Apr. 26th, 2017

cjlasky7: (Default)
What's gotten into Steven Moffat?

After five seasons of brain-twisting plotlines filled with temporal loops and paradoxes, DW Season 10 has kicked off in a style that could almost be described as... minimalist.

New companion (hi, Bill!) and she's not a big, cosmic mystery for the Doctor to suss out, she doesn't have a crush on the old bugger (yay!) and Time hasn't edited her family from existence. She's just the Doctor's student, asking all sorts of neat questions about the weirdness of the Doctor's universe, questions any veteran Whovian would love to ask.

Pearl Mackie gives Bill a warm, friendly presence and an appealing curiousity that just makes you smile when she's on screen. She's not a drama queen like Rose, brittle like Amy, LOUD like Donna, moony like Martha, or intense like Clara. She's her own thing, mostly free of baggage. It's refreshing.

The Doctor, too, has stripped down to a simpler lifestyle. Considering Four's declaration at the start of Tom Baker's run that "I am a citizen of the universe!", it's remarkable that he's stayed on Earth and in one spot for so long. What could possibly be in that vault to warrant such a radical curbing of his wanderlust? Who means so much to him that he would keep his promise to stay put for 50 years? (River? Clara? Susan? Mommy? Your guess is as good as mine...)

I like this mystery much better than Moffat's other attempts at a season-long mystery... because it's simple. "What's in the vault?" Boom. Almost none of his previous attempts, all too clever by half (e.g., The Hybrid, The Impossible Girl) have worked out to my satisfaction, but this seems virtually foolproof. (I know: famous last words.)

You'll note that I haven't mentioned the plots of the first two episodes, mainly because there wasn't much plot to speak of. The wafer-thin premises of 10.1 & 10.2 were mainly there to get Bill and the Doctor together and have them exchange highly entertaining banter. (Probable moment of inspiration: Moffat was on his way to the studio one morning and stepped in a puddle. "Eureka! I have my season premier!")

But if the banter stays this witty, and the chemistry between Mackie and Capaldi stays this good, I'm okay with it for now. Moffat can short-circuit our brains later on in the season...


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