Time up for Doctor Who?

The Time Lord returns in 'The Pilot'

Digital Spy

Doctor Who review: 'The Pilot' is a breath of fresh air

Possibly the best thing you can say about 'The Pilot' is that you don't need to have seen Doctor Who before to enjoy it. Hardcore fan or newbie, it's a terrific ride regardless.

The plot of series 10's opener is deceptively simple - the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and new companion Bill (Pearl Mackie) encounter an alien, then run away from it. But simplicity's not a crime - particularly for a show that's sometimes needlessly complex and confusing.

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Doctor Who returns with new companion in 'The Pilot'

Doctor Who fans would have loved to get a hold of the TARDIS to fast forward into the future having waited two years for a full series.

The Time Lord returned for his 10th series since the show was revamped in 2005, following a 16-year break from our television screens.

The sci-fi show opened with overnight ratings of 4.6 million. It attracted the same audience from its last series opener in 2015. It could receive a boost from catch-up services, the Telegraph observes, with the ninth series opening episode rising to 6.5 million viewers.

It went up against dating programme Take Me Out on ITV, which attracted an audience of 3.1 million.

'The Pilot' introduced new companion Bill, played by Pearl Mackie. She is the first openly gay companion - although the series has featured many LGBT characters over its history.

She faced the Doctor's biggest enemies, the Daleks, after meeting the Time Lord at university, with the time traveller working as a lecturer. They were joined by Matt Lucas' Nardole as they battled with a spooky alien species responsible for kidnapping humans.

This series will see the departure of Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor. The actor will regenerate in the Christmas special this year after three years in the role. He replaced Matt Smith during 2014's Christmas episode, The Time of the Doctor.

The actor told the Graham Norton Show that he has already filmed his regeneration scene, with the transformation teased in the series trailer.

He explained his reasons for leaving: “Doctor Who is a great job, but it is a bit of a television factory. You do 12 episodes a year, and I just worried that I wouldn’t be able to continue to do my best work.

"I like to be able to learn the lines and do some preparation and come in and give it the vigor and the fun and not hate it. I just figure, while you’re enjoying it, leave.”

My Family and Death in Paradise actor Kris Marshall is the favourite to replace Capaldi, with the Mirror reporting that he has allegedly already begun filming.

It is also the last series for showrunner Steven Moffat who will be replaced by Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall. Moffat took over from Russell T Davies, the man responsible for bringing back the show, in 2010.

The Doctor will return next week in 'Smile', penned by Millions author Frank Cottrell-Boyce.

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