The Lie of the Land" is the eighth episode of the tenth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Written by Toby Whithouse, it was broadcast on 3 June 2017 on BBC One. "The Lie of the Land" received mixed to positive reviews from television critics.
Continuing on after Bill (Pearl Mackie) gives her consent to the Monks, she and Nardole(Matt Lucas) have to find a way to rescue the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) after he is imprisoned, and end the Monk's invasion of Earth. It is the third and final of three loosely connected episodes called "The Monks Trilogy".
The Monks are rulers of the Earth, and appear to have been on Earth for millions of years, guiding human development. Bill and a few others are aware of the truth: the Monks have only been present on Earth for six months. Those who hold this view are imprisoned for "memory crimes". The Doctor appears on television praising the Monks' guidance over humanity.
Bill keeps herself grounded in reality by imagining that she is talking with her long-dead mother, based on pictures the Doctor gave her. Nardole, also aware of the truth, locates Bill and helps her to find the prison hulk where the Doctor is thought to be a captive. Inside, after a team of commandoes swarm inside, the Doctor tells Bill he is cooperating willingly with the Monks, believing that humanity was doomed without their guidance. Bill becomes distraught and shoots the Doctor, who appears to begin regenerating, but quickly stops. The entire scenario is revealed to have been a test by Nardole, the Doctor and the team, to make sure Bill was not under the influence of the Monks.
At the university where the Doctor and Bill work, they enter the Vault to talk to Missy, who says she has encountered the Monks before. She confirms the Monks maintain control by broadcasting a signal containing the false history to their subjugated victims via the numerous statues they have built across Earth, enabled by a psychic link established through the person who originally gave "consent"; Missy claims she defeated them during her own encounter by killing that individual. The implication is that Bill must die as the one who gave consent on Earth.
Believing there is another solution, the Doctor, Bill, Nardole, and the commandoes infiltrate the Monks' pyramid in London so that the Doctor can hijack their broadcast with his own mind to break the psychic transmission. In the central chamber, the Doctor attempts to link his mind to the controlling Monk, who after a struggle overpowers the Doctor. Bill intends to sacrifice herself, linking her own mind to the Monk's despite the Doctor's protests. The Monks' broadcast is replaced with images of Bill's mother, which the Doctor recognises is a strong and loving memory in Bill's mind. Humanity wakes up from the Monks' lies and revolts against them. The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole watch as the Monks abandon Earth. Sometime later, the Doctor and Bill find that most of humanity have no recollection of the Monks. In the Vault, Missy expresses remorse for those she has killed.
In images showing the Monks' aid to humanity, clips from the stories "Blink", "Nightmare in Silver" and "Into the Dalek" are shown. Later a clip from the "The Pilot" was seen, as well as several still images from past episodes of the new series. Magpie Electrical, which first debuted in "The Idiot's Lantern" and recurs throughout the revival series, is shown as the shop where Bill watches one of the Doctor's broadcasts.
Missy briefly plays selections from Eric Satie's Gnossienne No. 1 and Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" on her piano.
The read-through for "The Lie of the Land" took place on 11 January 2017. Filming took place, alongside the subsequent episode "Empress of Mars", from 16 January to 22 February 2017.
In Missy's initial scene, the visual of her eyes superimposed over a panning shot is an homage to a similar scene from the 1996 film.
Broadcast and reception
The episode was watched by 3.01 million overnight, the series' lowest overnight rating in its history, after the rating of 3.10 million for Battlefield in 1989. This was due to the episode being placed directly against the Britain's Got Talent finale. It received an AI of 82.
Rotten Tomatoes (Tomatometer) 90%
Rotten Tomatoes (Average Score) 6.74
The A.V. Club B-
Entertainment Weekly B
SFX Magazine 5/5 stars
IGN 8.7 
New York Magazine 3/5 stars
Radio Times 2/5 stars
Daily Mirror 2/5 stars
"The Lie of the Land" received mixed to positive reviews, with "a number reviewers finding it the weakest story in the season so far". The episode currently holds a score of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, the site's consensus reading ""The Lie of the Land" closes a significant chapter for Doctor Who's tenth season -- yet leaves some major characters' fates tantalizingly open."