The episode answered the question about what happened to the Ninth Legion of the Roman army, and featured the return of Missy, revealing the Doctor never put her back in the Vault after being let out before. The episode also shows the Doctor and Missy considering mending their broken friendship.
What happened to the legendary Ninth Legion of the Roman army? Bill and the Doctor both have ideas of what happened, but who is right? What is that strange creature lurking in the dark? And why are people suddenly disappearing?
In the present day, in the Devil's Cairn, Scotland, a little girl named Judy goes to a slope against her brother's warnings saying that she wants to hear the music. He tells her that there are ghosts there and that if she stays there, they will eat her. As they go back to the village, Judy turns and goes back to the hill, while a crow alights on a stone, saying "Doc-tor! Doc-tor! Doc-tor!, Doc-tor!", as a carving of the TARDIS is seen on a rock.
The TARDIS materialises in the moor, Aberdeen, Scotland, 2nd Century AD. Nardole exits the TARDIS and asks why they are there, so the Doctor tells him that he and Bill are arguing about what happened to the Ninth Roman Legion, each desiring to prove their theory by visiting the area itself. Bill follows the river, while the Doctor and Nardole goes to find their last battlefield.
Back at the Moorland, Nardole finds a crow saying the word "Dark". When he says "Doctor" the crow says "Dark, Doctor", as the Doctor notices a stone cairn, recognising it as Pictish. Nardole comments that the crow talked, with the Doctor saying that all crows talk, people just stopped talking to them. They follow the stones to find a settlement.
Meanwhile, Bill laments that she did not study Latin so she could converse with him. The soldier, named Simon, tell her that he can understand her, with Bill deducing that the TARDIS translation circuits are translating for her. Simon tells her that he is in the Ninth Legion. When Bill asks where they have been, he asks her if she knows what happened to them.
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- The Doctor - Peter Capaldi
- Bill - Pearl Mackie
- Nardole - Matt Lucas
- Missy - Michelle Gomez
- Kar - Rebecca Benson
- Ban - Daniel Kerr
- Lucius - Brian Vernel
- Simon - Rohan Nedd
- Thracius - Ben Hunter
- Vitus - Sam Adewunmi
- Cornelius - Bill Matthews
- Marcus - Aaron Phagura
- Judy - Jocelyn Brassington
- Brother - Lewis McGowan
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- An image of the TARDIS has been engraved into a Pictish stone.
- The Doctor says that Picts are early Celts.
- The Doctor call the cairns "Iron Age churches".
- The Doctor says that this adventure is "not [my] first rodeo".
- In Roman culture, bisexuality is "ordinary", and only liking one sex is taken as a surprise. Lucius accepts Bill for only liking women, and relates her to Vitus, who only likes men.
- The Doctor suggests that the Picts name a cow after him, on their return to safe farming.
- Kar and Ban are Picts.
- The Doctor has lived in Roman Britain, governed, farmed, juggled. He was once a second-class Vestal Virgin.
- Kar is the Keeper of the Gate/Gatekeeper.
- The Doctor tells Bill to hit the TARDIS console with a spanner to get it to take her home.
- The Doctor, Bill and Nardole visit the Devil's Cairn in Aberdeen, Scotland 2nd century AD.
- The Doctor mentions their recent trip to Mars.
- Nardole tells the Picts about one of his adventures involving the Mary Celeste. He was also going to tell them about the Lusitania.
- Bill thinks the Roman soldier Simon is speaking English.
- Simon thinks Bill is talking Latin.
- The Picts and Romans can understand each other, not just Bill, Nardole and the Doctor.
- Judy's brother believes that the music at Devil's Cairn is due to ghosts.
- According to the Doctor, all crows can talk, but human beings stopped having intelligent conversations with them, so by the 21st century they're all in a "mass sulk". Nardole corrects him by saying they're remembering.
- Simon says the other soldiers are hiding at a location with a stone-carving of a fish.
- The Doctor sees multiple light-eating locusts inside the Gate.
- Nardole tells the Picts about Enzomodons and says the Enzomodon ambassador had choked.
- Bill discovers that the TARDIS can translate languages. She discovers that it even does lip sync.
- Bill finds out that foreign languages translated sounds like children-talk.
Food and beverages Edit
- Nardole is eating a teacake.
- The Doctor suggests the Romans could have left "sweetie wrappers" as a sign of them being there.
- Nardole says he isn't Italian, but makes "a mean spag bol".
- Nardole brings bags of popcorn, one of which the Doctor uses as a distraction.
- Lucius gives Bill a flatbread to eat.
- The Doctor calls Kar's light-poisoner a lollipop.
- Nardole says he knows 10% of the Doctor's secrets, and he's the only one in the TARDIS who knows where the teacakes are.
- The Doctor asks the Picts for the Wi-Fi password.
- Nardole says the cairn works like an oil gush.
- Missy mentions the Doctor's electric guitar.
- Scottish music can be heard at the hill at Devil's Cairn.
- Nardole says that Scottish music is worse than jazz.
Story notes Edit
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- 2.89m (UK overnight figures)
- 4.73m (UK final)
Despite the ratings being the lowest an episode of the revived series has ever acquired, it still received over 30% of the share of the audience, behind only The Pilot for Series 10.
Filming locations Edit
- The scenes in "Scotland" were filmed on the Brecon Beacons, in Wales. The cave used for filming was Porth yr Ogof.
Production errors Edit
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- Nardole reminds the Doctor of his oath to guard the Vault. (TV: The Pilot et al.)
- Bill previously suggested travelling to Aberdeen. (TV: Smile)
- The Doctor says he once lived as a Roman. (TV: The Romans)
- Nardole gives a different perspective on the mystery of the Mary Celeste, (TV: The Chase, PROSE: The Mystery of the Marie Celeste, COMIC: A Stitch in Time) having previously had the ship's sign stored near the vault. (TV: The Pilot)
- The Doctor reminds Bill and Nardole about Missy on Mars. (TV: Empress of Mars)
- Bill turns someone who likes her down because she's not interested in men. (TV: Knock Knock)
- Bill figures out the TARDIS has granted her the ability to understand numerous different languages as she was informed she was speaking Latin to a Roman soldier, (TV: Rose, et al.) strikingly resembling Donna Noble's revelation when supposedly speaking Celtic. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)
- Bill says that "scared is fine" and "human". The Doctor previously told Rupert Pink that "scared is a superpower". (TV: Listen)
- The Doctor has met centurions before. (TV: The Romans, The Pandorica Opens)
- The Doctor says he have been protecting Earth since the beginning. (TV: An Unearthly Child et al.)
- The Doctor says the TARDIS can easily take Bill home if she just leaves the settings on. (TV: The Parting of the Ways)
- Missy mentions the Doctor's electric guitar. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice et al.)
- Missy is again seen crying. (TV: The Lie of the Land)
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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