The Doctor is dead. Long live the Doctor. We know Jodie Whittaker is leaving and we know who is replacing her but the information is a little garbled in that David Tennant as the Doctor is also coming back as well as companions Tegan Jovanka (actress Janet Fielding) and Ace (actress Sophie Aldred), either here or the next episode as Ncuti Gatwa isn’t really appearing until next year. The Doctor going over some of his past regenerations in transition isn’t new, although it was first most apparent in Tennant’s tenure.
For the record and the BBC announcing viewing figures were down, I do think Whittaker did a good job but was often let down by the scripts often putting her into a secondary position or certainly not as proactive as her early regenerations. Would any of the others stayed in prison for 15 years than finding out more about her origins? Showrunner Chris Chibnall has certainly thrown a spanner in the works revealing that the Doctor is actually the first Time Lord and the Gallifreyans genetically manipulated themselves to acquire the twin hearts and the ability to regenerate, usually only 13 times.
That limitation can be adjusted and the Master appears to be the only example of this, although if we’ve had one reveal, then who’s to say there won’t be another. After all, where there’s one reveal, there might be another or even a recant. Only Russell T Davis coming back as showrunner will know that. ‘Doctor Who’ is always reinventing itself.
So, settle down and be comfortable for a full 90 minutes Who time and really packs a lot in. What is bad is everything is spoiler. If I give the cast list, its spoiler. It’s a corker for Who history and is going to give many of you gulps with so many people reappearing.
So, lets tread carefully. The Chibnall trademark is having events happening in different places in different times but joining the dots doesn’t make much sense when it could easily all be done in the same time frame. It would if things were at different stages of development but that’s the only critical flaw. I suspect a lot of the plot will be under different studies for a long time to come picking out various details.
Yaz (actress Mandip Gill) is outstanding in this story. The Master (actor Sascha Dhawan) scary as hell. The Doctor still gets things done with a threat than actually do anything herself when it comes to Daleks and Cyberpeople. How the Master can come from this will no doubt be invented. There might also be further developments of liaisons between the Daleks and Cybermasters as the Master’s legacy. If there are plans to bring adjacent storylines out, then it would either with Kate Stewart or Ace or both. Certainly when she put her jacket back on, Ace became the character of old and is probably the most dangerous of the early companions although Yaz might be best TARDIS pilot.
There’s certainly a lot of loose ends tied up here and certainly goes off with a bang even if the regeneration at the end isn’t quite what it seems.
Do I like the story? I’m still thinking about that. There are some flaws but the overall story works quite well and gives some insight into regenerations although you do have to wonder how many other Time Lords have experienced such a revelation.
First impressions are good and Jodie Whittaker certainly had a magnificent send off. Hopefully, the next story will explain what is going on next. Watch and think and who was missing from the companion support group among the lives ones.
23 October 2022