The Doctor (Capaldi) returned to screens after a year away with the 2016 Holiday Special. Written by Steven Moffat The Return of Soctor Mysterio aired on Christmas Day.
This light-hearted adventure follows the Doctor’s encounters with a young boy (and later man) named Grant (Logan Hoffman and Justin Chatwin) who loves his comic books and superheroes.
While the Doctor is conversing with Grant, and setting a trap, the boy swallows a couple of special pair of gemstones he mistakes for vitamins to combat his cold. The gemstones change him, augment, and in fact turn him into a superhero.
As the Doctor tries to combat an alien species with intentions of conquering, he realises he may need help, beyond that of Nardole (Matt Lucas) – no longer beheaded as in the previous episode, and reassembled – and he is joined by Grant in his superhero persona, The Ghost, and a dogged reporter, Lucy Fletcher (Charity Wakefield) – who Grant actually serves as a nanny for.
The episode plays with superhero tropes (secret identities, romantic entanglements), but giving them a Whovian twist. The aliens are a little creepy, and comedic – a nice combo – brains with eyes.
Of course, everything gets wrapped up nicely, Grant and Lucy are given a nice happy ending together, but as seems to be the trend with the Christmas specials there is a little but of emotion and poignancy added to the tale when Nardole lets them know about the Doctor and River (Alex Kingston).
The show is ready to launch its tenth series with the next episode, and while Nardole isn’t my favourite character, he does prove to be a fun foil for the Doctor, and no doubt appeals to the younger viewers.
The Pilot launched the tenth series of the revitalised show. Written by Steven Moffat, things got under way for the Time Lord and his new Companion, Bill (Pearl Mackie). It debuted on 15 April, 2017.
We find the Doctor, serving as a professor at St. Luke’s University, and takes on Bill as a student. She’s been working at the university, but sitting in on his lectures, and he’s intrigued by her.
When things arise from a woman, Heather (Stephanie Hyam) that Bill is attracted to, all stemming from a rather disturbing puddle, and leading to a threatening situation for the Doctor and more. It all develops into a rather spooky, and entertaining tale, that lays a lot of ground work for the series arcs.
Bill makes a great addition to the series, and her character is given a lot of background right from the off, and makes her a wonderfully realised creation. She’s a lot of fun.
And we are left to wonder what the Doctor and Nardole are guarding in a vault on the university grounds (though it really won’t be too much of a surprise).
I do like the use of the university as his current base of operations.
This is one of my favourite series premieres as it not only introduces the series anew, but also continues to layer the titular character in new and interesting ways. Capaldi is really on point for this one.
Next week Bill gets her first interplanetary adventure, and has to Smile.