Tonight was the night that The Doctor returned to our screens, with his new companion ‘Bill Potts’. This will be the first of our weekly episode reviews. Now to review ‘The Pilot’
The first thing I have to say is Wow! That episode was brilliant. I really enjoyed the episode and to me I don’t really have anything negative to say about it. To begin with it was a brilliant choice for a first episode of a series, and as Steven Moffat and the cast have been saying for the past few weeks, it really is a brilliant place for new viewers to start watching. I think the introduction to The Doctor and the Tardis was one of the best introductions we’ve had in Doctor Who. I can already tell that Bill is going to be one of my favourite companions, and I actually like Nardole now. So that was my brief first thoughts of the episode.
In depth look
Characters: As always Peter Capaldi was great as The Doctor. He was extremely loveable and instantly made you feel excited to see him back on TV. The chemistry between him and Nardole was incredibly cute and funny, and really made you feel for The Doctor because you can tell he’s still only just getting over all of the loses he faced in the past series. This is emphasised by the small nods to past friends or family he’s lost, like the pictures of River and Susan on his desk. Also The Doctors run was just hilarious and really gave the twelfth Doctor a more comedic and positive look than what was seen last series.
Although I wasn’t a huge fan of Nardole when he was first introduced, he grew on me in ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ (and I love Matt Lucas), and after hearing the rumours that Nardole would be in most Series 10 episodes I was really confused as to how it would work. But after seeing his relationship with The Doctor in this episode it’s made me more excited than worried now to see him join Bill and The Doctor on their adventures. Nardole was once again a key comedy character in the episode, which really helped to add a more humorous tone to an otherwise possibly scary story. The scene at the very beginning of the episode where Nardole shows Bill into The Doctors office and a bolt falls from his arm made me laugh and instantly feel positive. But I think the funniest moment between The Doctor and Nardole was when Bill finally said the infamous line “Its bigger on the inside” and The Doctor and Nardole high five. It was incredibly funny and made both of my parents and I laugh.
Bill was amazing. She feels like a breath of fresh air to the show. She is independent and she asks different questions to The Doctor than most companions have over the past few years. To me she feels incredibly realistic, and is actually just a normal human, there seems to be nothing special about her, but The Doctor sees potential in her and is willing to tutor her and help her better herself. Her sexuality was presented in such a normal way, and for once presented LGBT relationships and people in exactly the same way as a heterosexual relationship/person. Bill sees someone she likes, they smile and sometimes flirt and thats it. It was important to the plot, and was just there. And thats what made it great. As I said earlier I instantly liked Bill, and I feel like she’s one of the only companions that I’ve actually liked from their first episode (Other than Donna and Martha). I really feel like Bill is going to be one of my favourite companions, and that makes me more excited about Doctor Who than I have felt in a long time.
The Storyline: There wasn’t really much plot, but I enjoyed the story, mainly the introduction of The Doctor and his world to Bill. The alien/monster was ok… I feel like it didn’t have much explanation and was mainly used just to be like “Hey Bill look aliens and monsters exist”. Maybe a little more backstory to it more explanation from The Doctor after would’ve helped just to explain why it happened. Although I wanted to see hear more about the monster I did find it quite spooky and scary, especially the scene in Bill’s bathroom. The ominous shadow behind the shower curtain really did send shivers down my spine. Also the scene where The Doctor went back in time and took pictures of Bill’s mum for her was a very emotional scene, and something that really emphasised The Doctors character. I also feel that the we will be seeing the vault in future episodes (Mainly because clips of The Doctor stood in front of the doors while they are banging have been shown in trailers). Most of the scenes in the vault area were entertaining, and included great chemistry between The Doctor and Nardole. The use of the Daleks and the Movellans was subtle but also a nice nod to the classic series, even if the costumes for the Movellans look even more dated than they did back in 1979.
The directing, cinematography and general look of the show (Sets, costumes and props) was brilliant, and probably the best we’ve seen on Doctor Who. Bill’s introduction to the Tardis was the best introduction we’ve seen, from the scripting (Uh its made of wood) to the incredibly beautiful camera work and lighting. It was just beautiful. The only problem I had with how the episode looked was the Australia scene, mainly because at first I thought they had nipped down to Barry Island instead of Australia. But it was easy to ignore most of that once a head started to pop out of a mirror. The music was great, and sounded quite different to most of the soundtracks for recent series.
So to conclude I really enjoyed the episode, and am incredibly excited to see what the next few episodes have install for us (Especially the clip of what looks like a post End of time John Simm). Overall I give the episode 9/10.
Join us ext week for our review of Episode 2 of Series 10 ‘Smile”