So, I was supposed to post my review on Season 15 of Classic Who, but then this happened, and I just had to post my initial reaction and thoughts over here.
BBC definitely had a very good Sunday. The Wimbledon was on, Roger Federer won, and the world was finally introduced to the Thirteenth Doctor, after months of speculation as to who it might be.
To be honest, this was both exciting, nerve wracking and scary for me- mostly because this is the first time I’m witnessing the reveal unfold in real time, and because Peter Capaldi has become MY Doctor as well.
Aside from a lot of rampant speculation, recently, there had been a lot of debate on what the gender of the Thirteenth Doctor might be, mostly because it has been a possibility since the 80s, and even more so because of Missy (Michelle Gomez), and because the General in “Hell Bent” changed both race and sex at the same time. However, with all these debates going on in the fandom, what stood out to me was the point that the Doctor will always be the Doctor as the core personality, so no matter what, the Doctor will always be the same, just as Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) reminded Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) of that during the Twelfth Doctor’s very first episode, “Deep Breath”.
Madame Vastra: I wear a veil as he wore a face.
Clara: For what reason?
Madame Vastra: The oldest reason there is for anything: to be accepted.
Clara: Are you judging me?
Madame Vastra: The Doctor regenerated in your presence. The young man disappeared, the veil lifted. He trusted you. Are you judging him?
Madame Vastra: The Doctor needs us. You more than anyone. He is lost in the world of himself and you must bring him home.
Clara: When did you stop wearing your veil?
Madame Vastra: When you stopped seeing it.
This, of course, reminded me that whoever they pick, I shouldn’t judge the choice prematurely, as we have yet to see this new Doctor in action, and that this new Doctor will need the support of the Whovians as well.
Anyway, during the past few days, I checked the odds to see who were the front runners so I could start wrapping my head around who might be the next Doctor, and decided to trust the decision that Chris Chibnall would make, and decided that I will support his choice for the Thirteenth Doctor, because even though the fandom might be scared and worried about what will be in store for us for Series 11, the ones who really need our support now more than ever are Chibnall and the new Doctor.
And now, we are finally here. We know who the Thirteenth Doctor is.
Before I go on, and even though this has already been spoiled everywhere already, just in case, this is your spoiler warning. Beyond this point, I will be talking about who the Thirteenth Doctor is. Also, just a disclaimer, these are all my initial reactions, I’ll probably do another post when we get nearer to Series 11 as to what my expectations are for that then.
So…….here we go again.
To be honest, as I was talking with a friend the other day, I mentioned how we might not be ready for a female Doctor, but that I would be okay with it if they chose the right actor for the part. I also said that I’d prefer Jodie Whittaker, whose name just popped up all of a sudden in the past few days, over Olivia Coleman. The reason why I said this is because I thought that Coleman, although a good actress, is a little bit too big of a name over Whittaker, although it would make sense for Chibnall to bring someone he had worked with before.
With regards to Kris Marshall, based on what I’ve seen from the “Death in Paradise” trailers, I was worried that Marshall might play it to quirky, and that he’d seem like the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) all over again.
So, for me, the safe bet was Marshall, a more interesting choice would be Whittaker, and I still held on to my random pet theory that I would love to see Catherine Tate back as the Doctor so that it would be a familiar face and the Doctor would be Ginger.
After refreshing my Twitter feed over and over again last night, I finally saw the video announcement on the official BBC Twitter, and as soon as I saw the hand and the eye, I knew it was Jodie Whittaker, and I was surprisingly very calm. I felt that I could rest easy with Whittaker at the helm of the TARDIS, even if I love Capaldi a lot. I think it was that little smile she gave when she saw the TARDIS in front of her.
We’ve only seen very little of her, but I hope that I also said to my friend about what I want the next Doctor to be like might happen. I said that personality wise, I’d like the Doctor to be less quirky than the Eleventh Doctor, and more “normal” but still “alien” in the way the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) was. A little bit low key like Nine, but still optimistic and hopeful like Eleven. (I haven’t seen Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor yet, so does anyone think that personality wise she could be like him a bit?)
I know that some people are worried, and this presents interesting points for speculation as well, but I think that if they wanted to change the dynamic and start things afresh, this is the way to go. It just depends on how well it is handled.
I honestly hope that the Doctor’s gender doesn’t become a big issue or a plot point, and based on what we’ve seen from other Time Lords regenerating into a different gender, it really didn’t matter. It was just a matter of fact thing that they’ve changed and that’s it. So, I hope that this isn’t something that becomes a major plot point and that it isn’t mentioned all the time, because after all, the Doctor, regardless of whether female or male, is still the Doctor at the core.
I think though, that this will be handled well, as Whittaker has already mentioned in an interview that she will be embracing all of who “I am”, meaning all of their/her lives.
Another big issue is as to who the new companion will be. I would honestly love the new companion to be male to balance things out, and so that we can have another strongly written male character that isn’t the Doctor. Or, we could have another female (a straight one), and they could have a more buddy-cop dynamic. I also wouldn’t be opposed to having both a female and male companions, or have an actual TARDIS team akin to the Fifth Doctor’s era.
However, I would love for the new companion to be either from the past, the future, or for them to be an alien as well, because I think we’ve had our fill of companions from present day.
Oh, and I’d rather that they would have no romance on the show between the Doctor and the companion. I think that dynamic only worked for Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and Ten (David Tennant), but I’d rather keep that at that.
I also love the fact that Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Peter Capaldi have all given their blessings to her, as did other past companions. Meanwhile, Peter Davison reminded everyone on Twitter that some fans might need a little more time to wrap their head around the fact that the new Doctor is a woman.
I am very, very excited for Whittaker, and I’m glad that the overall reaction is more positive, although there are still some fans who might need to take a little bit more time to adjust to this. However, she’s now joining the ranks of other strong female leads in science fiction shows, books and films, so I am really happy and excited for her.
I will probably cry when Capaldi regenerates, but at the same time, I am very excited to see Whittaker in action, and to see what kind of TARDIS team the Thirteenth Doctor will have.
So, as of the moment, what can we do to prep ourselves for the Thirteenth Doctor?
Let’s remember to give her a chance, and to wish her well, because I am pretty sure that both she and Chibnall are both excited AND nervous about all of these new changes that’s coming our way. We also have to trust in Chibnall as well to make the best decisions for the show.
To get a sense of what Chibnall can do, you can watch “Broadchurch” more than his “Doctor Who” episodes because he was the show runner of “Broadchurch”. With regards to his “Doctor Who” episodes, I agree that some are hit and miss, but they all had very interesting concepts in them.
You can also watch “Broadchurch” to see what Whittaker can do, and you can check out her other work as well.
We also have to remember how Missy was handled and how the General was handled as well, as mentioned earlier.
Another show that could be interesting to watch is an American show called “Timeless”, as it does deal with time travel, and the female lead is a little bit Doctor-ish in her own little way.
Lastly, please remember the Regeneration Cycle that all fans go through:
So, let’s welcome both the Thirteenth Doctor and Chris Chibnall with open arms, and relish the time we have left with both Moffat and Capaldi.
What did you think of the announcement? Are you looking forward to Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor? What is in your wish list for the new Doctor, companion and for Chibnall? Let me know what you think in the comments below!