It’s been way too long since we’ve been here, Whovians. The drought is over, though, and after over a year, a new season of “Doctor Who” has arrived. After nothing but Christmas specials since the end of Season 9 in 2015, the long-running BBC America series is back — and what a difference a year and a half has made!
From the jump, Season 10 of “Doctor Who” feels very different from the seasons that came before it. We learn that the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) has spent decades teaching at a college — or pretending to teach at a college, given that nobody can figure out what exactly his course is about. In a way, it’s as if the Doctor has entered retirement, after so many years packed with wild adventures and a long list of companions he’s had to say goodbye to.
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But that all comes to a quick end with the introduction of Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie): She enters the Doctor’s life at an interesting moment, and it’s essentially her that drags him back into his life of traveling throughout all of time and space.
We — and the Doctor — meet Bill when she’s called into his office. It seems she’s been sitting in on his classes, but isn’t actually a student: She’s an employee of the university who simply finds him fascinating, and has been dying to learn whatever she can from him.
This is exactly the kind of companion the Doctor needs, after all this time. She’s beyond interested in everything that comes with being a companion, but refuses to give the Time Lord any slack when it comes to his shenanigans. She’s funny, confident, smart — though she may not realize just how intelligent she is — and has no fear about telling the Doctor exactly what she thinks.
She’s also incredibly lonely in this world, which makes her game for just about anything the Doctor has to offer in terms of adventures throughout the galaxy. “Doctor Who” has given us a variety of different companions throughout the show’s many seasons, but for some reason Bill just fits in perfectly from the jump.
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Bill is wise enough to cut through the Doctor’s gibberish, but has an adventurous enough spirit to follow the Doctor on his last season of adventures before Capaldi and showrunner Steven Moffat depart the series.
We’re glad the Doctor has this new companion for Capaldi’s last season, too, because it feels like a fresh start for this version of the character, reinforced by the season premiere’s title, “The Pilot.” Before leaving, Moffat and Capaldi are setting the stage for a classic season of “Doctor Who,” complete with the show’s most iconic villains, travel to new places and times, and what’s sure to be many unforgettable adventures.
With a fresh face at the Doctor’s side in Bill, we can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. Our only fear is that the companion may not carry onto the next Doctor — because based on what’s been seen thus far, we don’t want Bill going anywhere, anytime soon.
“Doctor Who” airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America.