Well Whovians, and new viewers alike, it’s finally time. After a year without anything more than a Christmas special, we have a new season of Doctor Who to enjoy. New companion, same Doctor.
When last we left our madman in a blue box he was off adventuring with Nardole (Matt Lucas-Alice in Wonderland) and now thanks to the timey wimeyness of time travel he’s set up shop as a University professor, renouncing his adventuring ways and not living in the past anymore, or the future either but standing still, something that The Doctor’s had a problem with in previous incarnations, but seems to prefer it now, not wanting to hurt anyone else he cares about, as he indicates with the photographs of his granddaughter Susan and his one time wife, River Song on his desk next to the cup of old Sonic Screwdrivers, which was a nice touch.
Enter Bill (Pearl Mackie) a non student who works on the campus he’s at but who sneaks into his lectures on a regular basis because they fascinate her. She’s a bi racial lesbian, which isn’t a big deal in the year 2017 in general, but in terms of casting and characters it’s big for the show as she’s the first gay companion. One could argue Captain Jack Harkness should have claimed that title but he was never strictly just gay, Jack loves whoever and whatever he feels like at the moment.
After we get to know both The Doctor and Bill we get into our mystery of the week, there’s a mysterious puddle where there shouldn’t be, and a girl that Bill was flirting with has disappeared. Before long the girl shows up in puddle form, well her form at least, taken over by some alien creature piloting her, hence the title of the episode, who is chasing after Bill now, which leads her back to the Doctor and to see the Tardis for her first time.
I really enjoyed this episode on a few levels, and as advertised and cleverly titled, as The Pilot, it was treated as a jumping on point for new viewers, which is good to have every now and again when you’re a few years into something, and want to keep new and newer fans from getting too confused when trying out a new show. I watched the show with my girlfriend, who’s never seen an episode before, but had heard good things about the show, and she enjoyed it as well. We will of course be going back and re-watching the past 12 years of show, because it’s been an amazing relaunch, and you have to see Doctors 9-11, that’s a given. But as far as having another show that we can watch week to week together, this is where she begins her journeys with The Doctor as all of us fans have at one point.
I also loved the little easter eggs throughout the episode for us long time Whovians, the pictures on the desk, the Sonic Screwdrivers and seeing the Daleks is always a treat. All in all it was a great mix of the old and the new.
I can’t wait to see what twists and turns this season brings us, and seems like we’ll be getting a new Doctor here before year’s end to give the next showrunner a completely fresh canvas to work from, which is fine by this fan. Let’s see how this last ride of Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor goes shall we? Allons-y!