This shows the risks he often places himself in, in order to save his friends, but also the danger in which he might be leaving Earth, should he not return, alive and in good health. Oxygen represents a tipping point in the St Luke's vault arc, as the Doctor finally faces the consequences of not having taken his vow seriously.
The Doctor, Bill and an angry Nardole travel in the TARDIS to follow a distress call to a deep-space mining station. When the TARDIS is jettisoned by the station's computers, the trio are forced to wear "smartsuits", robotic spacesuits capable of independent operation tied to the station. The suits are also the only source of oxygen, as the mining company does not provide an oxygen atmosphere inside the station, and every activity is measured in breaths. The surviving crew warn them that some suits have received instructions to "deactivate" their "organic components", killing the wearer via an electrical discharge but remaining autonomous. This signal can be carried by touch, which has caused most of the crew to be turned into zombies, enslaved to the suits' programming. The Doctor and the others plan to walk outside the station to an uncompleted portion not updated in the computer systems to hide. Bill's suit malfunctions during depressurisation and forces her to remove her helmet. To save her, the Doctor gives her his helmet as they spacewalk. He survives the vacuum of space, but has gone blind from the ordeal.
The computer discovers their location, but as they flee, Bill's suit again malfunctions and will not move. The Doctor leaves her behind, assuring her she will not die. She is, however, electrocuted when they touch her. The Doctor reveals the limit of breaths is an algorithm to stop people "wasting" oxygen, part of the company's automated profit-making system; killing the wearers was just the logical endpoint of corporate profit over human life. He hacks the station's systems to cause the station to self-destruct if they are killed, and convinces the others this is a "good death" and revenge against the corporation. The computers recognise this threat and recalculates the suits' programming, and the zombies turn over their oxygen supplies to the survivors. The Doctor then revives Bill, knowing that her malfunctioning suit did not have enough power to lethally shock her.
The TARDIS is recovered, and they drop the survivors off at their head office to confront the company; the Doctor notes there was a successful rebellion six months later. Nardole restores the Doctor's eyes, but when they return to the university and Bill departs, the Doctor reveals that he "can't look at anything ever again. I'm still blind".
- The Doctor - Peter Capaldi
- Bill - Pearl Mackie
- Nardole - Matt Lucas
- Ivan - Kieran Bew
- Tasker - Justin Salinger
- Dahh-Ren - Peter Caulfield
- Abby - Mimi Ndiweni
- Ellie - Katie Brayben
Uncredited cast Edit
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- The Doctor gives a lecture about space, while the audience was expecting a lecture about crop rotation.
- The boiling point of water is much lower in a vacuum.
- Electrolysis is splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. Nardole assumes this is the Doctor's plan, to produce more oxygen which would last 5 minutes.
- Nardole mentions that he hasn't seen his true face for years. He swapped it for his current one on the run.
- The Doctor intentionally "maxes out" his companions' adrenaline: "Fear keeps you fast. Fast is good."
- When the suits kill the crew, they deactivate the organic component and disable the central nervous system.
- Bill wonders what happens if she were to throw up in the space helmet.
- After having been exposed to the vacuum of space, Bill suffers from oxygen deprivation.
- The Doctor says he has spare eyes in the TARDIS, though they're from lizards.
- The space helmets experience an error on the Radio Com Channel.
- The Doctor calls distress calls "[his] theme tune", and emphasises that "You only see the true face of the universe when it's asking for your help."
- Chasm Forge uses artificial gravity.
- The Doctor is happy that the "space doors", as Nardole calls them, are of a classic design. They have pressure seals and hinges. He and Nardole disagree on whether space doors should go "shk shk" or "nnnnn".
- The smartsuits employed at Chasm Forge uses gyro stabilisers, magnetic boots and gloves, and has on-board computers. According to the Doctor, it can run, jump and update one's Facebook. They also have force fields to keep the air in, and oxygen tanks for air supply.
- The Smartsuits have unfolding helmets.
- To send the distress call, the miners boosted a smartsuit through the dish.
- Nardole relates the smartsuits' nav system to "when your satnav doesn't know a new road".
- The Smartsuits uses a Powercell to get into the Power Core.
- The Doctor hacks into the Coolant System.
- The Doctor claims he has "stuff in [the TARDIS] that'll cure anything".
- The Doctor once told Nardole that the TARDIS can't go anywhere without the fluid link K57. However, he reveals this to be untrue (or, at least, no longer true).
- The air shell room in the TARDIS can provide oxygen to enough of the space station for them to stroll around.
- The Doctor is familiar enough with the layout of the console room that, despite apparently being blind, he is able to hide this and control the TARDIS as though he still had sight, including, it is implied, accurately piloting her both to Ganymede's head office and back to the university.
- The Doctor compares going to outer space to camping, and refers to tents and campsites.
- Bill asks if there are reviews for space locations, like there are online for restaurants.
Units of measurement Edit
- The Doctor sent Nardole to Birmingham for a packet of crisps.
- Chasm Forge is a mining station in outer space. It has a crew of 40.
- The TARDIS crew gets trapped in the repair station.
- The surviving workers ask the Doctor to drop them off at head office.
Business and economics Edit
- The smartsuits are made by Ganymede Systems.
- Ganymede provides oxygen for personal use only, charging credits for air, and making breathing into a capitalist endeavour. Unauthorised oxygen is automatically expelled, to protect market value.
- The Doctor sees the endpoint of capitalism as "a bottom line where human life has no value at all".
- According to the psychic paper, TARDIS crew is from the Union.
- He remarks that, "like every worker everywhere, we're fighting the suits."
- The Chasm Forge crew has to pay oxygen credits to stay alive.
- Chasm Forge is a station for mining copper ore.
- The managers of Chasm Forge are seeking a bottom line for oxygen usage, and are seemingly prepared to kill off and replace workers if they're using too much of it.
Foods and beverages Edit
- The Doctor says that in five whole minutes, "we could boil the hell out of an egg."
- Bill mentions lasagna when giving examples of what a restaurant review is.
- The Doctor sent Nardole out for crisps.
- The Doctor tells Dahh-Ren he sent him out for a latté.
- The Doctor says the phrase "the universe is your crustacean".
- Nardole recognises Bill's smartsuit's interface voice as his ex Velma, and remembers her as a "nice girl, actress. Bit orange, left me for an AI at a call centre."
- As a result of saving Bill from dying through exposure to the vacuum, the Doctor has now become blind. An attempt to return his vision was made, but only the colour in his eyes returned.
Time Lords Edit
- Time Lords can survive in the vacuum of space longer than humans can. In the Doctor's case here, he survived but lost his sight.
- The Doctor says, "Death, where is thy sting?", quoting the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New Testament.
- Bill reads a book called Leonardo, on Leonardo da Vinci. This book has the image of the Mona Lisa on its back cover.
- The Doctor uses the phrase "fun fact!" in his lecture.
- The Doctor mentions, amongst other things the smartsuits can do, updating Facebook.
- Dahh-Ren cannot understand why Bill would experience racism herself. He suspects her to be racist because of her reactions to his blue skin.
- Nardole says that "some of my best friends are bluish".
- The Doctor insinuates that the purpose of jokes, in general, is to distract people from whatever's about to kill them.
- The Doctor jokes that "too many rescue ships" is a "first-world problem".
- The Doctor quips that he thought he was just tweeting, rather than locking the crew out of the subroutine.
- Bill wonders whether the (missing) man in the working suit has "his tunes on", when he doesn't respond.
Story notes Edit
- Two scenes of the blind Doctor were featured in an early teaser shown at the end of The Return of Doctor Mysterio, except his eyes weren't cloudy in order to not to spoil this plot point.
- On The Fan Show, Jamie Mathieson worried that this episode would turn out "too political", due to its blatant anti-capitalist themes.
- The read-through for Oxygen took place on 12 October 2016 (immediately after Capaldi and Mackie returned from promoting series 10 at the 2016 New York Comic Con and in Toronto, Ont.), and filming on the episode took place between 17 October and 18 November.
- This is the first time since Face the Raven that the Twelfth Doctor wears his navy blue Crombie coat seen in most of the past two series. The style he wears in this episode (a navy blue Crombie coat with a hoodie and holey jumper) has been previously worn in Last Christmas, Under the Lake, Before the Flood, The Woman Who Lived, The Zygon Invasion, The Zygon Inversion, and Sleep No More.
- Three out of the five guest actors, this episode, had previously voiced roles in Big Finish Doctor Who or Bernice Summerfield. Namely, Kieran Bew was in The Lady of Mercia and The Helm of Awe, Peter Caulfield was in Cold Fusion, and Mimi Ndiweni was in Big Dig.
- On The Fan Show, Jamie Mathieson said that an ongoing joke on set was calling Peter Caulfield "Blue Peter", due to his character being blue. This was a reference to Blue Peter.
- Two references to Star Trek are made:
- While standing with Dahh-Ren, Nardole states that some of his best friends are "bluish". This joke, of calling a blue person "bluish" as if it is their race, was first seen in the 1969 Beatles animated film The Yellow Submarine, where it was used by a Blue Meanie in an attempt to identify if the Beatles were a member of their ranks. The original use was meant as a satire of the then-common phrase "you don't look Jewish", but it was not intended to be derogatory.
- 3.57m (UK overnight)
- 5.27m (UK final)
Filming locations Edit
- St Luke's lecture hall scenes were shot in the Reardon Smith Theatre (National Museum Cardiff).
- The Doctor's office was shot on location at Cardiff University.
Production errors Edit
to be added
- The Doctor wears his sonic sunglasses again. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice - The Husbands of River Song, The Pilot) Their sonic function, however, is not utilised.
- This episode marks the sixth time the Doctor's sonic screwdriver has been destroyed. The first time this happened was in TV: The Visitation and the second time was in COMIC: The Flood. It would happen again in TV: Smith and Jones and for a fourth time in TV: The Eleventh Hour. The device would later suffer heavy damage in A Christmas Carol.
- Nardole once more stresses the Doctor's oath to stay on Earth to guard the vault. (TV: The Pilot, Smile, Thin Ice, Knock Knock)
- The Doctor once more gives a lecture. (TV: The Pilot)
- Bill wonders if people ever hit the Doctor. (TV: Aliens of London, The Runaway Bride, The Lazarus Experiment, The End of Time, The Big Bang, The Angels Take Manhattan, Into the Dalek, Last Christmas)
- The Doctor and his companions are almost sucked into the vacuum of space. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan, The Impossible Planet, Voyage of the Damned)
- The Doctor uses his psychic paper. (TV: The End of the World et al.)
- The Doctor refuses to believe he can't save his companion. (TV: Voyage of the Damned, The Snowmen, Hell Bent, et al)
- The Doctor previously faced an enemy that hijacked spacesuits to control them. (TV: Silence in the Library /Forest of the Dead)
- Bill mentions being on the receiving end of racism, (TV: Thin Ice) and is accused of racism herself. Dahh-Ren is surprised by this, unsure of why Bill would be persecuted.
- A picture of Bill's mum appears in Bill's flashback. (TV: The Pilot, Knock Knock)
- The sonic screwdriver is broken. (TV: The Visitation, Smith and Jones, The Eleventh Hour, A Christmas Carol, COMIC: The Tragical History Tour)
- Time Lords can survive in a vacuum for limited periods of time, (TV: Four to Doomsday, The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, GAME: TARDIS) far longer than humans can.
- The TARDIS extends its airshell so those around the outside of it can breathe (TV: The Runaway Bride, The Beast Below, GAME: TARDIS)
- The Doctor says that fear is good, as it keeps one fast. (TV: The Time of Angels) He previously described it as a superpower (TV: Listen) and as a generator of savagery. (TV: Amy's Choice)
- Nardole removes the Doctor's fluid link in an attempt to keep him grounded on Earth. (TV: The Daleks)
- The Doctor has previously encountered blue humanoids. (TV: The End of the World, A Good Man Goes to War)
- The Doctor says that there's always the last option to be "dying well". He previously didn't think this was possible. (TV: For Tonight We Might Die)
- The Doctor confirms that he is out of his mind, but that it's not a recent thing. His previous incarnation made it a point to identify himself as a "madman with a box". (TV: The Eleventh Hour et al.)
- The Doctor uses the word "expensive" to stop the Smartsuits. He previously used a simple word, "surrender", to stop an enemy, (TV: Mummy on the Orient Express) and the word "one". (TV: Voyage of the Damned)
- The Doctor has previously had an adventure in his ninth incarnation where his sight was altered, though he only ended up short sighted rather than blind. (AUDIO: Retail Therapy)
- The Doctor is back in his office. (TV: The Pilot, Thin Ice)
- The Doctor plays with his yo-yo. (TV: Robot, The Ark in Space, Genesis of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen, The Brain of Morbius, The Seeds of Doom, The Masque of Mandragora, The Robots of Death, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Kill the Moon, The Girl Who Died)
Home video releases Edit
DVD releases Edit
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Blu-ray releases Edit
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Digital releases Edit
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