The Pilot

S10E01 The Pilot

There are many different strategies Whovians take when trying to convince a new viewer to delve into the program that they love so dearly. From carefully selected and sequenced primer sets, to take-it-from-the-top viewing marathons, the unique and often fickle nature of each observer could react favorably or adversely to any one of them. We are a subjective species, and our personal experiences have a profound impact on our receptiveness to anything new. With that in mind, if the creators of that new material are openly trying to present something that can win the attention, hopefully admiration, and in a perfect world, the advocacy of a new audience, while still holding the passions of seasoned viewers, the task is a formidable one.

Somewhere, in a comfortably lit corner office in Cardiff, Steven Moffat smiles wanly to himself, rolls up his sleeves, and crouches over a keyboard. Challenge accepted.

This week, we celebrate an exceptional gift in the return of Doctor Who for Series 10, in “The Pilot”. Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie’s rapport and chemistry are a delight, Matt Lucas surprises us all with his comedic reserve, Murray Gold continues to elate and wound us with his score, and we revel in the unanswered questions that make for a brilliant Whovian adventure. We draw conclusions as to the role of both companions as representatives of differing viewer categories, the dangers of unnecessary punchlines, and of course, the treasure trove of references the episode throws about like so many sidelong Movellan soldiers. TL:DR? We spacking loved it.

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The Return of Doctor Mysterio

The Return of Doctor Mysterio

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and with a year like we’ve had, the lyric could not be more apropos. We’ve been (figuratively) starved for new Doctor Who since this time last year, and so with reckless aplomb, and a massive suspension of disbelief, we point one fist to the skies, leap upward in defiance of gravitational pull, and…pick up where the last Christmas special left off.

This week, we find out once again how the Doctor is coping with grief during the holidays, in “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”. Moffat promised us a fun-filled tribute to his comic book fascination in the 1970s and 1980s, and certainly delivers on that note. How does the story hold up against previous holiday offerings? Does it have enough heart to balance the heroism? Does the humour make up for the unfamiliarity of these companions? Were we expecting something more, or different, from a showrunner who has left us wanting for a calendar year? Press on, intrepid listeners…if you dare!

Bonus Segment: Our annual birthday chat with none other than the Eighth Doctor himself, Paul McGann, live from L.I. Who 4!

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