September 1st, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Season premieres are always exciting. It means your favorite shows and characters have returned for more adventures and stories. By the time this is posted the eighth season of Doctor Who will have started, and Peter Capaldi will officially be the twelfth Doctor. So in honor of that, lets take a look at some previous season premieres and how they set us up for what was to come.

“Rose” sets up not only the first season but the entire new series. Since this is episode one, season one we are introduced to The Doctor himself and his new companion Rose. We already see Rose and Mickey drifting apart, which will be a dynamic throughout the season. In no time at all, Rose is infatuated with this mysterious Doctor, who saved her life. In one scene, Rose visits a man who is an ‘expert’ on the Doctor. This scene is a sort of history lesson for new Whovians (and a reminder for returning ones!) – we see pictures of him across time, showing us his Time Lord aging and time travel abilities. Later we even learn what TARDIS stands for. It sets up the entire show, how the Doctor is “here to help” and his constant defense of Earth and humanity. Already Rose is showing her strength, in her easy acceptance of the doctor, and her willingness to fight. Already we see Mickey’s distrust of the Doctor – “He’s an alien! He’s a thing!”

Season two brings us our first Christmas special, The Christmas Invasion, and the first regenerated Doctor of the new series – the beloved David Tennant. Ten spends a lot of his time in this episode in bed, so we don’t get our glimpse of who his Doctor is until the end, when he stands up to the Sycorax. We are introduced to Tennants more boistrous and sarcastic Doctor for the next three seasons. And though at the time we didn’t know it, Tens cut off hand will come back to play a large role much later on. For some Whovians, this was the first regeneration process they witnessed.

When season three rolls around, we are introduced to Martha as the companion in “Smith and Jones.” She’ll be a doctor along side the Doctor. Martha already naturally likes to help people; what better quality is there for a companion? We see how smart Martha is. “Are we trespassing on the moon?” she already is thinking like a traveller of time and space, critically thinking about the world around her and the cultures she’s encountering. The one thing about this episode that sets up the story for the season is the mention of “Mr. Saxon” at the end, alluding to the Master’s return.

Now it’s season four and Donna officially becomes the Doctor’s companion. Donna has continued to search out odd events in the hopes of finding The Doctor again. Eventually, researching the Adipose leads her to Ten and one of the funniest scenes of the entire show is played out when they discover each other across the room. This sets up their silly but heartfelt relationship, and the odd adventures they’ll have. If one looks closely enough, one can spot ATMOS stickers on the cars in the background (pay attention when the cab driver tries to pick up Stacey Campbell) Which of course alludes to “The Sontaran Strategam”/”The Poison Sky” two parter. Ahh foreshadowing!

Then onto the introduction of season five and my Doctor, Matt Smith! We’re introduced to my favorite companions Amy and Rory, and are set up for the very fairy tale feel and story of the episodes to come. It’s fitting that Eleven first encounters Amy as a child upon regeneration as he is so childlike himself – and indeed, even after growing up Amy herself remains a bit childish (but in the very best of ways), and their relationship is youthful and fun throughout Elevens stint. Amelia Pond, upon meeting the Doctor, is not scared and is in fact rather sassy, which is something it seems is another quality a great companion should have, and is something she never outgrows. Only a child who prays to Santa on Easter would grow up to be a companion. This particular season premiere, as well as the season to follow, and Matt Smith’s Doctor, has a lot of whimsy, which is what I love about it. When Eleven stands up to the Atraxi at the end and says “Hello. I’m the Doctor. Basically. Run.” we are set up for the warrior his Doctor will become.

The season six premiere, The Impossible Astronaut, is the beginning of our Warrior Doctor and one of my favorite storylines. Amy, Rory, River and even a Doctor from the past is invited by the Doctor of the future to meet up in Utah, for what ultimately will be the Doctor’s “death” Amy even says, after River (as the astronaut, though this is still unknown at this point) shoots the Doctor: “Maybe it’s a clone or robot or something,” foreshadowing the truth of the season finale. This is one season premiere that sets up not just the feel of the season but the actual storyline as well. Another foreshadowing line that you’d miss if you weren’t paying attention is the Doctor telling Amy and Rory to “go make babies!” Oh if he only knew! Later, Amy will confess to the Doctor that she’s pregnant. All in set up for the season to come, and the Doctors developing “family”.

Finally, we are brought to season seven and the Asylum of the Daleks. This is where we meet Clara for the first time. She, like Donna, does not become the companion right away; this is simply her introduction. “Run you clever boy and remember me,” sets up Clara’s half of the season later on for the story of the Impossible Girl. “I don’t know where I am,” comes into play as well, mostly in The Name of the Doctor when she splits into the other Clara’s and she’s inside the Doctors timeline.

As for season eight? Well. It’s only just beginning!

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