As if there was any doubt, the alien Doctor is back.
Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is about as alien as he’s ever been, after two very human portrayals from Matt Smith and David Tennant.
Instead of helping humanity, during a critical mission to the moon in 2049, the Doctor leaves in the TARDIS as he abandons his companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), her pupil Courtney Woods (Ellis George) and space shuttle Captain Lundvik (Hermione Norris).
Normally the Doctor would stick around to help humanity solve the puzzle at the centre of this story, saving the Earth in the process. But in this story he scarpers just when he’s needed. Such a move made me wonder whether I was still watching Doctor Who, or whether the title of the show had been changed to the Clara Oswald show.
On the most human level leaving his companion high and dry, facing certain death, is a low thing to do. But the action only goes to prove how alien the Doctor really is. And it really shakes Clara to the core of her being. She has sacrificed herself to save every incarnation of him, and he clears off in response.
In fact, the Doctor’s actions in this story, by British playwright Peter Harness, only serve to push Clara deeper into the arms of fellow teacher Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson). We already know that the pair are destined to have children, but we don’t know how much longer Clara will ride shotgun with the Doctor.
Despite all Clara’s heroics in the past, as the impossible girl who dove into all the Doctor’s timelines, it’s more than ironic that her finest moments on screen in this episode arise from a simple, human story.
I loved it.