The Welcome Return of the Moustache Twirl

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I got seriously excited by the latest trailer for the second half of Series 3, so excited in fact that we’ve spent most of the last week posting about it. And whilst scarecrows, Derek Jacobi and Captain Jack are all very exciting, that’s not the reason why I went into a fizz at the end of the minute-long preview.

No, it’s Mr Saxon that got me going. And it’s not even because it’s John Simm or that maybe he’s the Master or the Monk or whatever – it’s because New Doctor Who looks like it’s finally getting itself a proper villain.

We’ve had close – Van Statten was a bit one-note but was heading in the right direction, as was Margaret Blaine. Neither seemed particularly nasty though, which may have been perhaps due to the Ninth Doctor being quite dark and dangerous himself. Move on to the Tenth Doctor’s era, and there’s even fewer non-monster threats. Anthony Head seemed like he had the right stuff in the few real moments of tension in School Reunion, and had he been given an extra episode or two, might have been the new series’ first real baddie.

But Saxon looks like he’s going to be something different. After two season finales with ‘the big-gun monsters’ being wheeled out, it’s damn exciting to have what looks like a real human(oid) foil for the Doctor arriving on the scene. It’s a scene that’s been set up rather well so far, with some welcome restraint (who else was expecting a Mr Saxon reference to be crowbarred into 1930s New York?), and if all goes to plan, it should pay off magnificently in a few months time.

Of course, there’s no proof that this is actually going to happen. It could all end up being a mess, with Simm coming off as being another ‘could almost have been good’ villain. But somehow I doubt it, especially considering the chilling final images in the trailer. Never has a smile for the cameras been so creepy.

Yes, whatever the outcome, whether he turns out to be the Master, the Monk or just a plain old evil politician, we definitely have a villain of note on our hands, And that to me is eminently more exciting than a ‘surprise’ return of an old monster…

JP

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