What has always made the goofiness of “Doctor Who,” the manic running around in circles and wild half-cocked energy, work so well for me has been the way that it’s always been a cracked veneer. The Doctor, at least these last three iterations who are the only ones I’ve known, has always had a core of darkness. There is sadness and desperation under the laughter. That’s always a bit of a problem with previews and trailers, which seem to highlight the humor, the surreal intersections of history and science fiction, even the romantic bravado. But they rarely hone in on that sadness, the quiet scenes between the exciting scenes. Those scenes don’t usually make for trailers, but they’re the ones that break your heart in the episodes.
So the BBC has released what they are calling a “prequel” to the upcoming episode “Let’s Kill Hitler.” I guess it’s a prequel if it happens before the episode, but come on. It’s a minute long. It’s a teaser. It’s the dictionary definition of a teaser, if by dictionary you mean “the list of what words on the Internet mean according to me.” But terminology griping aside, it’s fantastic. It is that quiet sadness, the Lonely God reduced to listening to messages in the dark, trembling at the weight on his shoulders.
Oh and it should go without saying that this includes massive spoilers for the first half of the current season. If you think it shouldn’t go without saying, you should direct your complaints to Pajiba’s new Editor in Charge of Spoiler Policies: Headless Ned.