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The Pilot

Doctor WhoBill Potts works in the university cafeteria, and though she’s not taking his classes, she attends lectures by a mysteriously tenured professor known only as the Doctor. He’s as likely to lecture on poetry as on physics, and seems to know a little bit about everything – a lot, actually. He’s also very observant, and knows that Bill isn’t one of his students, and offers to tutor her anyway.

Bill catches the eye of a fellow student named Heather, though their conversations never seem to go where expected. Heather is preoccupied with a puddle of standing water which has the audacity to exist in a fenced-in concrete area where there has been no rain for days. Bill relates this to the Doctor, who is suddenly very curious about the puddle, and the scorch marks surrounding it on the concrete: the telltale sign of a recently landed spacecraft. The next time Bill sees Heather, the girl is drenched in an unending torrent of water, has dead eyes, can only repeat what Bill says, and seems to be following her obsessively. Bill races into the Doctor’s office to get away from her, and the Doctor (with Nardole still in tow) whisks her away in the TARDIS. But wherever they go in time and space, whether it’s sunny Sydney or the hell of the Dalek-Movellan war, Heather follows…and won’t give up until Bill joins or rejects her.

Order the DVDDownload this episode via Amazonwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Lawrence Gough
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Pearl Mackie (Bill), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Jennifer Hennessy (Moira), Stephanie Hyam (Heather), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek voices)

Doctor WhoNotes: This is the first (and only) screen appearance of the Movellans since their only other appearance in 1979’s Destiny Of The Daleks; they are primarily a background detail here, and not central to the plot, just like the Daleks that show up without being the central threat. The Doctor seems to have an abundance of his retired sonic screwdrivers on hand – score one product placement for Character Options and Underground Toys – and has framed photos of River Song and Susan on his desk.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

Smile

Doctor WhoBill wants to see Earth’s future, so the Doctor takes her to an Earth colony several centuries into that future. The odd thing is, the entire colony seems to be populated not by humans, but by two kinds of robots: flying, bee-like microbots that built, and make up the material of, the colony structures, and diminutive mobile robots who communicate only through simple facial expressions. But at the first sign that their guests are unhappy with what they’ve found – a city built for humans but devoid of humans – the robots don what could be a fatal frown. Determined to make sure that any future colonists aren’t walking into a trap, the Doctor decides to destroy the colony…until Bill discovers that the colonists are already there.

Order the DVDDownload this episode via Amazonwritten by Frank Cottrell Boyce
directed by Lawrence Gough
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Pearl Mackie (Bill), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Kiran L Dadlani (Kezzia), Mina Anwar (Goodthing),Ralf Little (Steadfast), Kalungi Ssebandeke (Nate), Kiran Shah (Emojibot), Craig Garner (Emojibot)

Doctor WhoNotes: Mina Anwar is no stranger to the universe of Doctor Who. She played Gita Chandra, the excitable mother of series regular Rani Chandra, on The Sarah Jane Adventures, though she plays a different, unrelated character here.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Continue reading

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