On guns and mysteries in Doctor Who

Posted by CB Droege

The new season of Doctor Who premiered over the weekend on both sides of the Atlantic, and it gives us a convoluted set-up for the season.

The two most recent companions, along with Dr. Song have been called together in the American desert to meet with The Doctor, though he’s unable to tell them why, and for him, 200 years seem to have passed, while he inserted himself throughout history.

This episode seems to be setting the stage for several mysteries, which we can only guess will establish themselves throughout the season. We also get to see a new regular character introduced, one who we are told we’ll be seeing a lot of.

The most interesting thing here is the decision to set-up this doctor as the last doctor, and this crew of companions as his final friends.

Of course, as time-travel is certainly a huge part of the Doctor Who story, we all know that anything can happen, but whatever else goes on, it seems like River’s story is finally starting to come out, and it seems we’ll be seeing a lot more of her this season.

The decision to move the story to America, when most of The Doctor’s adventures on earth have, in the past, taken place in Britain, is interesting, and it manages to give the story a different feel, as I’m expecting was intended.

The involvement of one of the most infamous American Presidents puts a strange spin on things, and the inclusion of good-guys with guns is new. I guess this Doctor has set aside his very English dislike of such weapons.

The inclusion of them, of course, seems to be a bit of social commentary, as Pond’s use of one may have dire consequences. At one point River even makes an Americans joke when The Doctor is convinced that Nixon’s Secret Service would never shoot him, River reminds him, “They’re Americans.”

I’m not certain how I feel about the revelations of the episode, but much of it is all still very foggy, much foggier than the beginning of any other season. Perhaps the move to America has also including turning to a very American style of audience confusion; pulling the audience around by the very disconcerted nose. 

Either way, I look forward to seeing where this season takes the doctor and his companions. I just hope that they don’t whip out too many paradoxes. Eventually, it’ll just get silly.