It’s back. After more than a year off the air, Doctor Who is back and it’s here to make a statement. With a new behind-the-scenes team and the same for the front of the camera, Doctor Who is pushing the reset button. While not a complete reboot that would make fans of the show, like myself, turn away from the program that we love so dearly, it’s enough to make new fans feel at home and not completely lose them in the deep and vast history of Doctor Who.
On July 16, 2017, history was made when Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch) was announced as the Thirteenth Doctor. As the first woman to ever take on the role of the Time Lord, it was always going to be a challenge for her to get everyone on board with her take of The Doctor. But, if what we got from the premiere of the season is what we can expect for the rest of Whittaker’s turn as The Doctor, you can count me as excited and quite honestly, you should be too.
I remember watching Doctor Who for the first time. It’s was 2005, Doctor Who still wasn’t that big in Canada but I somehow found myself watching the pilot of the reboot on CBC. I fell in love instantly with the show, kept with it every week, bought merch when I finally started getting old enough to earn money, even found a way to go and watch the original run. Doctor Who has been part of my life for a very long time. And so, when that revealed was released during Wimbledon last year and Jodie’s face appeared, I couldn’t believe it. And now seeing her kill it in the role, it makes me so happy because it just proves how it doesn’t matter that she is a woman, she was the right choice for the role.
Doctor Who has always been about The Doctor and those he travels with. With this new season, not only do we get a new Doctor, but we also get new companions. But more on them later.
First, it’s all about the Time Lord. I remember watching Broadchurch, another series created by Doctor Who‘s new helmer Chris Chibnall, and falling in love with Jodie Whittaker and her portrayal of a grieving mother. One of the only projects most have seen from Whittaker, it is nothing like The Doctor. And so, to see her portray this iconic character with such a joy, a youthfulness and the intelligence that we know the character possesses, just proves how great of an actress she is. It’s not hard to see that she has fun with this character and then she brings this thing to the show that will not only revitalize it but also create something new that will bring old and new fans together.
But Jodie isn’t the only new addition to the cast, Bradley Walsh (Coronation Street), Tosin Cole (Hollyoaks) and Mandip Gill (Hollyoaks) joins the cast as Graham O’Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan, respectively. After watching the premiere and seeing how each interact not only together but with The Doctor, it’s easy to see why not only a bigger team was chosen but also why each actor was put in this place. They all help make the material work and ground the series, which is what a companion should do. They never feel like they are there to outshine The Doctor but instead support her.
What this premiere does so well is taking the concept of Doctor Who that we love so much and adapting it for a new generation. Chris Chibnall knows that with the first female Doctor, he will get a new audience and he does his best to introduce the world on a silver platter. Old fans get what they love and want while new fans discover the beauty of Doctor Who for the first time.
By the end of the episode, The Doctor delivers a beautiful speech that is basically Chibnall saying to everyone to embrace the change and let him do his thing because he knows what he is doing. And by the end of the episode, I can’t help but trust him because this episode does tell me that the men know what he is doing and that his take on The Doctor will rock my world just like I had hoped for.