Like much of Britain, or even the world, Doctor Who holds a particularly special place in my heart and I’m overjoyed to see it re-materialise onto our screens.
Spoilers to follow.
Unlike the other eight million viewers, I was stuck on a train at 6:55pm Sunday evening, returning home after a lovely break in Wales with my girlfriend. Unfortunately combining this with dodgy WiFi and a poorly charged phone meant missing the episode’s live broadcast. I know, woe is me.
However I did not fret, and instead I avidly avoided spoiler central until I could sit down and finally watch The Woman Who Fell to Earth. Two delayed trains plus a £20 Uber ride later, and Doctor Who was back in my life. Admittedly I was scared about the revitalised Who, but I shouldn’t have been, because this episode is everything I needed while simultaneously being everything I didn’t know I wanted.
The whole episode felt un-ironically down-to-earth as grit, passion and loss were beautifully woven into a classic Who style adventure. A statement that admittedly seems a little out of place when you’re talking about a time-travelling alien with two hearts who exploded and became a woman. But, it’s true, and it’s more than certainly down to the new boss, Chris Chibnall, reinventing the show down to its smallest foundations. But, it’s definitely the big changes to that’ll have the audiences on the edge of their seats every week.
One big change is how pretty the show now looks. The cinematography was outstanding and each and every shot left my jaw dropping like a hungry snake. What a joyous time we live in now that a show like Doctor Who can boast visuals and special effects that match those of high budget Netflix originals. While the monster looked straight out of a Predator parody, I couldn’t help but be excited when it turned up. Various critics online seem to be pointing it out as the only bad part of the episode, but I wholeheartedly disagree. 2005 me loved it, and 2018 me agrees. Creepy-tooth-face Tim Shaw is Doctor Who monster if I’ve ever seen one. It’s classic hide behind the sofa stuff. Fantastic.
But the biggest change is undoubtedly Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor. Jodie is simply majestic in the role. Form the very first moment she crashes into our lives, it’s clear she was born to play the famous Time-Lord. All the right notes are there; the wit, leadership and protectiveness of her friends are all big Doctor traits, and Whittaker pulls them off without breaking a sweat. I’ve certainly got respect for the Thirteenth Doctor, I probably would’ve vomited my dinner if I had face down vajazzled-tooth man on my first outing.
There’s some clunky dialogue and normal Doctor Who quirks – but that’s all part of the charm and it wouldn’t be the same without it.
All and all, Doctor Who has certainly made a triumphant 2018 return. The show saw an average of 8.2 million viewers in its new Sunday teatime slot. This makes the broadcast the most-watched since David Tennant’s 2008 series opener. A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.
Check out the episode for yourself by visiting the BBC iPlayer website.
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