Doctor Who fans are no doubt happy with the series FINALLY getting an episode in 2016. Even if it’s only one for the year…and it came at the tail end of said year. Regardless, it was fun to see Doctor Who in action. But, as fun as “The Return Of Doctor Mysterio” was. For those wanting a taste of Season 10, you’re going to be disappointed. But as a standalone episode? It wasn’t too bad.
This episode is clearly a product of the times, as the show almost literally takes after the superhero craze that’s been going on for years. Even so much as having the other main character of this episode, Grant, having his room decked out from top to bottom in Marvel and DC Comics stuff. Heck, this whole thing basically starts with a Superman comic! And…it basically is a Superman comic.
It was fun that they gave a reason for the superhero powers, as it would’ve been odd for it to happen with a “normal” kid without meddling of some kind. For it to be the Doctor’s part was perfectly poetic. What helped sell this though was that the Doctor continued to check on Grant as the powers continued to stay with him through the years. After all, in a way, Grant was the Doctor’s responsibility (another of them anyway…), so why wouldn’t he check on him?
The other upside to this was the obvious nods to the Christopher Reeves films. The glasses, the love of their lives being a reporter, the powers, even the way they changed into the outfits was pure Superman.
Sadly, just because you can do a Superman/Doctor Who story…doesn’t mean you have to focus on it. For this being an hour and a half (with long commercial breaks mind you) it seemed like a lot of the story was focused on the love story between Grant and Lucy, instead of the Doctor saving the world. Oh, because he did that too!
Yeah, there are these living brains that can “take over” other bodies, and they wanted to “colonize” the Earth. These were actually pretty cool, and menacing. And as even The Doctor would say, they had a good plan. Sadly, they didn’t get a lot of spotlight because of the love story, and that was kind of sad. Because though they had an ending that would allow for a return…I’m not sure what they would do if they did.
Furthermore, I wish we had a little more development on Nardole, who was last seen in last years Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song”. He’s back because the Doctor was “lonely”, but was that really all it took? And why him specifically? It’s not that he was a bad character, it was just there wasn’t much too him.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about all the comic book pokes and nods in the show. From the Superman References, to the Batman references, to even the Doctor Who comic book series over at Titan, it was all very fun. And I’m sure fans will try and find them all once they get it on DVD.
In the end though, for this being the only Doctor Who episode this year, “The Return Of Doctor Mysterio” was good….but not memorable in many ways. Let’s just hope that it’s not TOO far into Spring before this show returns.