Vatican theme looks interesting, I’m curious to see how it turns out and now that The Doctor is blind, how will he go with all of the trouble he gets into every week?