Under the list of sub-genres that Doctor Who has attempted over the course of 53 years you can now check off ‘superhero’ from that list. If that sounds disparaging it’s not intended to. As a story which lovingly admires all of the historical conventions of the superhero mythos, The Return of Doctor Mysterio is a terrific bit of Christmas fun (even if it had nothing to do with Christmas), and a neat little twist on the 1978 Christopher Reeve film. What it almost isn’t however, is Doctor Who.
The notion that the Doctor, however accidentally, created a superhero, is a nifty little plot conceit. But it goes right up to the line, and almost certainly over it, into magic over ‘science fiction,’ however broadly you choose to look at it. That, however, is just an excuse to get things started. Once into the story it’s just a funfair of dual identities, love triangles, and zipper aliens all in gleeful measure.
One unexpected benefit from The Return of Doctor Mysterio was Nardole. We suspect he’ll be getting the Mickey/Donna Noble ‘rehabilitation’ treatment into a companion with more depth and insight than we might have expected. As always Capaldi was in fine form, more reactive than active in
As always Capaldi was in fine form, especially in his interactions with the young Grant, and generally more reactive than active in Mysterio, but that’s all right. As we can all see in the Series 10 trailer, there’s plenty of action awaiting us.