I rather enjoyed this one, even if a couple of things made no sense - namely how did the Doctor and Bill climb up through that ice hole wearing weighted diving suits and how did the monster swim under that bridge with surprisingly close support beams/arches?
The episode had a huge classic era feel to it; a jaunt to Earth's history with a deplorable villain who needs to be taught a lesson through a dose of poetic justice. The writing seemed very tight with just the right amount of moral reflection and self examination thrown in - enough to make you ponder but not preachy. The Doctor came across as both a bastard and an ultimately caring person, who knows what he's seen and is forced to move on from it let his own past consume him.
The CGI was pretty solid, with only one scene not quite working - the one with the final giant crack in the ice.
One thing I usually detest in any show or movie are child actors. Mainly because they can't act. Yet, with just exception, this lot did a pretty solid job so that was certainly a decent surprise.
Capaldi is really shining with these improved scripts. The increased spotlight and the good riddance of Clara really do seem to be helping his efforts a great deal.
The Vault pops up again, this time with knocking. Was the person on the other side knocking four times? I'm thinking it's a version of The Master in there.
Next week: A haunted house starring David Suchet. That trailer alone left me thinking that David Suchet would make an absolutely outstanding Doctor.
Not bad at first, though I felt the ending was a bit weak and rushed (as is often the case), and some of the dialog was a bit hard to follow, particularly when Bill starts talking fast with that accent of her's. Not too happy about Twelve still being a bit of a callous asshat either. I thought they'd moved past that, though it was fairly well-deconstructed in his conversations with Bill, I suppose. Pretty good production values though, yes, and definite echoes of "The Beast Below" from the start of the Eleventh Doctor's run, though it went in a slightly different direction, ultimately. All in all, a fairly standard Moffat-era Monster of the Week story, but not really bad. Sutcliff felt like he could have been a good villain, with a bit more screen time and development.
I do quite like Bill, too- she's already probably surpassed Clara in my estimation, and with better writing might easily give Amy and Rose a run for there money, maybe even Martha or Donna (Rory is still my favourite, season seven aside). She has a mix of thoughtful caution, compassion, and joyful embracing of the bizarre that works well for a Who companion. I like that they acknowledge the implications of her race, without ham-fistedly making it the focus the whole time. She'll do well at the Companion duty of calling out the Doctor when he crosses the line, if this episode is any indication. And no real romantic undertones with the Doctor at all, which is a nice change of pace.
I do wonder what's Spoiler
Best lines of the episode:
"How is that a screwdriver?"
"In a very broad sense."
Edited to add spoiler tags.