I watched the season 10 premier of Doctor Who in my local theater on Monday, and was pleasantly surprised at my lack of confusion, irritation and boredom.
The previous two seasons have been plagued by lazy writing leading to rushed, confusing, overly-manipulative plot-lines. So I was expecting to do a lot of sighing and woling (saying what out loud). Instead, I got an episode that had more character details and development, more attention paid to the plot actually making any kind of sense, and more importantly the characters decisions making sense–and thus was a lot more entertaining.
Pearl Mackie is great as the new companion, and a refreshing change from the same old same old of the past I-don’t-know-how-many seasons. I’m not just talking about diversity, though that is refreshing also, but the dynamic of the doctor and companion is also is fresh with Mackie’s character.
Instead of the companion as a sassy know it all that takes the doctor down to size on a regular basis by being a strong independent person that he underestimates and is amazed by and who seems to have some kind of super powers herself just by always doing the exactly right thing at the exactly right time– the Bill character seems like a normal, regular person, who is confused by what is going on and doing her best to absorb it all. She has down to earth understandings of confusing things, which is very charming. Her relation to the doctor is more like a granddaughter to an eccentric but caring grandfather, instead of the oh so tiring disapproving mother to naughty child.
The line from Bill–“I can’t just call you ‘the doctor’, can I? Doctor what?” hopefully signifies that we won’t be getting just the expected from her!
This is the most entertaining Doctor Who I’ve seen in a long time, and I am excited for more.