Doctor Who Series Ten. Advance thoughts.

We’re less than a week away to ‘The Pilot’ – 1920 on Saturday.

I’m genuinely excited from the build up in terms of the tweets and Instagram posts, I particularly liked the 15 second trailers that emphasised a characteristic of the Doctor. See Official Doctor Who on twitter and Instagram, there’s also BBC America versions.

I feel there’s a build on the Christmas episode, I think our Twelve Doctor is getting his wings in Series Ten. I felt season eight provided a great introduction in ‘Deep Breath’ but dipped before the two part finale of ‘Dark Water/Death in Heaven’. ‘Listen’, ‘Time Heist’ and ‘Flatline’ worked best for me, but establishing the Twelfth Doctor possibly needed another episode after ‘Deep Breath’ and the season didn’t establish the Doctor as well as it could have. The Christmas special didn’t particularly help soften the Doctor.

 I liked Series Nine’s start with Missy and Davros kicking off the opening two parter and many of the episodes afterwards stood up, the ‘me’ arc wasn’t obvious and ‘Heaven Sent’ is arguably a masterpiece. I think the two zygon episodes were strong and a great call back to ‘Day of the Doctor’. The Christmas special with River Song worked too. 

The challenge for Series Ten is establishing Bill, pushing the adventure and epic nature of the one minute trailers and leading us toward that Christmas regeneration. With a year offscreen apart from the placeholders of the two Christmas specials, there’s a need to enthause the fandom as well as throw in adventure to grab attention in a Saturday night slot. Some ‘word of mouth’ or online hype is also required for ratings and a relatively fixed weekly slot will help the show. It toiled with late and varying starts after Strictly in the Autumn schedule so hopefully, this run gets some decent overnight figures.

I see no reason to suggest Pearl Mackie as Bill won’t be successful as the human interface that draws viewers in to the Doctor’s World. It could be seen as similar to Rose in Series One, young female companion that’s a counter point to the Doctor. I suppose that I can’t avoid mentioning Bill’s sexuality and well, we live in 2017, I’m neither shocked nor phased by it and I doubt it causes any issues in terms of her relationship with the Doctor. He’s not going to moralise at her and we’ve seen Captain Jack or River Song be overtly sexual in the past on occasions. 

I’m if anything unsure on Nardole and the explanation of his head and body from ‘The Husbands of River Song’ needs properly addressed. I like Matt Lucas, I liked him in ‘Doctor Mysterio’ as it was subtler turn but gave some comic opportunity. I think the question is whether he’s a second companion or a different foil for the Doctor. Maybe even someone from ‘time and space’ that Bill can relate to more easily.

I’m not keen to throw spoilers in, just yet and I’m disappointed in some of the London papers spoiling after seeing previews at the press launch for the series. It would have been better leaving the surprise and I just hope there’s more surprises for the later episodes that have been kept covered. I think we can appreciate there’s a new doctor on the way and just how and why Twelve meets his end can be original and different, if this series equates and builds on Series Nine.

I’m hoping for Epic, I’m wanting monsters, I’m wanting running away. I’m wanting the qualities of Twelve to shine, the delivery by Capaldi of lines can be extremely satisfying and I’m hoping that he does shine in this last run. I can speculate on Osgood or the Patenoster Gang appearing, but I have a feeling that might be something to look for later in the run. I’d like a feel of Time Lords and Gallifrey to address the ending of Series Nine, although perhaps not in terms of ‘Me’or Clara. There’s been some loose ends connected up from Steven Moffat’s time as head writer and show runner and I can only speculate on a possible direction of travel over the series toward this Doctor’s ending.

I think we’ll hear sooner rather than later on the next Doctor. At latest, the filming for Christmas special is  going to be in July or August and even if it’s a one minute scene with the new doctor as Capaldi was introduced, then, we shouldn’t be that far away from an announcement. I’ve said on twitter that I’m happy if a female doctor is cast as thirteen. I’m not particularly bothered if it’s another male lead and there are plenty of good contenders that have been speculated upon.

So, Five days to go and hopefully the episode trailer for ‘The Pilot’ is a cracker too. I will be trying to blog after seeing each episode this year.

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