The Pyramid At The End Of The World
27 May 2017
Ronke Adekoluejo (Penny), Tim Bentinck (Monks (voice)), Andrew Byron (Ilya), Daphne Cheung (Captain Xiaolian), Rachel Denning (Erica), Tony Gardner (Douglas), Nigel Hastings (The Commander), Jamie Hill (Monk), Togo Igawa (Secretary General of the UN), Eben Young (Col Don Brabbit)
|Written by||Peter Harness and Steven Moffat|
|Directed by||Daniel Nettheim|
|Produced by||Peter Bennett|
A 5,000 year-old Pyramid stands at the centre of a war zone, where the Chinese, Russian and American armies are about to clash. There are many problems with that, but the one that intrigues the Doctor is this: there wasn’t a pyramid there yesterday.
The Doctor, Bill and Nardole face an alien invasion unlike any other, and before conquest can begin, these aliens need the consent of the human race…
- The Pyramid At The End Of The World was episode 7 of series 10.
- The Doctor told Bill she should call Penny on a date. (Extremis)
- Turmezistan previously appeared in The Zygon Inversion, which was also penned by Peter Harness and Steven Moffat, and directed by Daniel Nettheim.
- The Doctor mentions having been blind since Chasm Forge. (Oxygen, Extremis)
- The Doctor states that the future dead Earth wouldn’t be his first dead planet. ("The Dead Planet", Planet of the Dead)
- A pyramid appears on Earth. (Pyramids of Mars)
- Nardole calls himself "sexy", a nickname used often by the Eleventh Doctor to describe the TARDIS. (The Doctor’s Wife)
- The Doctor mentions his reassembly of Nardole, telling Nardole "I got your lungs cheap", further indicating that Nardole may be a cyborg. (The Return of Doctor Mysterio, The Pilot)
- The Doctor is President of Earth in a crisis. (Death in Heaven)
- Togo Igawa plays the Secretary General of the UN in this episode, but he’s no stranger to the world of Doctor Who. In the first season of Torchwood he played Dr Tanizaki in Cyberwoman.
- The Secretary General refers to the fact that the Doctor is President of Earth. In Death in Heaven it was revealed that in times of crisis (specifically if an invasion occurs), an ‘Earth President’ is inducted immediately, with complete authority over every nation state. As Kate Stewart remarked, ‘There was only one practical candidate.’ The Doctor! The position seems to have become a permanent office by the 26th Century. In Frontier in Space, the Doctor and Jo Grant met the President of Earth, an apparently elected politician, who initially suspected the Time Lord was a Draconian spy!
- Much of the action takes place in Turmezistan. This is a fictitious country which first appeared in The Zygon Invasion.
- The Doomsday Clock is a concept that seeks to represent the likelihood and nearness of an apocalyptic, man-made catastrophe. Its original setting (in 1947) was seven minutes to midnight, with midnight denoting the point of cataclysm. As such, the minute hand on the Doomsday Clock is a metaphor for how vulnerable the planet is to catastrophe. You can find out more about the Doomsday Clock and its history in this video.
- Aside from the regular cast, The Pyramid at the End of the World marks the return of cast members Jamie Hill (the Monk), Tim Bentinck (Voice of the Monks) and Ronke Adekoluejo (Penny) from the previous episode.
- The Doctor visited the ‘real’ Great Pyramid of Giza in The Daleks’ Master Plan
‘It’s a matter of a pyramid…’ The Doctor visited the ‘real’ Great Pyramid of Giza in part 9 of The Daleks’ Master Plan. Co-incidentally, that episode also saw him pitted against a foe known as ‘The Monk’.
- The idea that a harmful force cannot enter a home without the owner’s permission is a concept most closely identified with vampires, as Bill suggests, but various mythologies attribute the same limitations to other harmful creatures, such as vampire-hybrids and the Devil. Bram Stoker’s Dracula cemented this element of folklore but prior to that story’s publication in 1897, ‘creatures of the night’ such as the eponymous ‘Varney the Vampire,’ weren’t always bound by the convention.
- Douglas and Erica work for Agrofuel Research Operations. An ‘agrofuel’ is (broadly speaking!) any biofuel produced by agricultural means.
- ‘She’s got it! By George, she’s got it!’ Here the Doctor is quoting Henry Higgins who, in My Fair Lady, declares, ‘I think she’s got it… By George, she’s got it!’ referring to Eliza Doolittle. In Ghost Light, in a clear allusion to that character, the Doctor called his companion ‘Eliza’. Incidentally, My Fair Lady is a musical version of Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw. Maybe the Time Lord is a fan of his… In Dragonfire we saw him reading Bernard Shaw’s 1906 work, The Doctor’s Dilemma.
- 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.
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.
- 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 – and some of the filming – of the episode took place in 2016, the time shown in the beginning of the episode is three minutes to midnight. As of January 2017 – and so at the time of broadcast – however, the clock is 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 (it became Unified Intelligence Taskforce).
- When the Doctor regains his sight, The Doctor’s Theme can be heard.
- Agrofuel Research Operations uses EC 07, EC 31 and EC 46 to genetically modify R. planticola. They have been experimenting with the bacteria for at least 26 days.
- Douglas is also working on Experiment 7C1677, Enzyme C36 and Culture 14578.
- The Doomsday Clock is mentioned as having been started by some atomic scientists in 1947.
- The Doctor again calls himself stupid over and over. (Time Heist)