The ninth season of Doctor Who premiered on BBC America on Saturday, September 19. Being the Whovians that we are, my family joined together for a rare night of live television. (We usually DVR our shows.) Were we in for an exciting night! As a note, I will try my best to stay away from spoilers.
Every Doctor Who episode has a grand entrance, right? This one is no different. A war rages on some world. It vaguely looks like Earth but the airplanes are shooting laser beams at the men on the ground. Men who are only armed with bows and arrows. Not exactly an even match. One of the men come upon a child running from the fray. Unfortunately, this child has run into a hand mine. (That would be a mines made of hands...) If the hand grabs you, it will drag you under the ground to your death. The child stands still, not knowing how to handle his situation, when a strange object lands near his feet. We hear the voice of The Doctor, amplified through the sonic screwdriver he threw to the child. As The Doctor talks, telling the child that he will not die this day, he asks the child his name. And it is the name The Doctor fears the most. Davros.
OK. I said I was staying away from spoilers. That is the closest I will get because it is very important to understanding the episode.
Clara is in her classroom when she notices the airplanes have all stopped mid-air. They aren't falling. They are just stopped. Of course, she gets a call from UNIT (the UNified Intelligence Taskforce) and rushes off.
So, yeah, UNIT has been around for years and years and years. Since the Second Doctor, I believe. At what point do you think they will stop hiring morons? They seemed pretty intelligent when Martha was working with them. But now they are stupid? I found their whole part in the episode annoying. It was nothing more than an easy way to slide Missy (formerly known as The Master) back into the show. (Hey, she was on some of the promo posters and trailers. Not a spoiler!)
Missy is the one that stopped the planes. She needed to talk to Clara but it's not like Clara would willingly go have tea with her for no good reason. It turns out that Missy received an item that means The Doctor will die the next day. Or at least he thinks he will. They need to find The Doctor and save him. Clara uses UNIT's computers to lock down the time and place The Doctor is hiding. And off they go.
Hm. Does this mean that the writers are officially saying The Doctor is out of regenerations? Supposedly this thing Missy received is akin to a will. Why wouldn't it get sent out every time he changes? I mean, The Doctor isn't dying in the first two episodes of the series. Duh. But what are they saying about the future of the show?
From here on out, the episode is all about The Doctor living with decisions he has made. Has he made the right ones? Has he doomed us all by making terrible ones? While this is a two-part episode (it looks like most of the season will be as well), there are quite a few surprises in the second half of this episode. And a lot of it revolves around relationships. How The Doctor views the people he interacts with on his travels. I have to admit that I thought it was rather interesting.
Even though I hate cliff-hanger episodes, I thought this was a good way to open Season 9. We had The Doctor asking Clara if he was a good man in the beginning of Season 8. Will we find out the answer to that this season? Will Peter Capaldi be the final Doctor? I really hope that the writers give us the answers to the possibilities they have given us. I also hope this isn't really the end for the series. I do love it.