Doctor Who: Spoiler-free preview for The Pilot
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It's been a long, long wait, but Doctor Who is finally back on our screens this Saturday for 12 new episodes. It's Peter Capaldi's last, and Pearl Mackie's first and as the episode title suggests, it's a reinvention of sorts that the show does so well.
The Pilot is a title with double meaning; as well as being linked to the alien threat, it in many ways has the same feel as Rose or The Eleventh Hour in that it is the perfect jumping point for new viewers while I great way to get viewers reacquainted with Doctor Who after the gap since season nine. In fact, the freshness works, having taken some time since Clara's departure from the show. This is the Doctor who has experienced life since Hell Bent and with Nardole in tow (thankfully Matt Lucas gets better with each story, mostly because he's played in a more understated in tone) this really feels like a fresh for the Twelfth Doctor. It's such a crushing shame that Peter Capaldi will be regenerating at Christmas because he continues to be marvellous here.
And yes, everything you've heard about new companion Bill is true; Mackie is a delight, totally endearing, intelligent without being smug, funny, witty and asks the same questions you would in her situation. And her reaction to the TARDIS, well let's say it beats the pants of Victorian Clara's back in The Snowmen.
The alien threat is fine and I'll talk about it more in the spoiler-filled review after the episode airs on Saturday but, like Rose or The Eleventh Hour, it's about all about the Doctor and the new companion. There's plenty of Easter eggs for fans, a couple of nice moments of horror and plenty of action; it's not an episode that starts with a bang, but by the end, you'll finish with a smile on your face, eager for more.
Welcome back Doctor Who!