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The Doctor invites Bill to take a trip with him in the TARDIS, ignoring Nardole's objection that the Doctor swore an oath to not leave Earth except in cases of emergency.

She asks to go to the future, so the Doctor lands the TARDIS in a field of a human colony settled after Earth was evacuated. Strangely, there are no people to be found in the whole colony, only emoji-speaking robots.

Actually, the "robots" are more user interfaces for swarms of microbots that actually form the physical structure of the colony itself. As the Doctor and Bill explore the colony, they realize that the bots actually killed the inhabitants and turned them into fertilizer.

The Doctor realizes that the unfortunate humans were merely the forerunners of the actual colonists, and that countless more innocent humans would fall victim to the same trap, so he decides to destroy the colony.

Before he can do so, however, Bill discovers that the colonists are already there; they were merely in suspended animation, and they're now waking up.

They realize that the bots had achieved sentience, but in their desire to help humans did not understand the concept of grief. When one of the original expedition members died of natural causes, the reactions of the others caused the entire tragic affair.

The Doctor manages to reset the bots' protocols, but warns the now-awake humans that they will need to find a way to coexist peacefully with their new neighbors.

Doctor Who
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Doctor Who Season 10 Episode 3 Quotes

Once, long ago, a fisherman caught a magic haddock. The haddock offered him three wishes in return for its life. The fisherman said, “I’d like for my son to come home from the war. And a hundred pieces of gold.” The problem is, the magic haddock, like robots, don’t think like people. The fisherman’s son came home from the war, in a coffin. And the king sent a hundred gold pieces in recognition of his heroic death. The fisherman had one wish left. What do you think he wished for? Some people say he should have wished for an infinite series of wishes, but if your city proves anything, it is that granting all your wishes is not a good idea. [...] In fact, the fisherman wished he hadn’t wished the first two wishes.

The Doctor

Nardole: Excuse me? What *is* the TARDIS doing down here?
The Doctor: I’m over two thousand years old. I don’t always want to take the stairs.