Some Thoughts on “Doctor Who: The Pilot” *Contains Spoilers*

Well, folks, Doctor Who‘s tenth season is upon us, and that means the return of my Doctor Who reviews! I’ve got to admit; I missed writing these last year. The only new episode we had was “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” at Christmas, so it’s nice to get back into the swing of things. As always, spoilers await those who venture further.

“The Pilot” sees Peter Capaldi return as the Doctor (for the last time, unfortunately) and Matt Lucas return as Nardole, and we finally get a proper introduction to Pearl Mackie’s new companion Bill Potts. Bill is a university canteen worker with an unrelenting thirst for knowledge, which leads her to sneak into the Doctor’s lectures. The Doctor admires her passion for learning and offers to tutor her. Bill’s not quite sure what to make of him, but she jumps at the chance to indulge in the learning she loves so much. But when her friend Heather turns into a watery apparition that starts stalking her night and day, Bill quickly learns that the Doctor is the only one who is able to help both of them.

I’ll be honest–this was surprisingly low-key for a season premiere. I was expecting it to be energetic and manic in true Moffat fashion, but instead it was very quiet and kind of subdued. If this was supposed to be a brand-new jumping on point for new viewers, I’m not sure if they would have found anything to get them excited and wanting to see more–expect maybe Capaldi, who gets some excellent Doctor-y lines in this episode (things like poetry is the same as physics because of the rhyming and that awesome dissertation on Time and Relative Dimension in Space). The more I see of Capaldi, the more I’m going to miss Twelve.

I was a little bit disappointed with Bill as well. There wasn’t really anything about her that reached out and grabbed me, but I’m going to wait a bit before passing judgement on her. After all, I didn’t really start to like Clara until season 8, but I hope it won’t take me as long to like Bill, especially considering the rumors that she’ll only be around for one season. I will say one thing I like about her, though–they’re setting her up to be a pupil-style companion like Ace, and I am excited to see how that turns out. I think some of the Doctor’s best interactions with his companions have been with him in the role of teacher. Seeing Capaldi in the role of teacher-Doctor will be the perfect way to end his run on the show.

And I’m just going to get this out of the way now–Bill lives with her foster-mother Moira since her birth mother is dead. We don’t know who her father is, which means he’s either not important or the Master, who we already know is returning in the persona of John Simm. I have literally nothing to base this on except the fact that this is Moffat’s last season, and after seven years of him as showrunner, I put nothing past him anymore. Nothing.

We did get to see the Movellans from “Destiny of the Daleks” again, but it wasn’t nearly as long as I would have liked. Perhaps they’ll be back for a longer period of time later in the season. I don’t think they would have hyped the Movellans’ return so much if they were only going to be back for ten seconds.

Next week, “Smile” takes us to a human colony that has emoji robots. Not being a fan of emojis myself, I hope this doesn’t turn out too stupid.

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Good Friday 2017

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

The human race was redeemed today, but that redemption came at a high cost, a cost that we must never forget. To that end, this is an article that details some of the relics associated with the Passion–things like a piece of the True Cross, the sign that hung over Jesus’s head, and the tunic He wore. It also lists the cup that tradition holds is the Holy Grail–so we’ve known where it was the entire time, and Indiana Jones’s quest was for nothing.

In all seriousness, though, there are some fascinating images included here.

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Holy Thursday 2017

Once again the Triduum is upon us, so once again I break out the presentation on the Fourth Cup. It’s a fascinating presentation, really, and I don’t ever really get tired of sharing it.

http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/SaintPaulMinistries-734333-bible-study-mark-14-22-25-the-fourth-cup/

In a similar vein, I wanted to take the opportunity to recommend How Christ Said the First Mass by Fr. James L. Meagher. It’s an old book and was written before Vatican II (so its Mass references are talking about the Extraordinary Form), but I think that people who aren’t familiar with the Extraordinary Form would still find it interesting. It talks about the traditions surround the Hebrew Passover, how Christ observed those traditions, and how they became the Catholic Mass. There are some other minor traditions it addresses, too, such as how many children Adam and Eve had (here’s a hint: it was more than just Cain, Abel, and Seth). All in all, it’s an intriguing book I definitely recommend, especially for this time of year.

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Returning Character in “Doctor Who”

The BBC recently announced a humongous return for Doctor Who. Really, this is pretty stupendous, so turn away now if you don’t want to be spoiled!

Still here? Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Per the official BBC website, John Simm will be returning sometime during the tenth season! He will be reprising his incarnation of the Master alongside Michelle Gomez, who plays the female Master regeneration, Missy. This is the first multi-Master story in the show’s history, and it will certainly be exciting to see how the Master reacts to seeing a future version of himself–and his reaction to the fact that future version of himself is a woman. There have been several multi-Doctor stories over the years, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the Master team up with himself (herself?) for the first time.

Stuff like this is so exciting, it’s almost enough to make me forget that we’re losing Peter Capaldi…almost. I was doing so well until I saw this trailer.

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Advice for April Fool’s Day

Trust No One

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April 1, 2017 · 3:49 pm

Some Thoughts on “Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy”

Despite what the title suggests, “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy” is not a documentary about Doctor Who. Rather, it’s a serial from 1988 starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace. The Doctor and Ace receive an invitation to visit the Psychic Circus, renowned for being the greatest traveling circus in the galaxy (although I didn’t notice anything particularly psychic about it) only to discover that it’s become a nightmarish entertainment arena where you can die if the audience does not like your performance. Getting out alive will be easier said than done, and it doesn’t help that there are other performers who are only interested in saving themselves instead of working together to ensure they can all go free.

There were several things I liked about this episode–for one thing, I thought Mags was a unique and intriguing character, and I would have liked to see her become a companion (note to self: check Big Finish audio dramas to see if the Doctor ever meets her again). I also really liked the twist about the creepy family beings the Gods of Ragnarok. However, here’s where we get into the things I didn’t like about the episode–the Gods of Ragnarok were really fascinating, but we didn’t see them until close to the end. I wanted to know more about them, how many times the Doctor has faced them before–on the whole, it felt like a waste of a good villain.

Unfortunately, “Greatest Show” was made in the era when the BBC was actively trying to kill Doctor Who, and some of the “Why won’t this show just die already!?” mentality was coming through. The biggest thing was tonal dissonances; it would be dark and creepy one minute, and the next, we’d have the Doctor making groan-inducing puns. I have no problems with Doctor Who, classic or new, combining horror and comedy, but the transition between the two was so jarring in this case that it almost made the episode seem as if it had a personality disorder.

That being said, “Greatest Show” still had its high points, and I would still recommend it for people to watch. However, this may be more of an experienced Whovian episode than someone who’s still new to it all–I wouldn’t want a newbie to watch it and then brush off Doctor Who as being dumb.

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Final Countdown!

It’s March 15, and you know what that means–it’s officially one month untilĀ Doctor Who returns! And look at what we have to look forward to!

Ice Warriors! Mondasian Cybermen! A trip to Egypt! The Fourth Doctor’s sonic screwdriver! David Suchet!

Allons-y!

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