Doctor Who Blog

The Lie of the Land - Including Canada!

Yes, I know I’m late by a few days - apologies for that - but I was busy meeting the 8th Doctor himself in Niagara Falls on the day (and in fact the entire weekend) that this week’s episode of Doctor Who, The Lie of the Land, was broadcast. Which is the reason for the delay in putting up this post. And that’s no lie.

Of course we do want to know what you thought of the episode in the comments section below…...but that’s not all. Did Canadian readers of this blog spot anything special about this episode in particular from a Canadian perspective? The 8th Doctor wasn’t alone being in Niagara Falls on Saturday, as the programme itself also - for about half a second - also was set in Niagara Falls. In the opening montage, there is about a half-second clip of Niagara Falls included in the various footage showing statues of the Monks across the world demonstrating their conquest of the planet. And yes, it was the Canadian side of the Falls! And that wasn’t all - the clip of Niagara Falls was followed by another half-second clip showing the Toronto skyline, complete with the CN Tower!

Why am I so giddy about a second of screen time featuring a couple of famous Canadian landmarks appearing in Doctor Who? Remarkably these half-second clips constitute the first time in the history of Doctor Who that a Canadian location has featured in the programme as a Canadian location and thus the first time ever that any part - even a single second - of any television Doctor Who story has been set in Canada. The T.V. Movie was shot in Vancouver, but the story was set in San Francisco, whereas here Toronto and Niagara are simply Toronto and Niagara. It is also, unless my memory is failing me (if so, I will blame the monks) the first time the new series has had a Canadian reference of any kind (though I recall that both Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures contained Canadian references) and the first time there’s been a Canadian reference since The Trial of a Time Lord in 1986 when our geese got name-checked. I believe the last time a Canadian location was mentioned on screen was in 1971’s The Claws of Axos (ending four seasons in a row of at least one reference - ah, the good old days…).

It may seem pathetic or amusing to get so excited over a brief second of a story taking place in Canada, but after 54 years of starvation on this front, I’ll take it!

As for the other 44 minutes and 59 seconds of footage of this episode, what did you think?


Not a bad episode. The Doctor testing Bill was a good twist. Seeing more of “Thenardier” (Matt Lucas) in the last couple of episodes has been delightful. However, I will be glad to see Peter Capaldi gone. If we are going to continue to have young companions The Doctor just has to be closer to their age. 

I continue to have problems with the character Bill (not the actor). In the context of the show (Whoverse?) Bill has only known The Doctor for a short time yet she behaves emotionally as if she has known The Doctor for a much longer period of time. I can understand earlier companions acting that way after several dozen adventures as they have come to bond with The Doctor but it is much too soon for Bill to act that way. She should be just beginning to know/care about him. It’s just not convincing or plausible for me.

Posted by The Observer  on  06/09  at  04:02 PM

Also we know Huckle in ‘Terror of the Zygons’ was Canadian.

Posted by Eric  on  06/10  at  10:25 PM

The Pilot covers a longer period of time than The Observer remembers, perhaps? Bill has known him longer than the few months the series has aired.

Posted by Colleen Hillerup  on  06/11  at  05:23 PM

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