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The Pyramid at the End of the World was the seventh episode of series 10 of Doctor Who.

The episode is the second part of the Monks trilogy, which sees them arriving on Earth to take it over. It also saw Bill make a deal with the Monks to help the Doctor regain his eyesight, having been blind since TV: Oxygen, in which he was exposed to the vacuum of space.

Synopsis Edit

At a war zone in Turmezistan where American, Chinese, and Russian armies are about to meet, a 5,000-year-old pyramid stands. It's very strange, but one thing raises the suspicions of the United Nations: it just appeared overnight. The aliens inside claim that humans would cause the death of all life on Earth. Soon, the Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole are facing an invasion the likes of which they have never seen before. Before they invade, the aliens need the permission of humanity.

Plot Edit

On the Doctor's recommendations, Bill brings Penny back to the flat and, in doing so, relays the events experienced in a simulation by replicas of themselves and of the Doctor (including a date between Bill and Penny interrupted by the Pope). It is at this point that soldiers flanking the United Nations Secretary General arrive in the flat, with the Secretary General explaining that they believe Bill can help them locate "the President". Bill denies she has any connection to the President of the United States (stating she would not have voted for him on account of him being "orange") but the Secretary General clarifies he is searching for the man who, in times of crisis, is officially recognised as President of Earth: the Doctor,

Penny leaves and Bill is driven with the Secretary General as he explains the source of the crisis: a pyramid in Turmezistan, a militarily disputed region which has American, Russian and Chinese troops surrounding it. Over the phone, they speak with U.S. Colonel Brabbit who clarifies that the pyramid is 5,000 years old, despite it appearing in Turmezistan less than 24 hours ago.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor monologues about how each person's death is predestined and how each action they take brings them closer to it. Elsewhere, a woman's reading glasses accidentally break as she leaves her home.

Bill knocks on the TARDIS door, saying she has been looking for him and that he has been in the TARDIS for hours (he claims he was meditating). She informs him that the UN wants him to go to Turmezistan, and in the process of refusing, the Doctor exits the TARDIS to find himself aboard Boat One, already in transit. Nardole remarks they "wouldn't take 'no' for an answer", and it is implied that the UN enlarged the windows in the Doctor's office in order to extract the TARDIS. The Secretary General arrives, and begins to explain the situation to the Doctor.

At Agrofuel Research Operations, the woman fetches coffee for herself and her lab partner Douglas, who is severely hung-over. Despite this, she asks him to mix stage two of their biochemical project himself, as she broke her glasses earlier. As she works, a Monk watches her through a security camera.

As UN troops set up defences around the pyramid and keep back journalists and the local populace, Bill speculates that it is in fact an alien spaceship (and the Doctor agrees). He further posits to Colonel Babbit that its placement is a message to "bring it", which the Doctor proceeds to by approaching the pyramid alone. Due to the Doctor's blindness, Nardole guides him with a microphone in his coat, up to and including the point that a Monk exits the structure to meet him. It states its race's intentions to enslave Earth but also that, rather than being "fought", they will be "invited". The Monks then set all clocks on Earth to 23:57, reflecting the symbolic Doomsday Clock; a warning, the Doctor says, that the world will end soon.

Back in the lab, Douglas struggles to read the measurements for the mixing procedure. His hazy vision causes him to misplace a decimal point, and he accidentally uses 10 times the intended amount of a particular enzyme. The two lab technicians leave the process to complete automatically, as the Monks watch on through the security cameras.

In Turmezistan, the Doctor picks up Ilya Svyatoslavovich, leader of the Russian military, in the TARDIS, accompanied by the Secretary General and Xiaolian, leader of the Chinese military. The four, along with Babbit, Bill and Nardole, meet at the UN base and discuss the reasons for the particular time and place of the Monks' arrival. The Doctor believes it is because it is here that humanity is at its weakest, and so Xiaolian recommends attacking the pyramid as a show of strength. Nardole advises that "force is never the answer" and looks to the Doctor for confirmation, but to his and Bill's surprise, the Doctor agrees with the plan and tells the soldiers to launch a co-ordinated attack. This prompts the Doomsday clock to advance to 23:58.

Later, Bill inquires as to what the Doctor is not telling her, but he says that fear rules him to the extent that he cannot even reveal what scares him. They are interrupted when the pyramid begins to emit a large beam of orange light into the sky.

On a United States aircraft preparing to bomb the pyramid, the craft is consumed by a bright light, at which point all but one (and then all) of its crew are replaced by Monks. The members of the meeting arrive at the pyramid to see the plane entrapped by the orange beam, which gently sets it down on the ground, and to see the Monks disembark and return to the pyramid. The plane's crew then exit the pyramid, unharmed, as well as some Russian sailors, who were crewing a submarine targeting the pyramid with a missile. That submarine is also dropped next to the pyramid by the orange light.

A voice invites the leaders into the pyramid to talk.

Cast Edit

Uncredited Edit

Crew Edit

to be added

References Edit

Science Edit

Locations Edit

Technology Edit

Organisations Edit

Biology Edit

Species Edit

People Edit

Biological data Edit

Food and beverages Edit

  • Bill and Penny are drinking wine; Bill drinks white wine, while Penny has rosé wine.
  • Erica and Douglas drink coffee.
  • Water is being drunk during the meetings in the base.
  • Nardole mentions air, water, food and beer, as basic necessities.

Events Edit

Story notes Edit

Rachel Denning and Jamie Hill - The Aftershow - Doctor Who The Fan Show

Rachel Denning and Jamie Hill - The Aftershow - Doctor Who The Fan Show

This episode's Aftershow on Doctor Who: The Fan Show.

  • This title has the longest word count for a Doctor Who episode, with eight words. By character, however, it is not the longest. That title goes to The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, with 32 characters over Pyramid's 28. The spin-off series Class trumps them both, with 42 characters in The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did.
  • This episode featured a unique opening sequence in which it jumped back and forward between "Previously" and "Now".
  • A line of dialogue referring to terrorism was reportedly excised from the episode, out of respect for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing, which occurred five days prior to broadcast.[1][2]
  • When the Secretary General asks about the President, Bill says she doesn't know him, and says he is "orange". While never stated in the narrative, this is a reference to Donald Trump.
  • The Doomsday Clock is maintained by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board. As the writing of the episode took place in 2016, the time shown in the beginning of the episode is three minutes to midnight. At the time of the broadcast, however, the clock was set at two and a half minutes to midnight.
  • The United Nations is featured throughout in lieu of UNIT. This marks the first time the UN has played a major role in Doctor Who since the real-life organization requested UNIT's name be changed from United Nations Intelligence Taskforce in the mid-2000s to Unified Intelligence Taskforce.
  • When the Doctor regains his sight, "The Doctor's Theme" can be heard.
  • The title of this episode is an homage to Douglas Adams' book "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe", the sequel to the "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Douglas Adams was a former script writer on Classic Who.
  • This is the last episode in which the Twelfth Doctor is seen playing an electric guitar.

Ratings Edit

  • 4.12 million (UK overnight figures)
  • 5.79 million (UK final)[3]
Pearl Takes Us To Tenerife - Doctor Who Series 10

Pearl Takes Us To Tenerife - Doctor Who Series 10

Pearl Mackie introduces Tenerife, Spain.

Filming locations Edit

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • Although referred (and credited) to as a Colonel, Don Brabbit is seen wearing the insignia of a four star general.

Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit

DVD releases Edit

This episode was released as part of the Series 10 DVD box set on 13 November 2017.

Blu-ray releases Edit

to be added

Digital releases Edit

to be added

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

  1. O'Connor, Roisin (26 May 2017). Manchester bombing: Doctor Who episode edited after terror attack at Ariana Grande concert. The Independent. Retrieved on 27 May 2017.
  2. Huw Fullerton and Paul Jones (27 May 2017). Doctor Who episode edited for Saturday airing following Manchester bombing. RadioTimes. Retrieved on 27 May 2017.
  3. Ratings DW
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