Doctor Who: “The Return Of Doctor Mysterio” (2016)

Doctor Who returns this Saturday on BBCAmerica for it’s tenth season (and last with star Peter Capaldi).  Audiences last saw The Doctor a few months back in the Christmas special “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”, a fun done-in-one episode that followed the previous Christmas special “The Husbands of River Song”.

Some twenty years previously, The Doctor, in New York City working on a device to repair time paradoxes incurred during a previous adventure,  gives a young eight year old boy a gemstone to hold for him.  However, the boy, Grant, swallows the gemstone and gains super powers as a result.

In 2016, the now-adult Grant (Justin Chatwin) is a nanny looking after the child of single mother/ reporter Lucy Fletcher (Charity Wakefield), whom he’s been in love with since they were kids.  The Doctor, who’s been keeping tabs on Grant over the years, discovers that Grant is secretly The Ghost, a masked super hero, who can’t bring himself to reveal his true feelings for Lucy.  Meanwhile, living alien brains have taken over an international research company, Harmony Shoals, as part of their plan to colonize and conquer Earth.  The brains also want to use Grant’s powers as well…

Full of tossed off in-jokes (see how many scenes in this episode were “inspired” by the 1978 Superman movie) and some exciting, if not really suspenseful, moments, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” (the title is explained in the closing minutes) is still a fun 61 minutes to pass by.  Executive producer Steven Moffat’s script and Ed Bazagette’s direction keep things moving along, and the cast, led by Capaldi, all give earnest performances. Co-star Matt Lucas, as The Doctor’s latest companion, Nardole, especially makes a good foil for our hero.

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