The Doctor is back in action! After a long wait, the new season of ‘Doctor Who’ has begun. The season’s first two episodes are absolutely fantastic and bring back a few familiar faces for ‘Doctor Who’ fans and sci-fi fans alike. The third is a solid effort as well, but nothing quite compares to a ‘Doctor Who’ two-parter.
Because the show is incredibly complex, I’m not going to recap the entirety of ‘The Impossible Astronaut’ or ‘Day of the Moon’, but I will say that these darker episodes make for some incredible television. This is also the first time the show has been shot in the United States, which may account for a part of why it feels a bit more grounded in reality.
The episodes feature River Song (Alex Kingston), who has quickly grown to be one of the more interesting characters in the series. She’s apparently the Doctor’s future wife, which is particularly interesting because the two of them are moving against each other in time. The Doctor’s first meeting with River is her last meeting with him.
‘Day of the Moon’ ends up having a bittersweet conclusion due to the nature of the couple’s relationship. Before the Doctor leaves, River kisses him for the first time – or at least, what he sees as the first time. To her, it’s their last kiss. It really is a tragic moment for her, despite the comically flustered Doctor.
The episode also brings in the actor Mark Sheppard, who ‘Firefly’ fans may remember as Badger, the cockney crime boss (or as another River put it, “Petty thief with delusions of standing”). When the same character appears at the end of the episode, he’s played by W. Morgan Sheppard, Mark’s dad.
There’s a lot to speculate about in this episode, and oh so much to tease the fans. Was the girl in the spacesuit Amy’s baby? We saw the Doctor die in the form he’s in now, so does that mean that Matt Smith is the last Doctor?
And, of course, what’s the deal with the little girl in the alley with Time Lord-style regenerative powers? Is this the Doctor in a strange new form, or could it somehow be Amy’s daughter? There’s so much mystery and so much excitement. This is the sort of episode, or pair of episodes, that makes ‘Doctor Who’ so very good.
This past weekend’s latest episode, ‘The Curse of the Black Spot’, doesn’t have quite the same effect as the season opener. It’s a decent enough episode, but some of the leaps in logic are difficult to follow. Pirates are plenty of fun, and seeing Amy do a bit of swashbuckling is entertaining, but it’s clear from watching ‘The Curse of the Black Spot’ that writer Stephen Thompson is new to the series.
This season will see the blossoming and maybe even the ending of the relationship between the Doctor and River Song, some sort of explanation for Amy’s mysterious pregnancy, the exploration of a great deal of mystery, and even an episode written by Neil Gaiman. We’re in for a treat!