Doctor Who is back! And at Easter, which still feels like the right time of the year.
Now, as you’ll know, I thought last season was the best season of New Who. I may have been being a tad hyperbolic there… but not entirely.
And now we’ve got “The Pilot,” the first episode of the new season. Introducing Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts. Among other things, I’ve got to say that this would be a great jumping-on point; a fine episode for someone new to the series to start.
The story was good, not great; there were unnecessary Daleks, but if that means they’re going to otherwise be given a rest for this season, I won’t complain; and we’ve got the mysterious vault that The Doctor and Nardole are investigating. I suspect it might be most of the season before we find out what’s going on with that.
Nice references to the past with the pictures of River and Susan; and the people who were fighting the Daleks were Movellans, apparently. I learned this on Jason Snell’s Doctor Who Flashcast podcast. I knew I recognised them, so I thought they must be Thals, and that we were right back at the start of it all. It’s a very long time since I saw either.
So, The Doctor has been lecturing at Bristol University for maybe fifty years? Intriguing. And the mini-trailer that we got as well as the usual “Next time…” is even more so. Both Missy and John Simm (presumably as The Master). The start of The Doctor’s regeneration sequence. We know he’s going to regenerate, but not, presumably till the last episode.
Though on that point, Capaldi said on The Graham Norton Show that he had already filmed his part of the regeneration scene, and the only thing they still had to film was the Christmas special. Not surprisingly he wouldn’t give an explanation of that paradox.
I have a theory, or suggestion for how things might develop. They won’t do this, and they shouldn’t; but bear with me.
In a reversal of the now-common trope of The Doctor’s companion falling for him, The Doctor falls for Bill. She, of course, is not interested. So The Doctor regenerates into a female form.
That would be to put Bill’s sexuality too much to the fore, and of course be wildly unlike The Doctor. But it amused me to consider for a few minutes.
Out of sequence, but for completeness I should write a piece about the first two-parter in this year's Doctor Who series. "The Magician's Apprentice" and "The Witch's Familiar".
Excellent that they managed not to include the word “Dalek” in the title of a Dalek story. A genuine surprise when the boy in the minefield said his name.
And great, great interplay between Missy and Clara, especially.
But if we assume, as we must, that the Magician is The Doctor and Missy is the Witch , does that make Clara both the Apprentice and the Familar? Or is Davros one of all of the above? It’s all very mysterious.
And Dalek/Time Lord hybrids? This can’t end well.
Wait, though: following on from my previous: The Doctor isn’t the Scarecrow: he’s the Wizard. But then, who is behind the curtain?