Monday, October 08, 2018

Review: Doctor Who - The Woman Who Fell to Earth

First up, I don't blame the production crew for this, but the presentation by BBC America was simply AWFUL. There were more ads than show during the second half, and there were short spoilery segments inserted in the ads that made you think the show was back, but no - it was just another ad FOR THE SHOW YOU ARE WATCHING with spoilers for future events, just in case you wanted to enjoy the episode as it was written.

Eric and I watched the simulcast, so we didn't see all the ridiculous interviews in the middle of the show, but we also didn't see the closing credits or the trailer. In fact, I don't recall hearing the Doctor Who theme at all during the airing, although I heard the X-Files theme a number of times due to ads *GRRRRR*.

In short, if you want to watch and enjoy Doctor Who, apparently BBC America is the LAST place you should go to find it. The presentation sucked. It was horrible.

That said, the brilliance of the episode barely managed to shine through BBC America's mangled showing.

First thoughts, I was completely convinced by the end of the episode that we were seeing the Doctor. In fact, about the moment she started working on the sonic I felt myself accepting her. I accepted her more quickly than I accepted either Matt Smith or Peter Capaldi. Both of them I required a second episode to feel the connection, she got it in one.

The supporting cast is good, although the absolute best character of the bunch is the one we won't be seeing traveling with the Doctor. It felt like they gelled as a team more quickly than any other cast, and I liked how each of them brought their strengths to the adventure.

The story itself was a tiny bit slow, I think. I'm not sure, because it could've just been the constant interruption by endless commercials instead of the pacing of the episode itself. Hard to tell when there are literally more commercials than show. But I think the plot took a little overlong to develop into action. Thinking back, I'm not sure what could have been changed, though, so perhaps I was just completely thrown off by the awful ads.

I liked the overall concept, although I feel like this would have been something already discovered by one of the various Doctor-spawned groups protecting the planet. Then again, if it's not a common event - eh, hard to say. The humanoid alien didn't seem all that menacing to me, but the initial alien on the train was extremely creepy.

The ending was not at all what I was expecting. I really thought this would be a third-Doctor exiled on Earth type of run, so I was a little shocked to see what happened. Pleased, but shocked. I did manage to avoid almost every single spoiler leading up to the premiere, so if that was already common knowledge, I successfully managed to avoid it.

In all, I enjoyed this episode quite a bit, despite BBC America's best efforts to destroy it. I'm looking forward to the next episode.