Finally, a new series of Doctor Who has begun! I’d almost forgotten the feeling.
- The Doctor has a picture of Susan on his desk! I’d have been happier if they didn’t keep focussing on it though.
- So why does the Doctor spend 50-70 years as a university lecturer? He doesn’t seem to be tracking a particular alien. His strong reluctance to accept Bill as a companion also confused me. I’ve been more tolerant of Steven Moffat’s need for continuity than some people, but it does become a problem when you have such a long gap between series.
- I was uncertain about Bill, the new companion, after the first teaser with her in it: she seemed gobby, but not in an endearing way. After seeing her in a full episode, I still don’t know how much I’m going to like her in the long run, but she wasn’t as bad as I’d feared. Her attitude toward the TARDIS, questioning everything about it in a very self-aware fashion, does at least set her apart. I liked how her sexuality was handled: it wasn’t a pointless trait for the sake of diversity, but it didn’t totally define her character either. And that line about the Doctor running “like a penguin with its arse on fire” was a cracker.
- I let out a sigh when I saw Matt Lucas’s name in the opening credits. I still don’t really want him to be there – and in fact, removing him wouldn’t have changed much.
- It seems to be a trait of the Moffat era that more time passes within episodes than generally happened before in Doctor Who. Before, the events of one episode would take place over a couple of days at the very most; with Moffat, you can have montages that might cover several weeks.
- Alien-Heather rising up out of the water definitely looks creepy. The gliding along, not so much. I wanted Leslie Nielsen in a cape to appear and snap, “And stop that!”
- So, an intelligent alien ship who tries to gain a pilot by capturing a human with the urge to run away somewhere – we’ve already seen this in The Lodger!
- I found it hard to accept the mutual heartbreak between Bill and Heather when we didn’t see enough to get a true sense of a bond between them, at least from Heather’s end. Or maybe that’s just because I incorrectly assumed Heather was an alien from the start and I was waiting for her to reveal her evil plan.
This was a very lacklustre first episode, without anything special about it – it even had me checking my watch a couple of times. Well, let’s see where things go from here. Rating: 2.5/5.