I have watched now the two part season premier of Doctor Who in its entirety and I must say unlike my friend, Josh, on this site I like where the new season is going.
One of the best things about Doctor Who is its longevity. It has such a rich history from which to pull and would be doing itself a disservice if it ignored that. As Tom Baker stated in his cameo as the Curator in The Day of the Doctor 50th Anniversary Special perhaps the Doctor should go and revisit some of his old favorites and top of that list is the 4th Doctor, Tom Baker himself.
Tom Baker portrayed the Doctor for the longest period and as really the first incarnation that we all would recognize as the Doctor. The first Doctor did set the stage but was a bit of the crotchety old man and the story lines were really trying to keep it more educational than the entertaining drama we know and love today. The 2nd Doctor was pretty much opposite to the first and was more an intergalactic hobo with a flute and the 3rd Doctor was a man of action stuck on earth minus the Tardis and resembled more of James Bond or the Avengers (UK version not Captain America and friends) than what we would know as the Doctor. Then came the 4th Doctor with his 16 foot scarf, beloved companions like Sara Jane Smith, K-9, Leela the prehistoric woman, the Brigadier, Ira, and the introduction of his nemeses Davros and the Master. It was actually the Doctor, Ira, Sara Jane dynamic that gave the template to such trios as the 9th Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack. Without the tropes set up by the 4th Doctor we would not have the show we have today even more so than any of the Doctors 5th through 8th combined.
This entire opening was a sequel to the 4 part series called The Genesis of the Daleks which first aired from March to April of 1975. The Doctor was transported unknowlngly to Skaro by the council of the Time Lords to deal with the situation there and he and his companions were given no means of escape since the council had separated them from the Tardis. Skaro is in civil war and Davros is a lead scientist that is using genetic engineering to create something that will aid his side in ending the war. The scene is very reminiscent to the ironside scene in the Vistory of the Daleks with the 11th Doctor. The Doctor in this instance like many times before has the opportunity to kill all the Daleks, even before it began but he doubts he has the right to do so and will not commit genocide. Through this act of compassion the Daleks then run amok and all opposition in Skaro is eliminated and even Davros, though they cannot kill him, is mostly imprisoned by his creation and goes even more insane as seen over the years though the Time War, Journeys End with the Children of Time, and now with this seasons opening. I have no doubt he will pop up yet again and would be disappointed if he was ever fully dead much like the Master or as she is now Missy.
Now to the return of Missy, I thought it was great especially with how it was hacked in using the song. She was over the top but, honestly, the Master has been over the top from the get go and now the character is a crazy lady in Victorian dress espousing Victorian values like a deranged Emily Post? I am all for it. She is hysterical to me and it continues on with the strange ying and yang relationship the Master and the Doctor have had since the 4th Doctor, with the Tenth Doctor, and now the Twelfth. (Yes I am calling Capaldi the Twelfth. We all know they redid the numbers but honestly it is confusing so he is the Twelfth and leave it at that.) She is a great addition and I cannot wait to see what else she has planned for the Doctor and his puppy…
And for the companion of Clara, she has quickly become my favorite companion. She is smart and sassy and keeps the Doctor off balanced, like a cute little combination of Donna, Rose, and Sara Jane. I loved her as the impossible girl and the episode of the Snowmen is one of my favorite of all time. I would have loved if they would have kept it as someone who was not of the modern period because they have not done that since Leela and it gave the series an interesting flavor. She has always had a great dynamic first with Matt Smith and now she and Capaldi are getting their stride. When the regeneration happened and the Twelfth Doctor first appeared he really just came across as an angry, bitter, and more than a little senile old man. I am glad they moved beyond that and Capaldi is finally getting traction in the role. That happened about the middle of last season and came fully into its own by the season finally of Last Christmas. Thankfully, Danny Pink was killed off because he was really just the Jar Jar Binks of Doctor Who. We thought Micky was bad in the beginning but damn Danny Pink needed to go.
Here’s to the new season and I hope they pick up on more storylines from the past, even within the new series. Captain Jack and Torchwood are still out there, the Doctor’s daughter is running around out there somewhere, and of course there is the always great River Song just to name a few. These episodes set the stage and I hope the rest of the season continues to get better. Even the ghost-like creatures in the previews of the new episode remind me of the Gelth introduced to us in the episode The Unquiet Dead. Did one of the ghosts look like the undertaker from that episode to anyone else?