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What a wonderful time

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 6 August 2017
Rating:   9

Its so sad that this is Peter Capaldi's swansong season as the Doctor. To me he has totally reinvigorated the show. The stories during his era for me on the whole have been far more enjoyable and far more brilliant. Matt Smith suffered from some of the most uneven writing in the universe during his era, but on the whole Peter has had a far far more memorable time as the Doctor, and story wise a far more successful one. He is incredibly assisted by the wonderful and funny Matt Lucas as the lovable android Nardole and the wonderful Pearl Mackie who made an instant hit with me with new companion Bill Potts. They all come together and make a far far more likeable Doctor/companion brew than some of the other more dubious additions to new Who since it was revived back in 2005. And so what exactly goes on in his finale season: well, for a start his best season of all for a start!

The Pilot opens the new series and feels very fresh and the show feels truly invigorated and Pearl makes a very impressive debut. Her character is at once likeable and not annoying in the slightest, a role she manages to inject with so many aspects from the word go. She's feisty, and the story here in parts is pretty creepy and is one of Steven Moffatt's better stories. She immediately connects with Peter and Matt that already just within this episode they feel like a proper team. Heather is an interesting creation too and the Movellan cameo is welcome indeed from this nostalgic fan.

Smile then has the Doctor and Bill get to really know each other. Most of this episode is just with these two and the mystery of about the best robots to have been on the show for a long time. Frank Cottrell Boyce again does a great episode and this story has its really good scares and despite their slightly comical look somehow the robot interfaces manage to be creepy at the same time The story has very good pacing and is a really really great story and Pearl just gets better and better.

Thin Ice was highly enthralling and the Doctor's treatment of a certain lack wit in this story are absolutely winning. I loved what he does to the racist moron and the story itself too is very diverting and well plotted and both the Doctor and Bill continue to win me over and go so well together. This series so far is just going from strength to strength I really like the design of the huge fish in the Thames too. She looks mean and impressive.

Knock Knock has a dream come true in the form f guest star David Suchet who was an incomparable Hercule Poirot for so many years I always wished he had been in a Doctor Who story and now that he has he did not disappoint whatsoever in fact his character of the Landlord was one of the creepiest in the whole news series so far. And Knock Knock is a great debut script for the show from Mike Bartlett, and his story is a great good old fashioned creep fest that really delivers and kept this fan well and truly hooked indeed.

Oxygen was very bold and about one of the best Doctor Who stories I have seen set in the deep vast well of space. The zombies in this episode look truly disgusting and nasty. And the story itself is electrically charged so that so far the series has had no dull moment whatsoever. And the shock reveal at the climax of the show was totally unexpected and Peter Capaldi plays the Doctor to absolute perfection yet again. This episode is tense, claustrophobic like the best classic series episodes of old.

For me in the whole series ten Extremis is the only boring and convoluted episode of the run. It just suffers from being boring, and aside from the introduction of the weird looking and unsettling Monks it has nothing that attracts me as a story. It also has yet another Missy apparently killed and then come back to life again thing and this is a bit boring and old now as every time she's been in a story she's had this so far. Gladly to say though that the other two parts to the Monk trilogy are far far better written. But Extremis is just very excruciatingly protracted and dull even in just 45 or so minutes. But this is only one little snag in a series that otherwise just gets even stronger after this first part of the Trilogy.....

The first half of the season is amazing overall and Peter shines as my favourite new series Doctor by far....A superb return of the greatest time traveller there has ever been.




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