Doctor Who Logo 'Extremis'
(Story Code 10.06)

by Steven Moffat
The Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole

“Particle physicists and priests. What could scare them both?” – The Doctor

A long time ago, the Doctor is escorted by a race of Executioners to a castle by the sea, where his old enemy, Missy, is to be put to death for her crimes. The means of Missy’s death is a machine specially created to kill Time Lords, and the Executioners are observing the custom of their Fatality Index, which dictates another of her people carry out her execution: that task falls to the Doctor. As Missy kneels on the central dais, the oblong quantum-fold chamber that will hold her remains rises from the waters. The Doctor grasps the lever that will activate the machine, and Missy begs for her life...

Today: rendered blind by exposure to space, the Doctor is now reliant on a computer-generated display psychically projected into his mind by his sonic sunglasses. After speaking to the occupant of the Vault under St. Luke’s university the Doctor sinks to the floor, just as he receives a mysterious email titled ‘Extremis’...

In the lecture hall of St. Luke’s, the Doctor is surprised by a visit from a group of priests from the Catholic Church, who have come direct from the Vatican with His Holiness the Pope. With some help from Nardole the Doctor pretends that he can still see, and learns that his help is required with something the Pope refers to as “Extremis”. Cardinal Angelo explains that there is an ancient text in the Vatican library: written in a lost language, only the book’s title, The Veritas, or ‘Truth’, is known; it was once translated by an early Christian sect, but that died with them when they committed mass suicide. Throughout history, anyone who has ever read The Veritas has immediately taken their own life; now a new translation has been made, but everyone who worked on or read it has since killed themselves, although one body is still unaccounted for. The Doctor is intrigued, even more so when the Pope himself asks him to come to the Vatican to read the book... Elsewhere, Bill takes her date, Penny, back to her foster mother’s flat, where she has resumed living after her ill-fated house-share. But as the two girls enjoy tea they are rudely interrupted by the sound of the TARDIS arriving in Bill’s room, and then the Pope walks into in the living room! The sight of the priests in Bill’s room sends Penny running, so Bill storms into the TARDIS and gives the Doctor a severe telling off. Choosing to keep his blindness a secret from his pupil, the Doctor leaves Nardole to explain recent events to Bill while he uses his sonic screwdriver to create a reading aid, and thinks back to Missy’s execution...

[The arrival of a hooded priest gives Missy’s death a five-minute pause. As the priest talks of 'Extremis' the Doctor realises he is reading from River Song’s diary; the new arrival is Nardole, who has been sent by the Doctor’s late wife with orders to “kick his arse”...]

The TARDIS takes the Doctor, Bill, Nardole and their passengers to the Vatican in Rome. Here the Pope instructs Cardinal Angelo to show his guests to the secret entrance to the Hereticum, the Church’s ancient and secret ‘Library of Blasphemy’ that contains forbidden and heretical texts. As they follow the cardinal through the maze of bookcase-lined corridors and halls, Bill wonders why the Doctor is still wearing his shades...

[Missy’s sentence resumes. As the Doctor returns to the execution lever, Missy promises to be good if he spares her life...]

Reaching the centre of the Hereticum, Cardinal Angelo shows his guests the secure metal cage where The Veritas is held. Light shines from around a corner, and Angelo, Bill and Nardole see a red-cloaked figure framed in a portal; the Doctor tries to scan it, but the portal closes without trace. While Cardinal Angelo looks for a breach in the wall, the Doctor and his friends find a gun-wielding priest hiding in the cage – the missing translator, who promptly runs away. The trio fail to notice as a taloned hand emerges from the portal and grabs Cardinal Angelo... Examining the cage, the Doctor, Bill and Nardole find a reading chair with safety straps, and a laptop left behind by the translator; a quick check shows that the priest sent a copy of the Veritas translation to CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, the largest particle physics laboratory on the planet. When a gunshot sounds, the Doctor sends Bill and Nardole to help the priest, while he remains with the forbidden text. After finding the priest’s body Bill and Nardole see another portal open in a nearby wall, and decide to investigate. Meanwhile, the Doctor removes his sonic shades and connects electrodes from his jury-rigged device to his temples; failing to see a red robed figure advancing towards him, the Doctor activates the machine and collapses in agony...

[The Doctor pulls the execution lever and energy beams strike down Missy. The Doctor tells the Executioners that he will guard her body for a thousand years...]

Emerging from the portal, Bill and Nardole are astonished to find themselves inside the Pentagon in America. Making a hasty retreat, they step into a white, circular room lined with portals, all projected by a ring of clearly alien technology. Another portal transports Bill and Nardole to the interior of the CERN building, where the scientists are gathering in the canteen. Back in the Hereticum, the Doctor comes to with blurry vision, having borrowed from his future to get a few minutes of eyesight with which to read The Veritas. Mistaking the red-robed figure for Cardinal Angelo, the Doctor asks for help with strapping himself into the chair for his protection; when more monks appear the Doctor finally sees their true faces, those of terrifying, mummified creatures. When one grabs the The Veritas, the Doctor sonics the lights and escapes with the laptop, racing down the darkened halls as the monks give chase. Entering the CERN canteen, Bill and Nardole see a countdown display ticking down from five minutes, while the assembled scientists drink away what they believe to be their final moments. Looking under the tables, Nardole and Bill see sticks of explosives – it is another mass suicide... Evading his pursuers, the Doctor checks the laptop and finds an email with an attached document: The Veritas, subtitled ‘A Test of Shadows’; but before he can read the translation, the Doctor’s eyesight blurs and fades. With the monks closing in, the Doctor stumbles through the halls; he falls over, but a portal opens before him... One of the suicidal CERN scientists tells Bill and Nardole that they are saving the world, which is not real; to illustrate he instructs them to say a random number when he taps the table – and to Bill and Nardole’s confusion, they both say the same number as everyone else, again and again and again. With only a few seconds left, Bill and Nardole race through the portal, escaping just before the building explodes. Inside the portal room they find a trail of blood; then Nardole realises the terrible truth: the alien machines are projectors, each casting a holographic simulation of the places and people they have visited. When Nardole moves out of the range of the projectors his hand breaks up into a wireframe – then his entire body dissolves into pixels, and he vanishes. Shaken, Bill follows the trail of blood through another portal and into the Oval Room in the White House; the Doctor is sitting behind the President’s desk, while the former owner is slumped in a nearby chair, dead from an overdose of pills after reading the Veritas translation. After noting Nardole’s absence, the Doctor explains that he has been using the laptop to listen to The Veritas, which tells a tale of an evil demon who wanted to conquer the world, and who created a shadow world full of shadow people on which to practice. The Earth is under the same threat of invasion, and the invading aliens have made a complex simulation of its history and inhabitants for their own practice: everything is a computer-generated game - including the Doctor and his friends, hence why Bill and Nardole’s random numbers came from the same numerical string - and the suicides were people escaping once they learned the truth. A monk appears in the room, pixelating Bill out of existence and then gloating that the Shadow Doctor’s suffering is useful information. Begging to be turned off, the ersatz Time Lord is reminded of Missy’s pleas, and he extracts River’s diary from his jacket pocket. Vowing to will stop the monks’ invasion, the Shadow Doctor reveals that he may be blind again, but their simulation is too good: his sonic shades have been psychically recording his memory print, and he emails the file to the real Doctor just as the simulation breaks up...

In the real world, the Doctor finishes watching the ‘Extremis’ recording sent by the Shadow Doctor. After receiving another email from his copy, telling him to save everyone, the Doctor calls Bill and encourages her to ask Penny out now, because something very big and very, very bad is coming...

[The Executioners close in on Missy’s prone form, only to discover that she is still alive, just very sleepy! It seems the Doctor fiddled with the machine’s settings, intending to look after her body, irrespective of whether she is actually dead or not. The Executioners are furious and vow to kill the Doctor too; but then they look up his own record of deaths listed in their Fatality Index, which sends them all scurrying sway in fear. Left alone with the unconscious Missy, the Doctor and Nardole move her inside the Vault...]

In the present, the Doctor turns to the Vault and asks Missy for help in saving the Earth, now that he is lost to the dark...

Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Pearl Mackie (Bill Potts), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Michell Gomez (Missy), Jennifer Hennessy (Moira), Corrado Invernizzi (Cardinal Angelo), Joseph Long (The Pope), Ronke Adekoluejo (Penny), Ivanno Jeremiah (Rafando), Francesco Martino (Piero), Alana Maria (Pentagon Woman), Laurent Laurel (Nicholas), Jamie Hill (Monk), Tim Bentinck (Voice of the Monks)

Directed by Daniel Nettheim
Produced by Peter Bennett
Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
20th May 2017 @ 7.25 pm

*Featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole

*Part one of a three part story