In “Thin Ice” the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his new companion Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) find themselves in 1814 London, at the last great frost fair. Despite initially enjoying the sites and entertainment, Bill learns that life as a companion isn’t all fish pies and coin tricks. “Thin Ice” creates an incredible setting and shows that Doctor Who has quickly found its footing with this new companion. Continue reading
Peter Capaldi returns as Doctor Who on Saturday, April 15, with Season 10 premiering on BBC One and BBC America. We last saw the Doctor in Christmas Special “The Return of Doctor Mysterio.” Season 9 ended with Clara Oswald traveling through time and space with Ashildr, and the Doctor losing his memory of her. Continue reading
In “Hell Bent” Doctor Who gives us a Season 9 finale with everything but the kitchen sink. Clara receives her due, the Doctor makes his mark on Gallifrey, and the ghosts of series past are ever present. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman gave emotional performances, creating a strong end to the season.
In “Hell Bent,” Doctor Who returns to the desert, causing a coup in Gallifrey and revisiting America for a last goodbye. It’s taken billions of years, but the Doctor has finally returned to Gallifrey for a less-than-joyful reunion with his fellow Time Lords. In “Hell Bent” it’s revealed that the struggle the Doctor endured in “Heaven Sent” was less about keeping the secret of the hybrid and more about establishing a bargaining chip to save Clara. Peter Capaldi uses his impressive ability to convey intensity and power even while being still, increasing the drama of “Hell Bent.”
“Face the Raven” leaves us mourning the loss of another Doctor Who companion with the death of Clara Oswald. Though it had been announced that Jenna Coleman would be leaving Doctor Who in Season 9, closing out Clara Osgood’s chapter through death makes her departure stand out. “Face the Raven” is a strong episode not only because of the loss of companion Clara, but also because it’s grounded with the return of Rigsy and heightened with the appearance of Ashildr. It’s also fantastic because the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) changes into a maroon velvet jacket after the youth apparel he’s been wearing lately is destroyed during an adventure with Clara.
“The Zygon Invasion” gives us a classic Doctor Who incursion, generated from the Doctor’s attempt to resettle 20 million Zygons on Earth. What could possibly go wrong with such a plan? The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) once again join forces with Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and UNIT. The return of a classic Doctor Who creature enhances the story, and the Zygons are formidable opponents.
In Doctor Who’s “The Woman Who Lived” we discover what has become of Ashidr, “The Girl Who Died.” It’s 1651, 800 years after the Doctor saved her life, giving her immortality. As the centuries have passed she doesn’t remember her original name and her home village, but she has never forgotten the Doctor.
Doctor Who continues to bring us dramatic two-part episodes as Season 9 progresses. What’s interesting about the most recent pairing of “The Girl Who Died” and “The Woman Who Lived” is that “The Girl Who Died” is an exciting standalone episode with a sense of closure at the end. Season 9 of Doctor Who continues to be a very strong season, even if the fifth episode doesn’t quite stand up to the previous four.
In the opening episode of Season 9, “The Magician’s Apprentice,” Doctor Who reminds us that though he is a fearsome and dangerous opponent, that best part of the Doctor is his compassion. He may not exactly be a man of peace, but he is man that, at his best, finds the good in others. In the prologue to Season 9, the Doctor says, “An enemy’s just a friend you don’t really know yet.” The Doctor has lost many friends and loved ones over the course of his long life, and at the same time he has battled some of his foes for more than a millennium. In “The Magician’s Apprentice” we learn that being a Time Lord makes for some very complex relationships.
The 9th season of Doctor Who premieres on September 19th. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman return as the Doctor and companion Clara Oswald. The fascinating dynamic between the Master/Missy and the Doctor will continue in Season 9, with Michelle Gomez returning for the series. We’re still reeling from her maniacal reveal in “Dark Water” and can’t wait to see what Missy will bring in Season 9.