Saturday, April 22, 2017

Doctor Who Review: "The Pilot"

A week ago we were blessed with some new Doctor Who after over a year without a new season. To be fair we had two Christmas specials in the meantime, but other than that we haven’t had any new Who since (spoiler alert) Clara and Ashildr flew off in that diner TARDIS. My roommate and I went to see the premiere “The Pilot” in theaters for a Fathom Events thing, so here with go with a little review. Obviously, spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen it yet, go to iTunes ASAP, since it is currently free. Go do it. Now.



Anyway, first off, I like the introduction to the episode. I felt like we got to see the episode from Bill’s perspective (to be clear, Bill is a girl; I’m not sure what it’s short for, with a girl, but Bill is a girl). Of course at this point we know who the Doctor is and we know Nardole. However, since the episode is from Bill’s perspective, this is an appropriate spot to start someone! While it wasn’t a very popular episode, this is kind of like the episode “Rose”, the very first episode of modern Who. In “Rose” we had Rose’s perspective as she got to know the Doctor and we learned about the Doctor along with Rose. Same with Bill in this episode. We learn about the Doctor alongside Bill. It’ll a great place to start a potential Whovian, especially since it would take watching 9 seasons to get caught up on modern Who.

Now specifically Bill. I was skeptical about this character after she was introduced in the season promo after the Christmas special. It just seems like ANOTHER young, peppy girl as a companion, instead of a unique character. After this episode, I’m cautiously optimistic. I was also worried when I heard she was going to be a lesbian, since my last major exposure to an LGBT character was Ruby and Dorothy in Once Upon a Time. That storyline just felt forced. However, Bill’s sexuality felt like a natural part of her character. Instead of being out of left field and unexpected, it felt like any other romantic involvement of a character.



I liked the pace of the episode too. Despite taking place over the course of months, it keeps plugging along. The back and forth between Bill and the Doctor is great. Bill keeps throwing a wrench into the Doctor’s clich├ęs (took her forever to realize it was bigger on the inside). Just so much irony in her comments towards the Doctor about science fiction and everything. I liked it and it helped me warm up to her character. She’s not just a sassy young adult girl, like Amy or Clara.

Finally, there were a number of loose ends in this episode. I’m assuming they’ll be resolved, but you never know. I’m curious how long the Doctor has REALLY been at the university. He and Nardole seem to have been there for a while and they’ve been tutoring Bill for a while as well. Why did the Doctor come to the university? Why have he and Nardole been hanging out there for so long? Of all things though, I will be really disappointed if they don’t delve further into that vault they were guardians. Also, we saw the Doctor in a reflection in the picture of Bill’s mom. It seemed obvious to me that he went back to cause the ripple effect that Bill would have pictures, but at the very least I’d like them to acknowledge it.


What did you think of the Doctor Who Series 10 premiere? Any thoughts on Bill? What about thoughts on Nardole sticking around longer? I kind of like the idea of having TARDIS team again instead of just one companion.

PS: I loved the bouquet of sonic screwdrivers and the pictures of River and Susan.