We celebrate the Peter Capaldi era by revisiting the 12th Doctor's adventures as we count down the days to his last adventure.
By Steven Moffat
“What you are standing in is a technological marvel. It is science beyond magic. This is the gateway to everything that ever was, or ever can be.”
At the time of transmission it has been over a year since we had a full series of Doctor Who and about 3 ½ months since the last time we had a brand new episode to watch. So it’s been a while since Doctor Who fans have something new to talk about. Or in true Doctor Who fandom complain about a lot or love it way too much. The Pilot is the first episode of series 10 of Doctor Who and it is also the first story of the last series that will star Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. I’m a little bit saddened by this as I’ve really enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s performance as the Doctor and in The Pilot he gives us another one of his great performances. I guess we’ll have to enjoy it while we can before the new person takes over.
The Pilot also introduces the new companion Bill played by Pearl Mackie. When we had that short to introduce her last year and what we’ve seen in the trailers I thought she was going to be annoying. So far I was wrong and Bill isn’t annoying at all. In fact she is just what the shows needs after the three years of Jenna Coleman. The Doctor Companion relationship was getting stale and now it seems fresh again as we get to know Bill and what makes her tick. I really like the chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie as so far it really seems to be clicking and working really well. So far I’m really enjoying the two as it has the same feel as the Doctor and Donna.
The Pilot was a pretty good story to the start the new series. It wasn’t too complicated and wasn’t bogged down with a lot of confusing technobabble. To me it felt like a Pertwee era story. You have the Doctor living on Earth at a university for a period of time and befriending a female that works there. Plus the story was slow moving with a creature that is pretty simple and a tad bit creepy. It also reminded me of The Chase as the Doctor and Bill where going all over to escape the Heather creature only to have been found by her. So a really simple story which is good to have every once in a while.
Heather, as we find out later will return, was a pretty creepy character that wasn’t intended to be. We find out that she really just wanted someone to travel with and was actually lonely. Simple characters like this used as the antagonist of the story works well while hiding what the real mystery is that will be revealed later. We all know that the real point of the story was setting up the whole vault storyline and using the simple story about Heather worked really well to start the season off.
I didn’t think The Pilot needed the Daleks in it at all, it was nice to see the Movellans again, as I thought that there were wasted and just a throw away part of the story. But I guess when you have to use them every year or lose their rights then you have to use them some way. It would be good to not use them in this way and give them a rest for a bit and then bring them back when they have a good story for them as I feel in using them every series that they are stale also and just not as exciting as in past years. To be honest I thought the Dalek part was the weakest part of the story but not the Heather Dalek that was quite good and moving in its own way.
So far I’m not a big fan of Nardole. This character I’m finding to be really annoying. Matt Lucas is at times way over the top. Too much for my liking but hopefully he isn’t as annoying in the stories yet to come. One question I have is why is Nardole squeaking like a robot? He only did it one time in the story in the beginning but later on he didn’t and he definitely didn’t do that in the Christmas Special. I’m sure we will find out at some point in the new series.
The Pilot was a pretty good story that introduced the new companion and the show really felt fresh and new again. After watching The Pilot it gave me hope that this series will be good and different and for once it felt like Doctor Who with a proper Doctor and Companion relationship unlike what we had previously with Clara.
Grade A –