Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Who Is This? The Doctor Is Back

The new season, new Doctor and new showrunner had their debut on Sunday.  Thanks to the BBC America ap on our Firestick or whatever it is, I got to see it.

So the long whatever that was of Steven Moffat is over, as thrilling and challenging as some of it was. With Chris Chibnal we are back in Russell T Davies territory, with the emphasis on real life and family, along with the interstellar multi-dimensional adventures. Like in Davies stories, good people and sympathetic characters die, but the Doctor carries on.

 Similarly, Jodie Whittaker returns the Doctor to the exuberant pro-active David Tennant mold.  But those early reviews I saw quoted at Doctor Who News that claimed, apparently as praise, that within a few minutes they forgot the Doctor is now a woman, really missed the point.  Jodie Whittaker brings a different flavor of exuberance to the Doctor, and it's unlikely that this will be the only difference that feels like it comes from this actor who is a woman.  This Doctor is definitely a woman.

The Doctor Who News review felt the regeneration was handled most similarly to the first Matt Smith episode, but I definitely saw resemblances to the first David Tennant story, right down to the wisp of regeneration energy that escapes the Doctor while she sleeps.  But regeneration was even more of a theme--as the Doctor turns it into a possibility for everyone at every decisive moment: the chance to change while remaining the same person.

The result is that I felt good after seeing it in a way I haven't since Tennant and Davies' "Christmas Invasion" (however much I admired the episodes introducing Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi). I think I get to see a couple of more episodes of this season before BBC America shuts me down.  Oh well--I'm not used to the commercials anymore, and I could really use subtitles, so I hope they will still make DVDs because that's likely to be the way I will eventually see it.

No comments: