Being the first woman Doctor Who hasn’t broken glass ceiling, Whittaker says

Danny Woods
October 9, 2018

Alongside Whittaker's own debut, Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch) now serves as Doctor Who's showrunner, while Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Bradley Walsh play the Doctor's three companions, whose backstories were established in the season opener.

Viewing figures for last year's Doctor Who were the lowest since the programme returned to screens in 2005, averaging 5.5 million.

Whittaker's vision of her Doctor is all about hope. See, I wasn't brought up in a house that watched it, but obviously being British, Doctor Who is a part of your vocabulary without even realising it. It's thrilling to think, in the next few weeks and months, there will be children who've never seen the show before encountering Jodie's Doctor. There's no fancy title sequence, the Doctor is missing her TARDIS (the search for it appears to be the major thrust of the series), and the main crew is a tight-knit ensemble of four as opposed to the common Doctor-companion pairing we've become accustomed to in the past.

The first episode of a new Doctor is often some of the best in the entire show - the newborn Doctor is less sure of themselves, recovering from dying and being reborn, usually clothed in the burnt and tattered clothes of their previous incarnation. New Time Lord, new look, new best friends, new worlds - and it's about time. We didn't have that kind of decision making for me. The bigger change, honestly, is new composer Segun Akinola taking over for Murray Gold, who composed every season of the revival until now - Akinola's music is an ambient, synth-tinged breath of fresh air from Gold's bombastic leitmotifs; we're still scrambling to hear what his version of the Who theme is, but his quieter approach seems a flawless fit for this new iteration of the show. Her dark goggles and excited tinkering were brilliantly bonkers sci-fi that actually showed what a brain box this Doctor is instead of characters repeatedly reminding us of it. "Yeah. But it's not broken", Whittaker said.

Five minutes was apparently all it took for the Thirteenth Doctor to convert the Tenth Doctor from a seasoned series insider into a giddy, wide-eyed fan.

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Most new Doctors need a couple of episodes to bed in.

After all those manchild meltowns over the casting of a woman, it's refreshing that Chibnall wastes no more time than he has to on the subject.

The Thirteenth Doctor is, of course, is of course depicted as she appears on the hit BBC sci-fi adventure, with a rainbow-striped T-shirt, suspenders, cropped trousers, hooded trench coat and lace-up (albeit plastic) boots, looking as if she just stepped out of the TARDIS.

The long-running television series chronicles the adventures of an extraterrestrial time lord who travels to different time periods to help people, without doing anything drastic that may alter the course of history.

As for the new characters, they're all easy to like; especially the dearly departed Grace, whose death will hang over this team going forward. American Whovians had grown accustomed to watching episodes hours later, but that wasn't the case this time.

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