The Doctor and Bill travel to their first destination together a far future off world Earth colony. Where they encounter robots which communicate to people via emoji symbols. On further investigation they find the colony devoid of any human life. The new travelling companions have to solve the mystery of the colony while at the same time smiling as if their lives depended on it.
When a second episode of a television season airs it sometimes is not as strong as the season opener. I am pleased to say Smile is an exception to this statement. This episode is another strong performer. This episode is based on a strong premise which allows for a good depth for a second episode. Again like last weeks episode this one continues the vein of getting the series back to it’s core basics and not over complicating things which is a trap Doctor Who can fall into from time to time.
This episode marks the second time Frank Cottrell-Boyce has written for the series (the last time being In The Forest of The Night) this episode was clearly the better of the two entries.
Both Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie give strong performances in this episode (Matt Lucas only briefly features at the start of it) as we continue to see the relationship between The Doctor and Bill grow as they continue to face new situations.
My only real issue with this episode is the use of emoji’s in it. I understand the show would need to stay relevant to the modern times however I don’t feel that emoji is my preferred method of this. There are other things in modern society that the series could use to relate to younger audiences. However perhaps I am simply getting too old and miss the point of some of these things.
All in all another strong episode the series is going very well so far. We shall see if it carries on for a while yet
With the exception of the Christmas special last year Doctor Who has been absent from our screens for a whole year. The wait is now over as Season 10 of the revived series has hit our screens.
The Pilot continues the partnership from the Christmas Special with The 12 Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) now posing as a university professor and his assistant. A worker from the university canteen Bill Pots (Pearl Mackie) is called to The Doctor’s office when it is noticed she is attending all his lectures.
Meanwhile Bill meets a student named Heather (Stephanie Hyam) who she starts to become interested in. She however has a mystery around her and The Doctor, Nardole & Bill must solve it. After which The Doctor agrees to have Bill travel with him.
The Pilot is a strong start to the new season. It introduces Bill in a nice and slightly different way to how companions have been introduced in the past. I suspect Stephen Moffat enjoys exploring the different ways to bring a new companion into the fold.
Pearl Mackie has a strong introduction to the show with an excellent performance. I think she will make a great addition to the cast for this season.
As we have come to expect there are many easter eggs in this episode perhaps there were a few more than usual. If you did not catch them all perhaps a second watch will show you more of them
The Pilot brings Doctor Who back onto our screens in a nice way which allows new viewers a chance to enter the universe in a nice an easy manner. It gives us a strong start to the season it remains to be seen how long that can be maintained in what we already know to be the last season with Peter Capaldi as The Doctor.
In 1992 The Doctor encounters an 8 year old boy named Grant (Logan Hoffman) while installing a device on a roof to help repair damaged that was caused when he last visited New York City. During this encounter The Doctor gives Grant a wish granting gemstone to hold which is used to power the device. Grant mistaking the stone as a cure to his cold swallows the stone. The stone gives Grant his wish of having super hero powers.
Returning to New York 24 years later The Doctor investigates the research company Harmony Shoals while doing so he encounters Lucy Fletcher (Charity Wakefield) who is an investigative journalist also looking into the company. Grant ( Justin Chatwin) is now serving as Lucy’s nanny and helping to look after her baby girl while leading a double life as the super hero known as The Ghost.
Together they all try to unravel the mystery of Harmony Shoals and what they are truly doing
Doctor Who Christmas specials I tend to find can be a bit of a hit and miss thing. For example last year’s entry The Husbands of River Song I thought was a great special (review for that can be found here https://downundergeek.wordpress.com/2015/12/28/doctor-who-the-husbands-of-river-song/) While on other occasions they can be not as strong. This entry to the list of Christmas specials fall about in the middle of the road.
The acting on the whole was reasonably solid throughout the episode with Justin Chatwin, Charity Wakefield putting in good supporting roles. Peter Capaldi had some great moments and some good comedy to the episode. The main setback for the cast was Nardole (Matt Lucas), while his performance was good I felt the character did not fit in with the story that well and did not really contribute much to it.
The main down point for me is it felt very similar to other things Moffat had done before and was not really breaking into any new territory . While it was not a bad episode it does show the tiredness of his time as show runner. Hopefully the coming change for series 11 will bring a breath of fresh air into the show.
Having said that though I did enjoy how this special tied nicely into the previous one referencing the 24 years spent with River Song which was a nice way to tie up that story and also the fact we have not had any Doctor Who in 2016.
While not the strongest Christmas special it is not the worst. I would say it sits somewhere in the middle.
Well another year almost gone and another season of Doctor Who complete. Once again we find ourselves at that special part of the year where we have the Christmas Special. This year sees the return of River Song in The Husbands of River Song.
The episode begins with a messenger at the door of the TARDIS looking for “The Surgeon”, the messenger having being sent by the one and only River Song who is apparently married to King Hydroflax. However as is quite often the case with River things are not always as they appear especially when she appears not to recognise The Doctor…
Firstly allow me to begin by saying that this is a nice lighter episode with some nice comedy scenes in it. I feel this was much needed because quite a few parts of series 9 (especially the end three episodes) were quite dark. So a nice light hearted fun romp was a much needed change.
Aside from the snow and a few other visual queues there was very little Christmas in this Christmas special. While this is not the first time this has happened I feel a Christmas special should have a certain level of Christmas in it and this one sadly did not have enough.
In terms of the episode I felt the pace was a bit slow to begin with but it picked up as the episode went along. Towards the end it slowed down nicely at the right point for the ending.
River not recognising The Doctor was probably a result of the fact he is now in his 13th regeneration and on a new set of lives. This goes beyond her knowledge of him as she has always stated that she knows all of his faces.
All being said though I felt this was a reasonably solid episode. The pacing could have been better but it’s not as bad as episodes have been in the past. Now we wait until season 10.