A live dinosaur in the Thames proves to be quite a spectacle, one that calls for the expertise of Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax. No stranger to prehistoric reptiles, Madame Vastra has just the trick for pacifying the dinosaur, but when the dinosaur coughs up a blue and apparently wooden box, Vastra and her entourage instantly know that more trouble will follow. Clara stumbles out of the TARDIS in the company of an older man wearing the Doctor’s clothes: the Doctor’s new face.
As the Doctor recovers from his recent regeneration, Clara questions whether she can continue her travels with him. Madame Vastra scolds Clara for basing her initial impressions of the Doctor’s new incarnation on physical appearance, but before the conversation can continue, the dinosaur in the Thames stirs before spontaneously combusting. The Doctor, having already awoken and gone to the scene, is angered at the creature’s death, and wonders if there have been other recent deaths by spontaneous combustion. Surprised by the question, Vastra admits that there have been. The Doctor, still behaving in an erratic manner, leaves on his own to start investigating.
A newspaper advertisement draws both Clara and the Doctor to a restaurant, each thinking that the other placed the ad, but once they arrive, they are trapped by the restaurant’s mechanical waiters. They are taken to meet the being behind the string of deaths by spontaneous combustion, a mechanical creature harvesting organs and other body parts to keep itself functional in hopes of continuing a mission that was interrupted when it was stranded on Earth. The Doctor has regained enough of his senses the challenge the robot to avoid killing… but in trying to prevent the robot from taking another life, must he take one himself?
written by Steven Moffat
directed by Ben Wheatley
music by Murray Gold
Cast: Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara), Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra), Catrin Stewart (Jenny Flint), Dan Starkey (Strax), Nigel Betts (Mr. Anderson), Paul Hickey (Inspector Gregson), Tony Way (Alfie), Maggie Service (Elsie), Sean Ashburn (Restaurant Droid), Peter Ferdinando (Half-Face), Michelle Gomez (Keeper of the Nethersphere), Matt Smith (The Doctor)
Notes: The Doctor, in his tenth incarnation, encountered similar self-repairing robots aboard the S.S. Madame du Pompadour in The Girl In The Fireplace (2006), also written by Steven Moffat. This is the first post-regeneration story in the history of Doctor Who that features a new scene shot with the previous Doctor.
Maggie Service provided the voice of the ship’s computer in the BBC SF comedy Hyperdrive. Peter Fernandino was the Black Knight in Snow White And The Huntsman, and has also been seen in 300: The Rise Of An Empire and Hyena.
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