World Enough and Time reviewed by Matthew Kilburn.
In the environment of contemporary television, telling a new Doctor Who story begins long before broadcast. This is especially true of event episodes such as World Enough and Time. The involvement of the ‘Mondasian Cybermen’ was announced on 8 March 2017, over three months before transmission. John Simm’s return as the Master was confirmed on 6 April. By the end of May, Doctor Who Magazine had made it known that Missy would be apparently working with the Doctor and that the episode would be set on a spaceship trying to reverse out of a black hole. The suspicion that the return of the Tenth Planet design of Cyberman (albeit streamlined for ease of wear and viewing) would allow for the development of Steven Moffat’s interest in the body horror aspect of the Cybermen, first seen as long ago as The Pandorica Opens, was confirmed by sight of the ‘topknots’ on location in Cardiff in March. The publicity images for the episode suggested the Doctor was appalled at the Cyberman for a very specific reason. Enough pieces of the jigsaw had been released through legitimate means to suggest the broad shape of the story, but not the detail. For those of us exposed to the media and fandom chatter that surrounds a Doctor Who season, World Enough and Time was a source of apprehension because we were being prepared for a series of betrayals and violations which would unfold before us on screen and which threatened not only lasting damage to our shared imagined world, but the questioning of our own humanity.