Television: Doctor Who, "The Pilot"

This was actually a pretty good episode. Pardon me for sounding surprised, but good Doctor Who has been few and far between in recent days.

Here we establish a few things: that the Doctor has given up on his wandering ways and settled down to being a university professor; he has Nardole (Matt Lucas) on hand as an assistant; and there is a new companion in town, a young woman named Bill who works in the canteen (cafeteria) serving chips (fries) but sits in on lectures in her spare time. Which is how she comes to the Doctor's attention. He offers to tutor her.

If it's a bit coincident that weird things begin to happen only once Bill begins hanging out with the Doctor, well . . .

In this episode, Bill meets a girl named Heather (Bill is a black lesbian, btw, which makes me wonder whether Moffat was ticking boxes after all the backlash of putting yet another old white guy in charge of the Box—yet there's no denying Pearl Mackie is fabulous and the chemistry between her and Capaldi is spot on for the roles) and of course things go south when Heather shows Bill a weird puddle that distorts people's faces. The puddle eventually absorbs Heather and then chases Bill, Nardole, and the Doctor across time and space, all because whatever is left of Heather remembers Bill and still has a crush on her. When Heather had said she wanted to leave, Bill had jokingly asked, "Can I come with you?" and Heather had said, "Maybe." The invitation still stands as Heather has become the titular pilot for this watery entity.

Yeah, it's a bit hokey. But so is a lot of Doctor Who, and it was still loads better than most recent episodes. And as I mentioned, the introduction of Bill breathes some new life into the series. She's fresh and fun and just a really good foil for Capaldi's Doctor.

1 comment:

Christine Rains said...

I'm enjoying Bill so far. I was worried she'd be too much of a Rose-Martha mix, but she stands out on her own.