Episode 828 – “Smile”

The Doctor and Bill arrive on a would-be utopia planet; one that’s being readied for human occupation. Surely nothing sinister or strange could happen here, right?

Ha! Millennials, ‘mirite?

Naturally something nasty is happening. In this case, the robots who are running the place, and communicate in emojis because creativity is dead, are killing anyone who appears to be unhappy. It’s that usual, rather stupid, thing that happens in sci-fi where the AI just doesn’t quite get it and murders a few people.

This may make it sound like I didn’t like this episode, but I actually rather did. Bill and the Doctor continue to make a great couple. So far I’m enjoying them almost as much as I did the Doctor and Donna. And if the emoji thing was stupid-and make no mistake; it was very stupid-it was also handled in an entertaining enough fashion. Plus the location was just amazing! What a lovely building!

But I will say that the emoji thing really was fucking stupid as fuck. It never really works when sci-fi shows try to take modern day fads and project them into the future. Remember the Anne-Droid and Big Brother in the last two episodes of the Ninth Doctor’s season? Yeah. That aged rather terribly.

So in summary, a fun story, with shades of “Happiness Patrol”, that wound up being way better than it should have been.

  • Kiran L. Dadlani – Kezzia
  • Mina Anwar – Goodthing
  • Kaizer Akhtar – Praiseworthy
  • Ralf Little – Steadfast
  • Kalungi Ssebandeke – Nate
  • Kiran Shah – Emojibot 1
  • Craig Garner – Emojibot 2
Directed by Lawrence Gough
Written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Produced by Peter Bennett
Executive producer(s) Steven Moffat
Brian Minchin
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Series Series 10
Length 45 minutes
Originally broadcast 22 April 2017