Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who Debut Scores Big

Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who Debut Scores Big

While The New York Times said the first episode did not pop as much as previous seasons had, Lucy Mangan in The Guardian said the episode revived a show that had become to complex and self-involved. In fact, even those who were skeptical about the very idea of a female Doctor seem to have been won over by Jodie Whittaker.

As "The Woman Who Fell To Earth", the emotional and (literally) down-to-earth season opener on which Whittaker made her debut, amply demonstrated, the Doctor can be anything, as long as it's British. I'm working on it all.... The episode itself is about change - the ways in which we move forward in the face of events that change everything about who we are, the divide between the person you are and the person you're going to be. In this way, season 11 of Doctor Who is a fresh start for the show, with a new Doctor, new showrunner (Broadchurch's Chris Chibnall), new companions and new, more cinematic look. This message transmitted from my viewing of the first ten minutes of the latest Doctor Who. I predict great things as the season develops. "Sorry, half an hour ago I was a white-haired Scotsman", she says, referring to Peter Capaldi, who portrayed the 12th incarnation of the popular two-hearted alien hero. The show has a history of renewal, while also staying faithful to what it is. "That's the major thing, not the female bit", she tells me. She impressed the critics with her debut episode, which aired on BBC One last night.

In crafting a self-contained ensemble drama, there is evidence that Chibnall's team will avoid the overly-intricate plotting of the outgoing Steven Moffat-led era. Naturally, she also comes with her distinctive sonic screwdriver, because ... well, why wouldn't she. Fans of the reboot have thus far been robbed of this experience, and I hope that we can expect more ludicrous finales as the weeks roll by.

Doctor Who will be available on ABC iView on Mondays at 5.45am AEDT, from October 8, immediately after the United Kingdom broadcast. You just assume the doctor is a man, for no clearly definable reason. But also, it's a great time for a new generation of children and families to start the habit of gathering around the television together to watch this amusing, scary, extraordinary show! What she learned from her binge watching was "how inclusive it is".

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