Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Doctor Who has a loo and a plot too

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2017-04-16 Sunday Express.jpg


THERE ARE two things I've been wondering about Doctor Who (BBC1, Saturday). Firstly, is there a toilet in the Tardis, and secondly, will it ever stop being so stupidly complicated and abstract that it loses viewers? I'm delighted to be able to report that after seeing last night's season opener, the answers are "yes" and "yes".

The toilet is, according to the Doctor, "Downstairs, past the macaroon dispenser", and showrunner and writer Stephen Moffatt has pulled off what many thought was an impossible feat by bringing some much-needed humanity back to the series, a great deal of which comes from new female companion Bill Potts, played by Pearl Mackie, who has a really lovely chemistry with Peter Capaldi's Doctor. I can't remember the old devil smiling so much.

The series opened with The Doctor as a university lecturer, and Bill as a catering assistant whose daily highlights were chatting up student Heather (the fact that Bill is gay was worn very lightly), and attending The Doctor's lectures in her spare time. Now Boring Clara had gone off, the Doc was auditioning for another companion. He had Nardole (Matt Lucas, a delight) as a sidekick cum butler, and spotted in Billie a keen young mind too good for double-frying chips. The mentor-pupil relationship developed in a very sweet way and tied in nicely with the sci-fi storyline of Bill's crush Heather being turned into a watery zombie.

Moffat may be leaving Doctor Who at the end of this series, but it's almost like he's rebooted it already, with Bill learning from scratch about The Doctor and his funny ways, and his time machine. "Is it a knock-through?", she wondered as she entered the Tardis.

This first episode brought Doctor Who's humanity back, after a long, chilly spell. "What are any of us looking for? We're looking for someone who's looking for us," said the Doctor about Bill's crush on Heather, but it obviously applied to the way he felt about his new companion as well. I think viewers will find the new partnership equally loveable, and plotlines more understandable.

Caption: PARTNERS: Dr Who (Peter Capaldi) and Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) bring humanity back to the show

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  • APA 6th ed.: Woodward, Clair (2017-04-16). Doctor Who has a loo and a plot too. Sunday Express p. 51.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Woodward, Clair. "Doctor Who has a loo and a plot too." Sunday Express [add city] 2017-04-16, 51. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Woodward, Clair. "Doctor Who has a loo and a plot too." Sunday Express, edition, sec., 2017-04-16
  • Turabian: Woodward, Clair. "Doctor Who has a loo and a plot too." Sunday Express, 2017-04-16, section, 51 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who has a loo and a plot too | url= | work=Sunday Express | pages=51 | date=2017-04-16 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=9 June 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who has a loo and a plot too | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=9 June 2023}}</ref>