In Modern Doctor Who Series openers are their own special beast, even moreso when the episode introduces a new companion and/or Doctor, which when you give it a thought has been most of the time. What makes
What makes The Pilot unusual, and perhaps even special, is how relaxed it is about the way the Doctor and Bill meet and interact. It’s not chance, nor sudden, but rather takes place over the course of some months and seems almost organic. Capaldi, as relaxed himself as we’ve ever seen him–and a very clear point of difference from Series 8, is as good as we can recall.
No one will confuse The Pilot with a plot machine, even the ‘heavy’ turns out to be almost comically straightforward with her literal motivations, but that’s not the point. Mood, from Bill and Heather’s chaste desires through to the multitudes of subtle continuity references, is what The Pilot is all about. A nice beginning.