Well, that was a wild ride. To be honest, I think the tension was right, but the number of questions left unanswered still leave me uneasy. I think the start of the episode with the Doctor following the Master was a powerful opening and the Graham and Yaz interaction as well as Graham continuing to be the expert idea man was awesome. Hiding in the Cybermen armor was genius and had a wonderful payoff.
My only nit there was that the Cyberman ship seemed to enter the portal right after they were seen being examined by the half-Cyberman with no ship showing the four of them descending or appearing on the planet. This made it seem, cinematographically, that the four of them were still on the ship when it got to Gallifrey. While the payoff of surprise when they show up and rescue Ethan. Kind of like when Chewbacca from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Not so much Deus Ex Machina, but cinematic misdirection. Not that I per se approve, but like I said, the payoff was kind of cool.
Meanwhile, the end of the half-cyberman was kind of anti-climatic. Using the Tissue-Compression Eliminator to defeat him was very dissatisfactory and I feel the drama and difficulty could have been played out more.
The Matrix was a nice throwback but the whole Time Lord origin story was just weird. What’s more, having the Shobogans be native Gallifreyans and Time Lords be a hybrid with another, non-Gallifreyan race was a bit peculiar. Will this form a quest for the Doctor to look for the origin of that race in future episodes?
More confusing was the use of the idea of the Timeless Child name. Who was the Timeless Child. Was she Tecteun, or was she the orphan that Tecteun tested on and discovered Regeneration from? We are told the Doctor is the Timeless Child, but does that make the Doctor Tecteun or the unnamed orphan? And what happened to Tecteun? Overall, this aspect of the story could have been clearer and more direct in terms of the conclusions we’re expected to draw.
What’s more, we’re left with so many unanswered clues and questions. Why does the Master call himself O in Spyfall when clearly Omega was the Time Lord with the most O in his name? And why did the aliens in that episode look like the monsters from The Three Doctors and Arc of Infinity? And why did the aliens from that episode come from a place that looked kind of like The Matrix? Where was Rassilon when Gallifrey fell to the Master, and how did Captain Jack Harkness know about the lone Cyberman?
The resolution was rather predictable. Obviously someone besides the Doctor would pull the trigger on the Cyber-Time Lords destruction. It could have happened inside that TARDIS or outside, but overall the fact that the Doctor escapes is natural, and that the Master isn’t seen in the destruction in the final scene is also quite expected. He will be back. It’s still unclear if he still has the Cyberium though.
The Cyber-Time Lords were cool, though. Those costumes were awesome!
Overall, I enjoyed the episode, despite its unanswered questions and inconsistencies. It just seems weird to end with the Jadoon invading the TARDIS and putting the Doctor in prison. What’s up with that!?
Next time, Revolution of the Daleks. Thus begins the long wait.
Guess I’ll just watch Steven Universe Future…