We’ve seen four episodes of the new series of Doctor Who and that’s long enough for me to cast my opinion on the whole thing. Heck, it only took a couple of episodes to know I wasn’t keen on Capaldi, but where do I stand on the Whittaker era?
Good news: I love it! It’s fresh, fast, funny, approachable, likeable, different and new. Here are five slightly more specific thoughts:
- I really like this Doctor. I mean, Jodie Whittaker is brilliant with it. It’s lovely to have a more upbeat Doctor rather than one tormented by so many demons gone by. I’m sure we’ll see some of that as she begins to find herself, but for now it makes a refreshing change. I really like the balance between the cockiness we know of the Doctor coupled with the uncertainty of being in a new body – that’s lasting longer than usual, I think, and I like it. More than anything, I just enjoy that Jodie’s Doctor is reminiscent of David Tennant’s: kinda quirky, trying to fit in, mostly having fun, holding their own when required.
- They are officially Team Tardis. The one member of the team I, and many others, weren’t sure about when the group was announced was Bradley Walsh. I’ve not really had an opinion on him one way or the other before, but could his cheeky chappy daytime quiz show style fit the sci-fi universe? I actually think Team Tardis are a really good crew. Misfits, with Yas and Ryan providing the young and enthusiastic element, and Bradley providing just a bit of grounding. It’s an interesting part he’s playing really – up for it but also nervous, vulnerable, asking the questions we often want to ask. Given recent companions such as Clara and Bill who were ready to explore every inch of the universe and then some, this more tentative attitude is fascinating.
- There’s a clear new style on show. Lots of close ups, lots of blurry moments, playing around with depth and deception, faces looming in and out in a dream-like state. Sometimes I think it can be slightly over-used but overall I like the more arty style.
- Standalone stories. As mentioned, it’s nice that this Doctor is so far upbeat and not tormented. It’s also nice that these seem to be straight forward monster-of-the-week stories. There’s no over-arching big bad, not yet. I think there’s room for both in Doctor Who, but at the minute it’s nice to have the standalone episodes.
- There are some niggles. I like pretty much everything I’ve seen so far, but it’s worth pointing out two things. I really like the outfit, it’s functional and iconic, but I can’t be the only person that spends at least ten minutes of each episode worrying that the gorgeous coat will get dirty? Also, I am not on board with the new theme tune at all.
So to sum up, I’m on board. It’s not perfect but I’ve enjoyed each episode so far and look forward to the next, and that’s pretty much all I ask from my Doctor.