Doctor Who returned to television last night with Peter Capaldi driving the Tardis as the twelfth incarnation of the rogue Time Lord. Here are my thoughts –
· While Peter Capaldi turned in a good performance in his first episode, the writers and producers have made it very tough on him. By attempting to keep this new Doctor ‘mysterious’ they have made him hard to get a handle on, and, dare I say it, hard to like. In fact, he was so in danger of becoming unlikable, that they basically had to bring back Matt Smith at the end of the episode to ask the audience to please give this new Doctor a chance! By comparison, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor reminded me most strongly of Colin Baker’s Doctor, and that is not a good thing. Remember, the Doctor has to remain a hero that kids can enjoy and look up to.
· The plot of the episode was a mess. It is basically a loose collection of set pieces that had more imagination than coherence.
· I absolutely hate the characters of Vastra and Jenny. If the producers are trying to make a political point by shouting about their ‘marriage’ in every episode in which they appear, they could at least present the audience with a healthy relationship, instead of the Silurian-dominated, slightly abusive one that is always shown. Regardless of one’s view on inter-species, same-sex marriage, these overly sexualized characters have no place in a family show.
· The episode did have some good moments. The part where the Doctor and Clara were under the restaurant with all of the androids was terrifically creepy, as was the bad-guy with his spinning mechanical brain.
· The evil cyborg’s escape plan was the same as that of the Wizard of Oz?
· I’m not sure I care for the new intro. The music especially was grating. It needs some work.
· I did like the new Tardis interior, at least what little we saw of it.
· I’m looking forward to the next episode where we get the Doctor off earth, fighting the Daleks, in what will hopefully be a more straightforward adventure that gives this new Doctor a chance to shine