Doctor in Distress
Doctor in Distress
Season: 10
Episode: 5
Vital statistics
Air date 13 May 2017
Written by Jamie Mathieson
Directed by Charles Palmer
Episode guide
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Knock Knock Extremis
Gareth knows best
Confirmed kino

Capitalism in Space is episode Davison in Series 10. It features Pietro Capaldino as Basil and Pimp Macklemore as Bill. Also has more nah-doll.

The Doctor's eyes stop working, Nardole starts being annoying and Bill dies (but not really) marking the second companion death this series. Well at least until the Pope is killed next week.


“You only see the true face of the universe when it’s asking you for help.”

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole answer a distress call in deep space, and find themselves trapped on board space station Chasm Forge. All but four of the crew have been murdered – and the dead are still walking! In a future where oxygen is sold by the breath, and space suits are valued more highly than their occupants, the TARDIS crew battle for survival against the darkest evil of all.


Doctor Who does Alien. Again.

OK, so basically in the future oxygen will be expensive. I'm not sure what the air regeneration costs now, but whatever. It's future. Maybe oxygen is different there. Let's roll with that.

People are mining asteroids, but their space suits rebelled and killed them. Turns out, they don't mine hard enough, so their bosses decided to update software in their suits and kill them to not pay for their oxygen. It's all a metaphor for capitalism and how it is evil somehow.

The allegory kinda falls apart because Mathieson can't be arsed to worldbuild. Is oxygen's prices inflated due to monopoly and artificial scarcity? Is it actually scarce and company is trying to save money? It's not clear what capitalism-specific vice does updating software so it would kill users and steal their stuff represents. Is it company towns? Price fixing? Putting profit above people (Yeah, communists never did that, dontchaknow)? Windows 10?


Heh... Well as much as I don't wanna be I am disappointed by this episode. Don't get me wrong, it's still Very good and definitely the episode of the series so far. It's just not quite at Mummy or Flatline level. And I think Gareth said it best about the cliffhanger.