Doctor Who - S11

2018-10-09 15:06
Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who


The great Time Lord, Doctor Who, is back to travel the strange universe in the blue-box time machine called the TARDIS. For the first time the doctor is a woman and she's not pulling any punches in the most exciting season yet!


It’s been almost a year since we’ve seen the 12th Doctor - Peter Capaldi - regenerate into Jodie Whittaker, which in Time Lord time is either 5 million years or 10 minutes depending on when the TARDIS has spit you out. But for most of us Whovians it really feels very much like the former.

So it was with great excitement that I settled down to watch the 13th Doctor and see what Chris Chinball (Broadchurch) had in store for us. This season is what I like to call a reset season – new Doctor, new Companions, new monsters, new showrunner and even a new timeslot. Reset seasons are always nerve-wrecking for fans because you just don’t know what to expect. 

I remember when we went from our beloved 10th Doctor, David Tennant to Matt Smith’s Eleven, there was much grumbling and grousing.  But ultimately the 11th Doctor’s introduction episode, The Eleventh Hour, is one if the best episodes of this series and one that I still rewatch with much joy. 

So how does Jodie Whittaker’s first outing as the 13th Doctor go? My very first thought when the opening scenes started playing was that this show has definitely got more budget since the 9th and 10th Doctors were running around through space and time, because everything was just looking so great. There’s an almost cinematic quality about it. 

There’s a lot that’s happening in an introduction episode, we’re introduced to new companions who are introduced to a world we already know about but above all, what’s this new Doctor like? The thing about Time Lord regeneration is that the Doctor changes in not only physical appearance but in personality too. But there are few things that are so fundamental to who the Doctor is that it transcends regeneration and Jodie Whittaker plays that beautifully.

She’s her own Doctor, but she’s still our Doctor and when she declares it, I’m not going to lie, I teared up a bit. Because shining through this new iteration were bits of Nine, Ten and Eleven. 

There’s a bit where she’s rescuing someone from the Monster of The Week and he keeps reiterating that he’s special and important and she agrees with him which was a nice call back to Eleven saying “900 years of time and space and I've never met someone who wasn't important.” She’s going to be great and I’m really excited for the rest of this season.

But we also got a bunch of new companions and a new monster to figure out and man, is this one not just a tad bit gross with a face full of human teeth? Yes, you read that right. They’re doing good with the new monsters right off the bat. But she’s the Doctor goddammit, and she will not allow this trash on Earth. Yes, the Doctor’s righteous anger is still there along with her sense of adventure and silliness.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure how I felt that she built a whole new sonic screwdriver from scratch. Yes, each Doctor’s sonic screwdriver and TARDIS gets a bit of a makeover as well, but it’s still the same sonic screwdriver.  But that’s a minor detail and if that’s something that’s upset you, honestly that’s just nitpicking at this point. I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to see the TARDIS in this episode but there are 9 more episodes.

The Companion dynamic this season harkens back to the very first Doctor (William Hartnell) who had three companions: his granddaughter and two teachers from Coal Hill School. This time, the Doctor inadvertently has taken along three companions again and has made the TARDIS a little more diverse: 19-year-old Ryan, his step-grandad Graham and his former school mate Yasmin.

Ryan has a disability called dyspraxia, Graham is recently widowed (spoilers!) and Yasmin is a rookie cop in search of adventure. This should be a great time!

Was this a re-watchable episode? Not particularly. It’s no Eleventh Hour or Day of The Doctor But it was a fantastic introduction to all these characters and has certainly put my heart at ease that our Doctor will still be going on many adventures through time and space and saving lives while doing so.  Allons-y!



Season 11 is exclusive to Showmax, express from the UK, every Monday. 

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