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Someone wrote in their review of "The Pilot", 'a black lesbian who serves chips. [Moffat] trying to get the widest appeal possible'. This was a "fan" apparently. Now, let's put aside the racist and homophobic nature of the post (just throwing it out there, but I don't think the population percentage of black lesbians is as massive as this idiot suggests - but let's face it, he's not...he's just a bigot), but this fool is criticising Steven Moffat because of the perception that he is trying to get Doctor Who to appeal to a mass if that's a bad thing. I'm sorry, but I've got news for you mate, there's not a single production company on the planet who brings in a showrunner, or equivalent, and says "If you could make sure your product targets the smallest demographic, that'd be great". Yes, it's come down to a bigot criticising a man for doing his job.

And let's not play games here, because this twat is genuinely stupid. How many people who aren't Doctor Who fans are reading this? Actually, belay that. How many of those reading this know who the Movellans are? You don't? Well, let me tell you if a better half isn't already lecturing you. Those white garbed chaps fighting the Daleks with the silver dreadlocks and funky handguns...those are Movellans. I know this, because in 1979 there was a Doctor Who story called "Destiny of the Daleks" which was about the Dalek/Movellan war. The Movellans, incidentally, look almost exactly the same.

People ask why I like Moffat as a showrunner, and it's because a) he really does try to target the widest audience, but also b) he's a Doctor Who fan through and through. He puts in this sort of thing for the long term fans, writing it in a way that won't puzzle the more recent fans. And also, he's not a bigot, so he's happy to write in a black lesbian who has a crush on someone. "I can't believe they're making such a big deal out of Bill being a lesbian!" people cried - well Moffat wasn't. She just was. But for people who that was important to, I'll bet it resonated. For everyone who isn't a close-minded hater, it was just another character. For every bigot on the planet...well let's hope they turned off and refused to be part of the Doctor Who legacy ever again. Because we don't want those people.

And incidentally, if you really want to know how much of a fan Steven Moffat's interesting that William Hartnell - or Bill as he was known - was married to...Heather. Coincidence?

But enough about this. Let's talk about the return of Doctor Who, and "The Pilot". Moffat has decided to take a left hand turn with the series this year. The Doctor is undercover for some reason, and has been for a considerable time. He's been accompanied by his latest friend Nardole - who appears to have a robot body for the head that Hydroflax cut off way back in 2015 - and the pair are looking after something in a vault. This is the Doctor as per the last season. He's not grumpy, he's still the aging rocker, and the loss of Clara and River have had an effect on him. He is fascinated by Bill, and so he takes her under his wing, Educating Rita style. But he likes her, and his Christmas present to her is something that's very special. Peter Capaldi is brilliant as the Doctor, and the fact he's evolved his character - whether by plan or reaction - is actually great. He's the House of the Doctors.

Matt Lucas gets surprisingly little to do, but seems to be determined to deliver his best regardless. I didn't like him much in "The Husbands Of River Song", but I enjoyed his character more in "The Return Of Doctor Mysterio". Now, not only do I like Nardole, but I'm interested in what's going on with him. What was the significance of that part falling out? Just to let us know the truth of him, or something more?

Pearl Mackie, on the other hand, has completely shat all over her haters with a very beautiful performance. Bill is instantly likable, and her fling with Heather - passing as it was - was very sweet, and added much to the character. Bill is very Rose, but in a different sort of way. She fits in with the Doctor/Nardole dynamic very nicely. She's curious, intelligent and adventurous. More than that, she does indeed point out the things that don't make sense. Nothing is more telling of that than when she pointedly asks the Doctor to think what it would be like if someone wiped his memories - something a little musical riff tells us the Doctor knows very well. I like Bill a lot, and I want to see more of her.

And, in a way, that's the downside of this episode. This TARDIS team feels right. The fact we know it will end by Christmas this year is a little sad, because I really enjoy the thought of spending time with this crew. Perhaps, though, I'll cherish it more knowing that this is what we have.

The rest of the story is great fun. A time-travelling, sentient oil that can mimic people. Ridiculous, and typically Moffat, but it's a great MacGuffin and directs the story in a fascinating direction. That Bill saves the day makes it even better. That she does it by love...well, perhaps we should have expected that.

Moffat's traditional theme of children is still at play here (though Bill is the child, and she's more grown up, but perhaps that is reflective of Moffat's own family), but there's nothing stale or second-hand about this plot at all. It feels fresh and new. Lawrence Gough gives the episode some punchy direction, and offers some interesting shots along with the fascinating editing decisions (the Doctor's lecture on time is extraordinarily well edited). Even the TARDIS interior feels different this time round (definitely the lighting, but it feels a bit sparser than it has in previous years).

Doctor Who is back, baby, and Moffat and Capaldi are clearly ready for one final round. With this mission statement, it could be one helluva ride.
michiganj24 Featured By Owner May 7, 2017
First off its interesting you bring up the bigot response as I feel the person who put together the teasers to make you excited about the premiere for BBCA was the same sort. They made her seem whiny and annoying and a companion on par with Mickie...But after one episode I threw that first impression out the window

I do have to ask as missed the Xmas episode was this whole promise thing explained there? or is this just a plot point for this season that will be revealed (especially since its now pretty obvious who is in the Vault)
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