Check Out What’s In Store for Doctor Who in Season 11

Brenda Watkins
October 9, 2018

Whittaker, 36, was introduced in the sci-fi's season 11 premiere on Sunday - one year after BBC America announced she'd be the 13th actor and the first female to play the role since the series began in 1963.

This beats overnight ratings for both Matt Smith (8 million) and Peter Capaldi's (6.8 million) debuts as the Doctor, but didn't match David Tennant's (9.4 million) - though that was also a Christmas special, which tend to draw in larger audiences.

Whittaker was by far and away the star of this episode, breathing new life into a classic character.

There were also glimpses of Shaun Dooley ("The Woman in Black"), Susan Lynch ("From Hell"), and Art Malik ("Cold Feet"), who had all been confirmed as appearing in this season. But five minutes in, I was just watching it as a fan again, and I'd forgotten that I knew them, and that they were my mates. It didn't come across as revolutionary other than seeing Whittaker in the role-and that's probably a good thing.

The Woman Who Fell To Earth saw a freshly regenerated Doctor crash land on Earth, but she wasn't the only alien to show up. And that's maybe for the best.

While Whittaker was honoured to get the role, she noted that the casting announcement seemed like a bigger deal than it was because "gender becomes immediately irrelevant within the show because the Doctor is the Doctor". Chris Chibnall and company managed to give us an episode that did its job and kept us intrigued for the rest of the season.

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There's a lot riding on this episode, probably the most important since Russell T Davies relaunched the series with Christopher Eccleston in 2005. We wanted to make a series that was very inclusive because for people like me, we're all very new Whovians as well. I asked her what the response has been like for her.

This new dawn for Doctor Who will be groundbreaking and exciting and fantastic and unpredictable and attractive and timeless. While it's easy to miss some of the show's hallmarks - the title sequence, the TARDIS - here's hoping the show will find them along the way just as the Doctor and her companions search for her time-space machine.

We were soon on familiar ground, as Whittaker's Doctor chased a mysterious, Predator-inspired alien through the streets of Sheffield.

That means that, differently from past seasons, they won't be doing any two-parters this season!

"Sonic screwdriver. Well, I say 'screwdriver, ' but it's more multipurpose than that". Nearly all of this feels like the Doctor, albeit a version with much of the bombast and pomposity stripped out of her.

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