I really want a place to talk about each episode of Doctor Who as it releases. Unless and until Flixist is able to review each episode, I have decided that I will do so myself (as best as I am able, no guarantees on timeliness of these). I won't write a full on review. I'd like to just talk about my thoughts about the episode in a totally spoilered environment. More importantly, I want the comment section to be a place to talk about the spoilers. But there is one rule. This discussion is for this episode, not next week. I never watch trailers for Who. I never even watched the "next time" stinger at the end of every episode. Who is a show I like to go into as blind as possible. So please don't discuss footage of future episodes next. Of course you can talk about where you'd want the series to go, just don't be specific about footage from next week. Fair enough?
Right off the bat, I am completely on board with Jodie Whitaker. She is delightful. I absolute adore that she's a maker. She MacGyvers advanced technology out of spare parts wherever she can find them. I hope this continues throughout her tenure. I always enjoy when Who shows gadgets other than the Sonic Screwdriver (I even liked the Sonic Glasses). Speaking of the screwdriver, it was interesting to hear the Doctor describe it and its various functions. It was an in-universe confirmation that it is more than just a screwdriver. That may not be a big deal, but it caught my attention.
Anywho, Jodie was great. She immediately felt like the Doctor to me. Her portrayal was all at once completely new and totally familiar. It was an excellent balance. I really don't know how they pulled that off so well, but I am glad that they did.
Let's talk companions. Firstly, we must mention Grace, the woman who had to die. It was obvious quite fast that she would be out by the end of the episode. I was actually thinking the alien was going to kidnap her and part of the season's overarching plot would be to retrieve her. I was sad to see her die. Which is good. The writers and actor were able to make me care about her in quick order.
Next we have Ryan (Grace's grandson). He has dyspraxia, which I had never heard of before this week. It's a developmental disorder which causes difficulty in the signals that the brain sends to body parts. Consequentially, he is too uncoordinated to ride a bike. I think it's cool to see characters with disabilities. Capaldi's run had an awesome two-parter episode featuring a deaf soldier. I hope that we learn more about Ryan and his physical situation. I hope it isn't just forgotten about. I like Ryan.
We also have Yaz. She is a gorgeous police officer who also happens to be a former schoolmate of Ryan's. Perhaps I read things that weren't there. But I immediately felt chemistry betwixt her and Ryan. I would like to see that develop. I like that Yaz is excited about the world and wants to be challenged. I'm certain she will be.
I would argue that Graham, Ryan's step-grandfather, stole the show. He was immediately likable. I really loved his funeral speech. It reminded me of the husband of a dear friend of mine that passed a couple of years ago. In a sweet way. I hope Graham sticks around for a good long while.
I love the new Doctor's outfit. So great. I love that coat. I've already seen a version of this coat online for sale somewhere for like $80 U.S. I wouldn't be surprised to see people out in the real world wearing them. I like the suspenders and the color scheme. It's all very fun. It also looks comfortable. It looks like she could run as she is wont to do.
I didn't love Tim Shaw. Firstly, his face was clearly designed by Hypno. *gags* He was a predator-lite, as the internet has already termed him. He will not go down as a great Who villain, I don't think. I do think we've not seen the last of him, or at least of his race. They kidnapped a girl 7 years ago, and likely many people prior. I would like to see the Doctor rescue them before the end of the season.
The episode served its purporse. It introduced the characters, especially the Doctor. I immediately adore her. I am completely sold. I hope the writing will stay quality. While this wasn't a brilliant hour of television, it was very effective in doing what it needed to do and I am eager to see more. It occurred to me that I haven't rewatched any Who in ages. I think I'll need to go back and watch some highlights from the Tennant and Smith eras here soon.
Please tell us your thoughts and we can all have a great time discussing Who together!