Tonight BBC America airs the second episode of the tenth season of Doctor Who
, entitled, "Smile." In the episode the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Bill (Pearl Mackie) travel to the future at Bill's request, expecting paradise and the secret to happiness. What they find are no human colonists and only little robots who speak emoji and are not as cute and innocent as they seem.
In the episode, the Doctor and Bill's friendship continues to grow, and they create a fun, yet unique take on the Doctor/ Companion dynamic. It's also a joy to continue to see her wonderment at new experiences, yet she's also integrating quite nicely and isn't afraid to tell the Doctor what she thinks, and their banter feels right at home.
I enjoyed their little jaunt off into the future, the less reserved and adventurous Doctor who won't take no for an answer is back. Yet aside from his daring and audacious nature, we also get to see the heroic side of the Doctor who won't leave anyone behind to a threat of danger. I loved how Bill realizes that he doesn't seek assistance, because he is the one who shows up to help, even if he doesn't always readily admit it.
The episode is not what it appears to be at first glance. It has its light hearted moments, but with a more serious twist; it delves into areas of human emotion and explores the ideals of happiness and how we feel versus what we actually show to others. The episode made some interesting comments on social interaction, social expectations, and how we treat each other. It played out really well, and I appreciated the thematic lesson, but I think it may have been more interesting with a bit of a darker tone where more could be explored.
In continuity, I was happy that they did tease the audience a bit more to what has been going on with the Doctor. Although you don't learn much, it definitely leaves you wanting more.
Moving forward, I would like to see Nardole (Matt Lucas) having more of a role in the series; however, at the same time, the episode didn't feel like anything was missing, with Bill stealing the show.
Also, the icons they used for the emojis were cute, and I especially loved how they used the eyebrows for the Doctor.
All in all, the episode was unique, unexpected, and a great addition to the season.