Doctor Who Series 10: ‘The Pilot’ – Review

“What you are standing in is a technological marvel. It is science beyond magic. This is the gateway to everything that ever was, or ever can be.”

(C) BBC

Written by Jeffrey Zyra.

It’s been over a year since we had a full series of Doctor Who and about 3 ½ months since the last time we had a brand new episode to watch.  So it’s been a while since Doctor Who fans have something new to talk about.  Or in true Doctor Who fandom complain about it a lot or love it way too much.  The Pilot is not only the first episode of series 10 of Doctor Who; it is also the first story of the last series that will star Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.  I’m a little bit saddened by this as I’ve really enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s performance as the Doctor and in The Pilot he gives us another one of his great performances.  I guess we’ll have to enjoy it while we can before the new person takes over.

The Pilot also introduces the new companion Bill played by Pearl Mackie.  When the short trailers introduced her last year, I thought she was going to be annoying.  So far I was wrong and Bill isn’t annoying at all.  In fact, she is just what the shows needs after the three years of Jenna Coleman.  The Doctor / Companion relationship was getting stale and now it seems fresh again as we get to know Bill and what makes her tick.  I really like the chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie and so far it really seems to be clicking and working really well – with a similar feeling to the Doctor and Donna era.

The Pilot was a pretty good story to the start the new series.  It wasn’t too complicated and wasn’t bogged down with a lot of confusing technobabble.  To me it felt like a Pertwee-era story.  You have the Doctor living on Earth at a university for a period of time and befriending a female that works there.  Plus, the story was slow-moving with a creature that is pretty simple and a tad bit creepy.  It also reminded me of The Chase as the Doctor and Bill were travelling all over to escape the Heather creature (Stephanie Hyam), only to have been found by her.  So a really simple story which is good to have every once in a while.

I didn’t think The Pilot needed the Daleks in it at all, it was nice to see the Movellans again, as I thought that they were wasted and just a throwaway part of the story.  But I guess when you have to use them every year or lose their rights then you have to use them some way.  It would be good to not use them in this way and give them a rest for a bit and then bring them back when they have a good story for them, as I feel in using them every series that they are stale also and just not as exciting as in previous years.  To be honest, I thought the Dalek part was the weakest part of the story – however, the Heather Dalek that was quite good and moving in its own way.

I’m not a big fan of Nardole.  I’m finding his character to be really annoying.  Matt Lucas is at times way over the top.  Too much for my liking but hopefully he isn’t as annoying in the stories yet to come.  One question I have, is why is Nardole squeaking like a robot?  He only did it one time in the story in the beginning but later on he didn’t and he definitely didn’t do that in the Christmas Special.  I’m sure we will find out at some point in the new series.

The Pilot was a pretty good story that introduced the new companion and the show really felt fresh and new again.  After watching the opener it gave me hope that this series will be good and different and for once it felt like Doctor Who with a proper Doctor and Companion relationship unlike what we had previously with Clara.