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”
In one of our recent articles we took an in depth look who exactly Pearl Mackie is, and a quick look at her character – Bill Potts. But now it’s time to take a look at who will be in Series 10 of Doctor Who, and everything we know about their characters.
The Doctor – Peter Capaldi
As always in Doctor Who the main character is The Doctor – The show wouldn’t exist without him. Series 10 will be Peter Capaldi’s final series as the Time Lord. In an interview with Jo Whiley on BBC R2 he revealed that Series 10 would be his final series, and that it was time for him to move on to new challenges:
“I feel it’s time to move on,” he said. “I feel sad, I love Doctor Who, it is a fantastic programme to work on.”
He added: “I can’t praise the people I work with more highly, but I have always been someone that did a lot of different things.”
Bill Potts – Pearl Mackie
Bill Potts is The Doctors new companion for series 10. She was introduced to the show in a short clip of a future series 10 episode on the 23rd of April back in 2016. In a recent behind-the-scenes clip released by the BBC, Pearl Mackie, Peter Capaldi and current showrunner Steven Moffat reveal what Bill is really going to be like. Pearl described her character as:
“Bill is cool, she’s really fun and she’s really excited. She’s quite young and she doesn’t really know much about the world. She’s very real I think.”
“She calls the Doctor out on a lot of things that he hasn’t necessarily had to answer for a while, so I think thats kinda the way that she navigates through things”
“She’s not had an easy upbringing but she doesn’t let that affect her day to day life, it’s sort of it’s kinda there just under the surface. She can be quite defensive”
“She’s a bit geeky like she quite likes sci-fi stuff, and she’s quite into space and that kind of thing, so when she does go on adventures with The Doctor and discovers that aliens are real it kind of blows her mind”
Peter Capaldi added:
“Bill comes in as very much a regular human being, from the real world. To whom all of this stuff is extraordinary. She knows nothing about it”
“She’s a very clever, bright, funny girl. I think The Doctor is very taken with her because he can see that she’s one of those people who life hasn’t been great to and she didn’t deserve life not to be kind to her.”
“She has enormous potential and I think The Doctor wants to help her reach that potential”
According to Steven Moffat, Bill is going to be different to most companions we’ve had in the past:
“I wanted her to be somebody who asked a different bunch of question of The Doctor”
Nardole – Matt Lucas
After his introduction in ‘The Husbands of River Song‘ Nardole returned in the most recent Christmas Special ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’. Nardole is played by the English Comedian Matt Lucas. He will be joining Bill and The Doctor in the TARDIS in a regular role, starting from the first episode, but will not be in every episode of the series.
Missy – Michelle Gomez
Michelle Gomez will be reprising her role as the female incarnation of ‘The Master‘ – Missy. We last saw Missy in the Series 9 episodes ‘The Magicians Apprentice/ The Witch’s Familiar’.
The Master – John Simm
After a reporter for ‘The Sun’ leaked the news that John Simm would be returning to Doctor Who in Series 10, the BBC announced it officially with a short statement. Simm last played the role of The Master in 2010 when he faced The Tenth Doctor – David Tennant. Regarding him joining the show again John Simm said:
“I can confirm that it’s true, thanks to the power of time travel I’m back. It’s always a pleasure to work with this great team of people and I can’t wait for you all to see what The Master gets up to in the next series.”
Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Heather – Stephanie Hyam
‘Jeckyl & Hyde‘ star Stephanie Hyam will guest star in the first episode of series 10 ‘The Pilot‘. Her character will be named Heather (According to the official BBC website)
while other outlets have reported that her characters name will be ‘Jill Machin’. She was
spotted alongside Pearl Mackie while filming was taking place.
She can also be seen in the first trailer released for Series 10, where she is covered in water and is screaming. In the synopsis for the first episode a “Familiar face in a pool of water, a love that is over before it can begin” is mentioned, which we assume relates to Hyam’s character.
Moira – Jennifer Hennessy
The actress who most recently played Emily Cratchet in the BBC Show ‘Dickensian‘ is returning to Doctor Who in a new role. Previously she was in the 2007 episode ‘Gridlock’ where she played Valerie the wife of Thomas Kincade Brannigan. In series 10 she will play Moira, Bill Potts‘s Foster Mother and will be in Episode 1 ‘The Pilot’.
Praiseworthy – Kaizer Akhtar
The young actor who is known for his roles in ‘Tut’, ‘The honourable Woman’ and ‘Baby Jake’ will be playing a character called Praiseworthy in the second episode of series 10 ‘Smile’.
Goodthing – Mina Anwar
Mina Anwar will return to Doctor Who in a new role in series 10. She was previously in The Sarah Jane Adventures as Gita Chandra. In series 10 she will play the role of ‘Goodthing’ in the second episode ‘Smile’.
Steadfast – Ralf Little
Rumours circulated online that the ‘Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps’ star Ralf Little would be joining the show in series 10. He confirmed the rumours with a comedic video from inside the TARDIS. He will be playing Steadfast in the second episode of the series ‘Smile’.
Kezzia – Kiran L Dadlani
The actress who has had parts in ‘Coronation Street’ and ‘Doctors’ will play a character called Kezzia in the second episode of the series ‘Smile’.
Lord Sutcliffe – Nicholas Burns
The actor known for his role as Martin in the hit TV show ‘Benidorm’ is shown in one trailer for Series 10, where he is punched in the face by The Doctor. He will play Lord Sutcliffe in the 3rd episode of series 10 ‘Thin Ice’.
Dowell – Tomi May
Tomi May will join be playing the character of Dowell in episode 3 ‘Thin Ice’. He is known for his roles in ‘Sherlock’ and ‘The Liability’.
Georgian Gentleman – Guillaume Rivaud
The French actor who has had roles in ‘Broadchurch’ and the independent feature film ‘Mordred’ will be playing a Georgian Gentleman in episode 3 ‘Thin Ice’.
The Pie-Man – Peter Singh
Peter Singh will be playing The Pie-Man in the episode ‘Thin Ice’. He is known for his various roles in the kids TV program ‘Gigglebiz’ and ‘Alan Partridge : Alpha Papa’
Perry – Badger Skelton
The child actor will be playing Perry in the Georgian episode ‘Thin Ice’.
We will be looking at the cast of the next 3 episodes of series 10 next week!
In a recent interview with Pearl Mackie (The actress who plays The Doctors new companion in Series 10) it was revealed that her character is gay. In the interview Pearl said:
“Yeah Bills gay… and it shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st century really. I am just playing one character… I’m not here to represent everyone of colour, and I’m not here to represent everyone who is gay. I’m just here to play the part as truthfully as possible. People are gay, People are black. There are also aliens in the world so you know watch out for them.” – Pearl Mackie
Following the interview most of the Doctor Who fandom decided to give their opinion, along with most mainstream media outlets in the UK. Taking a quick glance at the post on the BBC Doctor Who Facebook Page confirmed that quite a few fans were not happy.
To begin with most people decided to point out the 3 other main LGBT characters in the show – Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and her wife Jenny (Catrin Stewart). But what most of them forgot is that the post stated that Bill would be the “First openly gay companion” not the first gay character on Doctor Who. Yes Madame Vastra and Jenny were in a gay relationship, but neither were companions. And yes, Captain Jack Harkness was omnisexual but he wasn’t a companion either. He was only ever an ‘Occasional Companion‘. So yes, Bill Potts is the first ‘Openly gay companion‘.
Their next point was usually something like this:
- “Why is this a big deal?????”
- “Nobody cares what you do in the bedroom…. Just write good stories”
- “Why is everything about sexuality now??”
There are various answers to these questions… The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that if they aren’t bothered about her sexuality and don’t care, then why are they commenting on it? If it didn’t bother them wouldn’t their reaction be “Oh OK” and then move along? So clearly they are bothered by it in some way.
The next point is ‘Why is it a big deal that Bill is gay?’, and my answer is that it is a big deal, AND it isn’t. Her sexuality and the fact that she is gay is not a problem, and doesn’t matter at all. It’s just a part of her and isn’t something that affects anyone else except her. So her being gay doesn’t matter. What does matter is that The Doctors companion is gay, and the representation that comes with it. But most comments couldn’t understand why representation was important. Quite a few comments stated that the representation wasn’t necessary because of the lack of LGBT people in the UK. One commenter said:
“It’s about time”. Statistically no, it isn’t. Only 1.5% of the British population identifies as either gay or lesbian. So we’d need a lot more companions before it’s “About time”. In actual fact, homosexual characters have been massively over represented in Dr who over the last 3 years or so. Stop.” – Comment on the Doctor Who Facebook Page
Many comments were using similar facts to suggest that the show has featured too many LGBT characters. But when seeing these facts its important to take a closer look. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2015, 1.7% of the UK population identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB), and 3.3% of the population aged between 16 to 24 identified themselves as LGB. But a YouGov UK report showed that when asked to plot themselves on a ‘sexuality scale’ (Invented by Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s) 23% of British people marked something other than 100% heterosexual, with that figure rising to 49% among 18-24 year olds. These figures definitely don’t show active bisexuality, considering over 89% describe themselves as heterosexual, but they do show that more and more people, especially young people, are more open minded and fluid with their sexuality, and that is why representation is important.
Considering the shows main target audience is young adults and families, seeing someone that you can relate to, or someone with various aspects of their personality or life that is similar to yours is important, especially in young people at a time where their life can be confusing and they are figuring out who they really are. Having an LGBT character ups the chances of a positive image of an LGBT person being shown to someone who is questioning their sexuality, or feels like they are not accepted. It also normalises LGBT people and their relationships and thus helps people accept who they really are but also helps people to not make being LGBT a big issue. So Bill being Gay shouldn’t be a big deal, but until people feel like they are represented in the media it will be.
Pearl Mackie is also a person of colour, and as she revealed in a recent interview with The Guardian she understands what it feels like to grow up as a young girl and to not see someone like you on the TV. After seeing pictures of two young girls who had dressed up as her character Bill she said:
“When I was little there weren’t that many people who looked like me on TV, so it’s great to have two little kids thinking: ‘OK, she looks like me so I’m going to dress up as her, and I don’t need a different kind of face make-up, I don’t need to straighten my hair.’”
This highlights the importance of representation, especially to young people who crave to be accepted and to be able to relate to someone like them, even more so a celebrity or someone in the public eye.
And to all the people saying that Bill being black and gay is just another way for the BBC to tick its ‘politically correct boxes’, take a step back and realise something. Having a character that represents real people is not being politically correct or ticking boxes. It’s showing the real world, and even if the group that the character represents is only a minority, they are still real people that need to be shown and represented.
So to conclude I think its best to take a look at something Pearl Mackie said in her interview.
“People are gay, People are black.”
Get over it.
This is the post excerpt.
Welcome to We Talk Who where we will be talking about all aspects of the the BBC Show ‘Doctor Who’ and it’s extended family!