Rating 4/5 – Doctor Who Season 11 has arrived and as of this writing we’ve had two whole episode of Jodie Whittaker at our 13th Doctor and as always I’m having an awesome time with this show. Jodie Whittaker is not on social media, which does not surprise me at all. Frankly, I don’t blamer her, the amount of sexist idiots who must have filled her social media with the usual torrent of ignorance is something we men can only epathise with, because we rarely experience it ourselves. There is no set rule to the sex, race or gender of a Gallifrey Time Lord, but you just know every white (mostly male, mostly right-wing) asshole was going off like animals about it. “THE DOCTOR CAN ONLY BE A WHITE GUY!” they’d scream before sending this woman all kinds of horrible shit only a Trump supporter would love. You’d think science fiction geeks, especially Whovians, would demonstrate more tolerance. Seriously boys, he genre is the very definition of forward thinking, Shouldn’t this mean zero tolerance for being complete monsters, even as crazy as this world is getting?
Jodie Whittaker the 13th Doctor
So, how is Jodie Whittaker doing? Bloody awesome. I’m not one of those who thinks all the doctors should have some kind of gladiatorial match in my mind battling to see who is my favorite. My favorite is Tom Baker, duh! He’s the one I was introduced to and that the first image that pops in my head when I think “The Doctor.” Second to him would be David Tenant because I liked his look and his style. Looks like third is totally going to be Jodie Whittaker because Doctor Who Season 11 has something to it I did not know I even missed, a sense of fun in perpetual motion. Let me explain.
Doctor Who is just one of those “just go with it” shows. I’ve watched and read many reviews and have always felt too many of them get into this high minded examination of the shows I don’t think it ever needed. However, it’s easy to see the writers and directors seemed to want to add more serious stories into the show over the past few years. Don’t get me wrong the show has always been fun. This weird alien traveling all over the place getting into one situation after the other in a spaceship/time machine that looks like an old English police box because he broke his chameleon circle? I’m not sure how people can’t have fun with the thing.
Doctor Who Season 11 hit the ground running passing out smiles and wonder to everyone. Okay, I’ve got one complaint about the first episode, but it has nothing to do with Jodie Whittaker or the new companions. (And yes, they are “companions” – all the companions were the Doctor’s friends. Get over it.)
Episode 1: The Woman Who Fell To Earth
The one thing I found interesting with Doctor Who Season 11’s first show was hit was fun. Don’t get me wrong, Doctor Who is a fun show but the last few Doctors have been on a more dark and serious tone, IMO. Peter Capaldi came in with a slight “things are going to get really dark” tone. In many wasy, so did Matt Smith. By the end of their season, things did get dark. Jodie Whittaker came in promising a hell of a roller coaster ride. I’m fine with that.
As with the new tradition of new Doctors, Capaldi regenerates in the Tardis (because the Doctor hasn’t learned from that yet) and, of course. The Tardis, of course, gets damaged. This is the traditional way of introducting new Doctors and Tardis designs. Then the the new Doctor drops into a weird alien invasion. I know, all the invasions on Doctor Who are weird. Then the show is about how she takes care of business. Writer Chris Chibnall feels like he’s going to the old lighthearted pleasure we haven’t seen in a bit. I’m fine with that too. I didn’t like the tooth alien guy, but the weird electric tentacle thing was fun.
My only problem with The Woman who fell to Earth was the ending. It just felt so unnecessary. I was personally hoping everyone was going to be new companions. It’s been so long since companions have been a group, rather than one this feels like real change. I will miss the cute perky females, but I like his new group well enough.
Episode 2: The Ghost Monument
Once again there was a sense of fun in The Ghost Monument. This leads me to believe this is going to be the tone for Doctor Who Season 11. After the Doctor’s big mistake in last episode’s cliffhangers, the gang finds themselves in this show version of the Amazing Race. This episode was filled the usual fast pacing we’ve always gotten from the Doctor. Even with a lot of serious overtones the feel of “we’re having fun with this” works for me. Of the new companions, I can’t say I have a favorite but it no one’s fault. It will take a lot to replace Martha Jones, Amy Pond/Rory and Clara Oswald/Her. (Yes I LOVED “Her”, get past it.)
In this episode we got a sense of the chemstry between the companions. We also got a better sense of what to expect from Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor. I just hope the companions survive as a group by the end. I know it’s Doctor Who and that’s not exactly how these things go, but here’s hoping. I had no problem with the story, and I like that the “villain of the week” wasn’t as clearly defined as it usually is. I just hope the tooth aliens aren’t going to be the running theme on this because I’m just not that into them.
Doctor Who Season 11 – Bottom Line
So far, so good. We’ve got a really fun Doctor, fun stories let a bit more sunshine and companions are a group you can really connect with. I’m a little put off by the subject of the next show. Rosa Parks, guys. No. Just no. I can predict how that’s going to go. How does Doctor Who Season 11 holds up? I’d say pretty damn good so far. I hope to see more from Jodie Whittaker and I hope they move beyond the tooth monsters. Season had a great start and I highly recommend it.