K E Y P O I N T S
- Jodie Whittaker made her proper debut as The Doctor after making a small appearance during the Christmas episode
- She has succeeded Peter Capaldi in the role of the Time Lord, becoming the first-ever woman to play the character
- The Doctor was joined by a host of new companions Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh), Ryan Sinclair (Toisin Cole) and Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill)
- ‘The Woman Who Fell To Earth’ followed straight on from the Doctor’s regeneration, and saw her introduced to a new adversary, who was (quite literally) a face full of teeth
S N A P V E R D I C T
As ever with the first episode of a new ‘Who’ era, ‘The Woman Who Fell To Earth’ served more to introduce us to a brand new line-up than as a romp through time and space - but what an introduction it was.
It seems only sensible to start with the woman of the moment - Jodie Whittaker. A lot has been made of her gender in the lead up to her debut episode, but it is not something we thought about once during the episode (except when we were cheekily reminded with the “Why are you calling me madam?” wink to camera). All we were really focussed on was whether she was up to the job, and within her first few seconds on screen, it became abundantly clear she was more than a match for any of her predecessors.
Her Doctor has a huge amount of charm and wit, and Jodie brings pace and a frenetic energy to the role, elements of which are reminiscent of Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Time Lord. It’s a huge step away from the brusqueness Peter Capaldi brought to the Doctor, and a welcome one at that.
It’s harder to tell about the Doctor’s new assistants - Ryan, Yasmin and Graham - though, but the early signs are good. The characters seem to have range and depth, but there is a worry the Tardis could become a little overcrowded (once they eventually find it).
Arguably, though, the biggest change comes in how the show looks and feels.
New show runner Chris Chibnall (aka Mr ‘Broadchurch’) has sought to completely reinvent the aesthetic, and it looks slicker and more grown up, but the narrative of the show also feels less convoluted at the same time, opening it back up to less hardcore fans.
One of the biggest criticisms about the show during Steven Moffat’s tenure in charge is that stories became too hard to follow - something that, judging by the first episode, Chris has sought to reverse. Even the monsters appear scarier, and it is a long overdue decision to rest some of the classic villains in favour of establishing new adversaries.
So if you’re a casual ‘Who’ viewer who has dropped out recently, now is definitely the time to jump back in. And if you’ve never watched before, welcome aboard - you’re in for a gloriously bumpy ride.
B E S T L I N E S
Why are you calling me madam?... Sorry, I've just remembered. Half an hour ago I was a white-haired Scotsman!
We don't get aliens in Sheffield
T A K E H O M E M E S S A G E
It remains to be seen what the hardcore Whovians will pick apart about ‘new Who’, but this huge reboot means the show is no longer just about them.
Jodie’s era sets out to create a whole new army of fans, and we really don’t think she’s going to struggle recruiting them.