By Emma Guinness.
Each actor who plays the Doctor brings something different to the role,” a friend remarked before the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who, starring Peter Capaldi. An appropriate comment, I thought. Matt Smith was quirkier than David Tennant, but they had youth in common. I was therefore curious to see how a man more than a quarter of a century older than his predecessor would fare. I have to say I have been thoroughly impressed.
The first episode of the new series opens with a dinosaur rampaging around in the Thames in Victorian London, having time travelled after swallowing the Tardis. The dinosaur, however, is not the villain, and viewers eventually learn that the baddie is a cyborg who is using a restaurant to harvest human organs.
This may not be the most riveting plot but it effectively introduces Capaldi, and this would not have been possible had the episode been more fast-paced. It gives the viewers the opportunity to understand that Capaldi is darker and more mysterious than his predecessor: Clara asks, “Where are we going,” and he replies, “Into darkness” but does so in a way that conveys the wit and charm of the Doctor. Capaldi’s Doctor is not without a sense of humour as is conveyed with his witty quips such as; “I am not a huggy person.”
Though only time will tell whether the new series is truly worth recommending, so far, it is worth sticking with. I say this partially because the second episode included a much more riveting plot after Capaldi’s introduction, and, after all, who doesn’t love to see the Daleks?