Ninth Season, Twelfth Doctor, One Prologue, Four Quick Thoughts

The latest season of Doctor Who is nearly here. I haven’t had time to reflect upon the first incarnation of the Twelfth Doctor’s first season as much as I’d like, at least not in blog post form … suffice it to say that I found Peter Capaldi brilliant as the Doctor, and I truly enjoyed Clara coming into her own as a character, and not just as “The Impossible Girl” plot device. I thought the dynamic between the Doctor and Clara was wonderful as well – they had some truly terrific character moments throughout the season. As for the stories, I found them to be hit or miss. A few were great (Listen), a few were outright terrible (Kill the Moon), and most were … okay. But considering how experimental I found the season to be at times, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I give Steven Moffat and the production team much credit for trying new ideas rather than sticking to a safe formula.

I hope to expand on those thoughts some more. But right now, it’s time to anticipate the future, rather than reflect on the past. Which leads to:

The Prologue to the new season of Who is jam-packed with a lot of goodness. Here’s my quick take on it all:

  1. The Sisterhood of Karn is back. (Still protecting the Flame of Utter Boredom!) Which suggests either a regeneration is upon us – perhaps the Doctor’s, or perhaps the Master’s/Missy’s? Unless another Time Lord is being introduced, which seems unlikely. It certainly seems like the Doctor’s referring to the Master, although the fact that he’s referring to his mysterious friend/enemy as “him” throws a wrinkle on that idea. Still, regardless of pending regenerations or not, the Sisterhood represents one of the last remaining vestiges of Gallifrey, which means …
  2. The Seal of Rassilon? Twelve hands over a metal disk to The High Priestess Ohila, and says “You know who to give this to”. (Clara, presumably?) However, the disk looks suspiciously like the Seal of Rassilon, which the Eleventh Doctor used to contact the Time Lords in “Time of the Doctor”. Given the presence of the Sisterhood of Karn, I think it’s safe to say that regardless of regeneration possibilities, Gallifrey’s going to be part of this season, and the search for Gallifrey at the end of “Day of the Doctor” may be resuming in earnest.
  3. Where’s Clara? When Ohila tells the Doctor that “Everyone can hide from an enemy, no one from a friend”, I think it’s fairly obvious she’s referring to Clara. Why is the Doctor hiding, though? To protect her from something? Or because he doesn’t want her to know something? At this point, I’d be surprised about the latter, if only because last season was a lot about Twelve and Clara learning to trust each other. I’ll be curious to see why the Doctor wouldn’t want Clara’s help at this point.
  4. “That’s different, I don’t like you.” And Twelve’s still a grumpy bastard. Some things don’t change, and that’s marvelous to see.

I’ll be recapping each episode this season. See you for “The Magician’s Apprentice”!

-Mike

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