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Extremis

A mysterious book, the Veritas, holds an essential, terrifying truth. The only trouble is, everyone who reads it takes the secret to their grave…

WARNING: Spoilers

‘The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms – he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization. He constantly lives at a turning point. Like religious millennialists he expresses the anxiety of those who are living through the last days and he is sometimes disposed to set a date for the apocalypse.

Richard Hofstadter (Harper’s Magazine), November 1964

“A long time ago, a thing happened,” explained the Doctor, in Smile. “As a result of the thing, I made a promise. As a result of the promise, I have to stay on Earth.”

“Guarding a vault?” asked Bill.

“Guarding a vault.”

Hm. You remember the Vault, don’t you? Hidden beneath St Luke’s? The university named after Luke the Evangelist, patron saint of doctors and artists, brewers and butchers? (Go on, search that for clues!) In Extremis, we get to find out what’s in the Vault – and you might not believe your eyes…

“It’s the absolute classic mystery, isn’t it? It’s the locked door,” says the writer of Extremis, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, who’s known for plotting intricate, twisty-turny puzzle-box thrillers – riddles wrapped in mysteries inside enigmas crammed into Gallifreyan confession dials – and yet this most tantalising of conundrums goes back to basics. “It’s the simplest thing I could do – the Doctor’s got a locked door – but it’s instantly fascinating. I mean, you’d only have to be staying in someone’s house for a while and realise that one of the doors is locked to become impossibly curious about what’s in there.

That’s human nature. There is something perfectly fascinating about a locked door. And we don’t have to wait a whole 12 episodes to find out what’s in there, which I think is important, or you’d go mad.”

Following the cataclysmic conclusion to Jamie Mathieson’s outer-space nail-biter Oxygen, Extremis brings us back down to Earth and kicks off what DWM is loosely calling ‘the Monk trilogy’: three episodes in which the planet is plundered by corpse-like creatures with desiccated, skeletal faces, withered, claw-like hands, and burgundy threads.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • Previews of the new episodes Knock Knock, Oxygen, Extremis and The Pyramid at the End of the World • Knock Knock guest star David Suchet is interviewed • An in-depth interview with Doctor Who the director of the first two episodes of the new series, The Pilot and Smile: Lawrence Gough • Doctor Who writers Frank Cottrell-Boyce (Smile) and Sarah Dollard (Thin Ice) reveal the stories behind their scripts • Bill Potts makes her comic strip début in the first part of the new comic strip adventure The Soul Garden, by Scott Gray, with art by Martin Geraghty. • It's the end of the world as we know it as The Fact of Fiction delves into the 1966 story The Ark. • DWM reviews of the first three episodes of the new series: The Pilot, Smile and Thin Ice. • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, the Watcher's column, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!
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