The Pyramid at the End of the World
Doctor Who Logo 'The Pyramid at the End of the World'
(Story Code 10.07)

by Peter Harness
and Steven Moffat
The Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole

“We will take this world. We will rule its people. But only when we are asked.” - Monk

Bill goes on a date with Penny: she tells her about the Doctor and the computer simulation run by the Monks, which Penny takes to be a dream. Their conversation is interrupted when a squad of armed soldiers burst into Bill’s flat; they are escorting the Secretary General of the United Nations, who needs Bill’s help to meet with the President of Earth - the Doctor, elected into authority by protocol now that the world is in a time of crisis. En route to the airport the Secretary General explains that a huge pyramid has appeared in Turmezistan, a disputed area surrounded by Chinese, Russian and American forces; the pyramid is five-thousand years old – yet it wasn’t there yesterday… In the TARDIS, the Doctor plays guitar while meditating on the end of the world and the Monks computer simulation; he is still blind, and relying on his sonic sunglasses to ‘see’. Answering Bill’s voice at the door, the Doctor is surprised to learn that the TARDIS has been physically moved from his office in St. Luke’s, and is now on a military airplane bound for Turmezistan along with Bill, Nardole and the Secretary General. Elsewhere, at Agrofuel Research Operations, a scientist named Erica joins her colleague, Douglas, in their laboratory; Erica’s glasses were accidentally broken by her partner, so she asks Douglas to release a special bacterial enzyme into the greenhouse they are monitoring; but Douglas has a hangover, and he injects the wrong amount of enzyme into the plants’ sprinkler system. These potentially cataclysmic events are witnessed via CCTV by the Monks… Arriving in Turmezistan with their military escort, the Doctor and Bill deduce that the pyramid is an alien spaceship in disguise, conveying a deliberate message of power. The Doctor sets off to investigate the pyramid, leaving Bill behind with Nardole, who guides the blind Doctor over a secret microphone. The Time Lord’s arrival is seen by the Monks, who open a door in the structure; a Monk appears and informs the Doctor that his people will take over the Earth, but only under invite from the human race. At that moment everyone’s phones and watches display ’23:57’ and ’11:57 pm’ – every clock in the world is now showing the infamous Doomsday Clock, which counts down to global disaster. Using the TARDIS, the Doctor assembles the commanders of each country’s army: Xiaolian of the Chinese forces, Ilya of the Russians and U.S. Colonel Don Brabbit. To Bill and Nardole’s astonishment the Doctor advocates the soldiers’ plan to attack the pyramid, instructing them to co-ordinate their forces in a demonstration of strength and unity. After the Doomsday Clock changes to ’23:58’, Bill tries asking the Doctor what is wrong with him, but then a bright beam of light erupts from the apex of the pyramid and strikes an approaching U.S. bomber, freezing it mid-flight. Beaming aboard the captured plane, the Monks swap places with the crew and then land it next to the pyramid. As the Monk hijackers return to their pyramid, the American crew emerges from the structure, followed by the crew of a Russian submarine, which promptly lands alongside the plane, its nose embedded in the ground. Summoned to meet with the Monks, the Doctor, Bill and the soldiers enter the pyramid; inside they meet with the invaders, who warn that the human race is about to destroy all life on Earth. The Monks have used their simulation machine to model all potential futures of the planet, and have detected an imminent catastrophe: the Monks can aver it, on the proviso that mankind actually asks them to protect the planet and take care of them – forever. To prove their claim the Monks allow the Doctor and the others to each grasp a strand of the simulation machine, which shows them a horrifying future in which all life on Earth has been destroyed. As the Doomsday Clock changes to ’23:59’, the Monks explain that they want to rule the planet through love, not fear – slavery over inefficiency. Forced to comply, the Secretary General gives his consent to the Monks, but when they test his motive, they decree it to be through fear, and their touch turns the man to dust. Furious, the Doctor vows to save the planet himself… At Agrofuel, Douglas and Erica enter the greenhouse to monitor the effects of the enzyme. Feeling queasy, Douglas removes his helmet, then watches with Erica as all their plants crumble into mulch. Douglas grabs a sample of the dead plants, then joins Erica in the lab as she seals off the greenhouse to prevent the infection from spreading… In the U.N. base at Turmezistan, the Doctor persuades Xiaolian, Brabbit and Ilya to join forces in peace; but the Doomsday Clock continues to tick: something else is causing the world to end. Surmising that the Monks have misdirected them into thinking of World War III, the Doctor posits that they should be looking for other causes; Nardole’s suggestion of bacteria seems a good idea, so the Doctor uses his sonic shades to put all of the world’s top-secret intelligence documents online in searchable format so they can start looking. At Agrofuel, Douglas succumbs to the infection, his body dissolving into gunk... Having narrowed his and Nardole’s search to in-progress biochemical trials of GM bacteria, the Doctor warns the three commanders not to accept the Monks’ offer; but with time running out Brabbit, Xiaolian and Ilya unanimously agree to surrender, choosing to live to fight another day, and they head back to the pyramid to negotiate with the Monks. The Doctor decides to tell Bill the truth he has been keeping from her, but stops when he realises that the key to beating the Monks is by blinding them. A bio-alert lockdown activates at the Agrofuel complex, sending its staff fleeing from the building; in the lab, Erica identifies Douglas’ mistake. Returning to the TARDIS, the Doctor instructs Nardole to hack into the camera systems of all the labs conducting GM biochemical tests and turn them off; the Monks will be monitoring only one of these, so all the Doctor and Nardole need to do is see which lab gets its cameras restored. Identifying Agrofuel in Yorkshire as their target, the Doctor transports the TARDIS to Erica’s lab and offers his help; the air is toxic, so the Time Lord sends Nardole back into the ship with instructions to move it to safety. But as Nardole activates the TARDIS’ controls smoke issues from the console – choking on the fumes, Nardole passes out, and the TARDIS stutters as it dematerialises… Accompanying the soldiers into the pyramid, Bill receives a call from the Doctor with the news that he can contain the toxin. But the Doctor’s happiness is short-lived: Erica explains that the air filtration system will cycle in twenty minutes, and will automatically vent the toxin into the air. As the world’s clocks change to ’23:59:40’, the Doctor works out a way to sterilise the toxin: by blowing up the greenhouse and lab; the bacteria is making ethanol, which is highly combustible... Inside the pyramid, Bill watches as Brabbit, Xiaolian and Ilya give their consent to the Monks; however, when the aliens test the purity of their victims’ consent, they decree them to be acting out of strategy not love, and turn the three soldiers into dust.; then the Monks turn to Bill, as a representative of the Doctor… Rigging up a crude timer to set off the ethanol in the greenhouse, the Doctor calls Bill and tells her to stall the Monks; setting his device for two minutes, the Doctor races for the lab’s airlock, noting with joy that the Doomsday Clock is now running backwards. Inside the Pyramid an alarm sounds, sending the aliens scurrying back to their simulator to check what has gone wrong. Erica reaches the safe area outside her laboratory, but the airlock door automatically closes behind her under emergency protocol, locking the Doctor inside the lab; all he needs to do is change the combination on the lock – but his blindness prevents him from seeing the digits on the dial. As the seconds tick away, the Doctor finally admits to Bill that he cannot escape because he is still blind. With the TARDIS now by Erica, the Doctor frantically calls Nardole for a rescue, but his friend lies unconscious on the ship’s floor. Refusing to let the Doctor die, Bill disobeys his orders and asks the Monks to restore her friend’s sight; to Bill’s relief she passes the Monk’s purity test, because her consent is an act of love. With the deal made, the Doctor suddenly finds his sight restored, enabling him to change the lock and escape from the lab just as it and the greenhouse are consumed by flames. The Doctor can see again – but at the cost of the Monks taking over the world…

Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Pearl Mackie (Bill Potts), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Togo Igawa (Secretary General), Nigel Hastings (The Commander), Eben Young (Colonel Don Brabbit), Rachel Denning (Erica), Tony Gardner (Douglas), Andrew Byron (Ilya), Daphne Cheung (Xiaolian), 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):
27th May 2017 @ 7.50 pm **

*Featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole

*Part two of a three part story

**Although schedlued for 7.45 pm, this episode was show five minutes late due to the overrun of the F.A. Cup Final

*Due to the events of the Manchester bombing that occured a few days prior to transmission, the BBC edited this episode to remove a small reference to terrorism