There will be spoilers here so watch out if you haven’t yet seen the episode!
It feels like it has been so long since I last saw an episode of Doctor Who, despite the fact that the last episode was only broadcast at Christmas! This emphasises just how much I’ve missed watching brand new episodes of Doctor Who on Saturday evenings. This anticipation for the new series meant that show runner Moffat had to deliver a knockout episode to truly quench my Doctor Who thirst. Did he do that? Hell yes he did that!
The beginning act is slow, but that was necessary to set all of the relevant characters back into action. Even though it was slow, it was definitely still enjoyable.One scene I particularly enjoyed was the reintroduction to The Doctor playing the guitar at his three week long party; and for him to then spot Clara and Missy in the crowd and begin playing Pretty Woman was the stuff of the finest fan-fictions.
Did you notice that I just mentioned Missy? Yep, she’s back and still brilliant. Oh, you want to know how she’s back after her apparent death in Death in Heaven? Yeah, well so do I! The only explanation we get is from Missy herself, and it hardly explains much; “Not dead. Back. Big Surprise. Never Mind”. Whilst this was funny, and perfectly in-sync with Missy’s character, I would like a further explanation about how she survived by the end of the series.
The very first scene of the episode also reveals a lot about the storied relationship between The Doctor and his mortal enemy, Davros. This was an excellent idea, and I loved how Moffat made this scene split into two, with it bookending the episode, making the audience wonder exactly what happened between young Davros and The Doctor.
Here comes a massive spoiler (and in turn my only critique about the season opener): During the final act, the Daleks kill both Missy and Clara, as well as destroying the TARDIS. This was the only part of the episode that I wasn’t overly keen on, and that’s just because I believe Moffat was perhaps too overzealous with the killings. I think that getting rid of the three biggest things in The Doctor’s life made the whole story unbelievable, because now we know that The Doctor is going to save the day because there’s no way the BBC would allow Doctor Who to lose all three commodities in one fell sweep. I know that we all know that The Doctor will save the day eventually, but I wanted to really believe he wouldn’t, so it’d feel even better when he does. I feel like killing off just Missy, just Clara, or just the TARDIS would’ve still hurt The Doctor massively, but would’ve made the whole storyline more believable. I’m not too sure how well that came across in writing, but I know what I’m trying to say!
All in all, this was an exceptional comeback for Doctor Who, with a series opener which wouldn’t go amiss as a series finale. Here’s to hoping the standard remains this high all series!