World Enough and Time: The Fact File
The read through for the episode took place on Tuesday, 21 February, 2017. The main shoot began on Friday, 24 February, running through to 28 March.
The title of the episode comes from the opening line of the 17th Century work, ‘To His Coy Mistress’, a metaphysical poem by Andrew Marvell (1621–1678). It isn’t the first episode title to have been drawn from the verse with a later line running, ‘I would /Love you ten years before the Flood…’
World Enough and Time is the fifth episode of Doctor Who to be directed by Rachel Talalay. Her first, 2014’s Dark Water, brought Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and Michelle Gomez’s Missy together for the first time.
‘Hello, I’m Doctor Who…’ It’s a common misconception that the central character is named ‘Doctor Who’ and indeed, when the first two Dalek adventures were adapted for the big screen, Peter Cushing played that scourge of the Daleks, owner of the TARDIS and brilliant scientist, Dr. Who! But in the show the words have been used as a question as opposed to a sobriquet. A memorable exception occurred in The War Machines when WOTAN hissed, ‘Doctor Who is required!’ Maybe, just like the Doctor, WOTAN simply liked the name! It’s also worth noting that unusually, Jon Pertwee’s second adventure as the Time Lord was called Doctor Who and the Silurians and an episode of The Chase was entitled The Death of Doctor Who.
Missy states that nothing comes out of a black hole but she’s with someone who did just that… In fact in The Three Doctors, the Doctor, several of his friends, his car and UNIT HQ are all transported into a black hole – and more specifically, the anti-matter domain of Omega. All of them made it back to Earth!
John Simm returns as the Master! He’s an earlier ‘version’ of Missy and was first seen in Utopia when the character (as played by Derek Jacobi) regenerated on the planet Malcassairo. Confused? Find out more about the Master and Missy!
As we see once again, the Master is a, err, master of disguise. In Time-Flight he ‘became’ a genie-like figure called Kalid, in Castrovalva he adopted the guise of the kind and elderly leader, the Portreeve, and around the era of the Time War his disguise of Professor Yana was so convincing even he believed that was who he was! In The Daemons he put on a pair of glasses and a dog collar and claimed to be the ‘Reverend Mr Magister’. Funnily enough, the Doctor was able to see through his cunning disguise…
The Doctor’s early friendship with the Master has been referenced in many stories, but details of their time at the Academy together – as mentioned in World Enough and Time - are sparse. However, in Terror of the Autons, a fellow Time Lord pointed out to the Doctor that, ‘His degree in cosmic science was of a higher class than yours.’ The slightly dismayed Doctor retaliated, ‘I was a late developer!’
The Doctor again employs Venusian Aikido, a form of unarmed combat much-favoured by the Third Doctor who was forever getting into scrapes that forced him to use it. It appears to be similar, if not the same, as Venusian Karate, which the Time Lord has discussed on a number of occasions. (Later, he did mention ‘Venusian Aikido’ directly in stories such as The Green Death). In the Target novelizations of the 1970s adventures, it was customary for any reference of the Time Lord’s prowess in Venusian Aikido to be joined with a reminder that he was one of the few two-armed beings in the universe to have mastered the discipline!