The time has finally come. After the long hiatus it seem the Doctor is back to his old mysterious tricks. This time with two new companions Bill Potts and Nardole. Bill may be able to get the bad taste of Clara out of my mouth.
We were all curious to see what sort of relationship the Doctor and Bill would have, so giving them a five minute chunk of screen time right at the start was a clever way for Steven Moffat to show us the instant chemistry that they had together. This was just a joy to watch. Bill and the Doctor relationship didn’t felt tacked on. Watching Peter Capaldi’s Doctor interact with a companion other than Clara was very refreshing. He seemed relaxed, in a way we’d never quite seen the twelfth Doctor before. Clara’s urge to be the Doctor’s intellectual equal had him on guard most of the time, but here he was nice and laid back chatting to Bill, exchanging “banter”, as Nardole put it.
The main plot of the episode showed us that Steven Moffat can still scare us with this new villain. The whole moving puddle was a bit of a stretch but the scene where she was looking back at her from the shower plug was just genius. Then we have the Doctor running away setting up different scenes was a way for breaking in the new companion to the TARDIS. The first time for every companion being introduced to the TARDIS was becoming boring. This time around was different. Bill reaction was genuine. She didn’t adjust almost instantly like some others. Even the Doctor said “Is it my imagination, or is this taking longer than normal?” It was a delight to see how someone would react to the TARDIS without the Doctor spoon feeding the reaction.
The only drawback for this episode was the end with the shape shifting puddle. When the reason for the crazy chase became known it fizzled the scary spark of the scary element. Also why would the Doctor risk taking the companion to an actual war zone and introduce her to his most infamous villain the DALEKS. The Daleks are supposed to be the most fearsome creatures in the Doctor Who universe, so why would the Doctor risk the life of somebody he’s just met by racing through a ship full them, just to try and kill one single life form?
Thankfully this episode was a great way for us to warm up to Bill Potts and even the Doctor in a new light. This was arguably the best season opener since Rose back in 2005.