Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Doctor Who: Series 10

I'm sorry, whaaaaat?

A series of Doctor Who that I love from beginning to end, have nothing to complain about, and even like the finale? I never thought I'd see the day. I mean Peter Capaldi has always been top notch, utter class, and a joy to watch and for a final series it's really good. The circle is now complete, when Peter Capaldi was a young boy he watched Doctor Who from the beginning, from An Unearthly Child all the way to now with several series and a wonderful finale. And that classic feel is still felt perhaps even more so with our new companion, Bill played expertly by Pearl Mackie and I love her. I love everything about her. I love her personality, her curiosity, her witty banter, the fact it sort of is another Doctor and Ace relationship being an aspiring learner and a patient professor. Brilliant! Could not love her more. And like I said the relationship her and the Doctor have is wonderful, Peter does amazing work as always, being fun and entertaining but can really hit home those dramatic points. And I just don't mean the regeneration, there's one scene with Missy and it really does make me get all misty eyed, he can act the full range of emotions. Plus we have another companion who previously worked with River and now tags along on occassion with the Doctor, and people are sort of split on Nardole. Now I really didn't like or even get his character first time around but on second viewing Matt Lucas brings a lot of humor and enjoyment and he quickly grew on me. Then we have Missy, now this is how you make a character who was hamfisted and given poor characterization in the last series and is now given good writing, some real lovely acting by Michelle Gomez, and a more interesting dynamic between the two Time Lords. I mean the relationship between the Doctor and the Master has always been so interesting, because it's this complete love/hate waltz, when people said in series 9 that the talks and interactions between Missy and the Doctor reminded people of Jon Pertwee and Roger Delgado I wanted to slap them upside the head and decode what combo of narcotics they were using, but here I fully see it. You can tell these people are on opposite sides of the board yet retain a great respect and admiration for each other, you can tell they were previous friends just like you could during the classic series, and that is beyond fantastic! It's the best writing in the finale if not the whole series, they really did a superb job! All the episodes are good if not great, The Pilot introduces us to Bill and has some lovely moments throughout with the Doctor actually teaching at a university, and has a rather sweet and lovely little nod to the first actor to play Doctor Who. Thin Ice had beautiful visuals and a good story with honestly some very good incidental music. Yeah, that's one thing I noticed, usually like in any show there's background music and it's done very well in some episodes, but this time even scenes with the Doctor playing his guitar has really great music, almost spaghetti western in style with electric guitar solo's, but yeah the music was much more noticeable and lovely in this series. Knock Knock gave me Ghost Light flashbacks with a very spooky mystery in a old mansion, and had it's fair share of fun as well. But the stories after that, essentially a huge mid-season 4 part story where the Doctor actually goes blind, and I don't mean a oh he's been inflicted with something to raise the stakes and he brushes it off at the end, I mean he cannot see for multiple episodes. That's....never happened before. I mean yes, there have been tons of stories with an overarching story or a character arc, but to have such a huge blow hit the Doctor in a damaging way for several episodes is kind of a big deal. I was so shocked seeing that and was wondering what would happen next and the stories around that are well done indeed. Empress Of Mars just screamed Star Trek The Next Generation at me, I'm not sure why, maybe it was the story elements, an importance on diplomacy and negotiation, I'm not too sure but it seemed very Star Trek to me. Then the finale, wow. I won't dare say a thing but it is so well done, a true no-win scenario for the Doctor with very grim stakes, and a return of old enemies makes it a great finale. And the fact we have a wonderful callback to the 5th Doctor's regeneration before the true regeneration story begins sets the tone perfectly, because we see the 1st Doctor played by David Bradley, known to the muggle world as Mr. Filch, arrives as a sort of tie in to The Tenth Planet the very first regeneration story told. And it really is a perfect send off for Capaldi, no massive story but more a character piece, the conversations between the two Doctor's is truly great with both having resignations over their regenerations and have to come to terms with that, with lots of fun back and forth between a truly old fashioned Doctor with his totally modern incarnation. Peter's final scene is emotional but a truly triumphant goodbye with great hope and love for the future. Which I will fully take with me in Jodie Whittaker's first series! So near the end, and yet so soon.

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