; Date: Fri Nov 12 2021
I didn't know about this secret yearning to see a Sontaran on horse-back. But, now that I've seen it, Sontarans are similar to old-school Knights in Armor, yes? Well, okay, not really, but these Sontarans are sure an improvement over Moffatts comedy Sontarans. As much as we loved Strax, these are Sontarans.
The presence of Sontarans in place of Russians in The Crimean War is the first sign that something screwy is happening with Time.
In real history, the Crimean War was a battle against the Russians. Well, a brief scan of the Wikipedia page on the Crimean War says it was far more complex than that, but let's just go with it for now.
Remember that one of the original purposes for Doctor Who was to educate children on history. Hence, this episode is set in the Crimean War, and features Mary Seacole.
As The Doctor says, the Crimean War was a real event, and Mary Seacole and her British Hotel were real things which happened, but the presence of the Sontarans was not real. That made the task of the episode to remove the Sontarans attempt to manipulate history.
As for the Sontaran commanders rationale for Why Crimea, he claimed to have always wanted to ride a horse. That statement rubs me wrong, it does not sound like any desire a Sontaran would have. Why would Sontaran's know much about a specific species of four legged livestock? The forces of Sontar has subjugated or attempted to subjugate thousands of planets, and why would they care for specific animal species on Earth?
No... as I said at the top, Chibnall probably had a long-standing desire to see a Sontaran on horseback. That doesn't make it an authentic expression of a Sontaran.
This episode suffers from multiple instances like this - where a character says something way out of line for who that character is. For example, when Swarm and Azure are in the Temple on Atropos, many of their sentences are really out of place for the sort of beings they are.
These triangle things are interesting creatures. And the temple presents some key questions that will probably stretch out over the season.
First off - As an advocate for The Right To Repair, I love this "Can You Repair" question. We all need to be able to repair the gizmos we buy. It is a total disservice to everyone that companies are preventing our ability to repair things.
But, let's get back to the episode and stop getting distracted.
Why was Joseph Williamson in this temple? Remember from the previous episode that clearly the Williamson Tunnels will feature in the season, and that Williamson built those tunnels for a purpose related to a cataclysmic event in the future. That, for some reason, he believed the tunnels would be useful in the future. Those tunnels are an enigma in the Liverpool area, because Williamson really did hire people to build the tunnels, and because there was no discernible purpose.
His presence in the temple was in his relative time frame of 1820, which places his exposure to the temple early in his career.
This is described as "The Temple of Atropos" (hopefully that's the spelling) on "The Planet of Time", and that the beings on the platform are "The Moori".
It's clear from the episode that Swarm and Azure know all about this temple. And that the temple was a forbidden place for Swarm and Azure.
The Moori appear to be some sort of Adepts who were placed in the role of guarding time.
What the triangle things described is, before this temple existed, and before the Moori started their work, "Time ran wild". If the Moori are broken, we're told, then Time should become unstoppable. Time is described as Destruction, and the Moori are some kind of control. The triangle things say that "Time must not break" and "Time must not be unleashed".
Swarm and Azure, on the other hand, seem intent on doing exactly that.
The Doctor, on the other hand, expresses that there is no such place as The Planet of Time.
From the previous episode -- The Lupari are related to The Division, which is a force organized by The Time Lords which have something to do with The Timeless Children. In part the previous battles between The Doctor and Swarm/Azure seem associated with The Division.
The fact that The Doctor doesn't know about a planet called Time seems, therefore, to be related to the memory erasures inflicted upon The Timeless Child by The Division.
Presumably, the resolution of this story over the next four episodes will require that The Doctor reawaken her memories of having been The Timeless Child?
It seems clear that Swarm/Azure and that other dude have a plan, and that entering this Temple is simply the first stage of the plan.
Bottom line is that Chibnall is clearly proceeding with that abomination of an idea, The Timeless Child. Last year I wrote several angry posts about The Timeless Child. It is to me a horrible idea that destroys one of the core premises of Doctor Who. We'll have to see what Chibnall has in store, because it's possible the idea is not as horrid as I foresaw last year.