I’m going off my beaten path a bit for this post. No nails. No makeup. Just my thoughts. I watched Episode 1 of Season 11 of the new Doctor Who last night. When Jodie Whittaker was first announced as the 13th Doctor, many people asked me what I thought about it. I refrained from commenting until I could see her in action. No sense judging someone before they even tried!
We started the episode and I was extremely nervous. This is a big moment for the show and for females in general. Jodie had to perfectly nail the role in order to be accepted. The controversy surrounding a female Doctor was huge and many people predicted it would ruin the show.
I’m going to stop beating around the bush and cut to the chase. I. Loved. It. Jodie Whittaker did a superb job. Her initial take on the Doctor has many throw-back personality traits to David Tennent’s Doctor, which I absolutely love. She was clever, she was snippy, she was scatter brained. It was exactly what the Doctor should be.
Now, about the rest of the show. I just want BBC to know that I see what you did. It appears that they’ve taken the most popular characters over the last 10 seasons and reinvented them to inject a little energy and fan support into the show. Graham is a lot like Donna’s grandfather – who was/is a beloved character on the show. What’s-his-face and what’s-her-face remind me of a bit of the Rory and Amy dynamic. I appreciated the Rory/Amy storylines because there was a bit of romance on the show, but without bastardizing the Doctor’s character. (Don’t get me wrong. I love the Doctor and Rose together. But, that’s not supposed to be the point of the show.) Lastly, Jodie’s Doctor is very reminiscent of the 10th Doctor, which is commonly accepted as the best Doctor ever and if you disagree with me, you’re obviously wrong. J/K! (But David really was the best Doctor.)
I have high hopes for this season if they can keep the character development on track. The storyline of this premier episode was ok. At first, I thought the Warrior was going to be the newest iteration of Cyberman. That would have been kinda cool. Instead, we got creepy tooth-face-man. An interesting foe, but unlikely to become a reoccurring monster on the show.
Near the end of the episode, in the final showdown between the Doctor and tooth-face, she gives a little monologue that was clearly directed at opponents of a female Doctor. To paraphrase, she basically said that you can change your future while still staying true to who you were in the past. It was a bit obvious, but it probably needed to be said. I like that they did it at the end of the episode because they let us get to know Jodie’s Doctor before getting up on their soapbox. Luckily, that soapbox monologue was only about 10 seconds long and we got to get back to the action.
Three cheers for Jodie. You had a lot of pressure for launching this new role and you did it brilliantly.