What Do We Know So Far About the New Doctor Who Season?

Ever since Christmas, I’ve been in varying states of impatience and excitement for the new season of Doctor Who. I’ve stuck with Doctor Who through its ups and downs, and Peter Capaldi’s role as the Twelfth Doctor was undeniably an up. Peter is an incredible actor who made the part come alive again, and anyone who quit the show when he was cast missed out on an absolutely phenomenal Doctor.

But even in my love for Peter and my sadness at his final episode on Christmas Day, I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for the next season of Doctor Who, because when Doctor Who premieres this autumn, Jodie Whittaker will be starring as the Thirteenth Doctor, the first woman to ever play the part.

You know Jodie Whittaker from Broadchurch - which she ironically starred in alongside David Tennant, who played the tenth incarnation of The Doctor - and various other British shows and films, but this is the role that’s getting her international attention. We got to see her for a brief moment as Peter Capaldi regenerated in the Christmas Special, but it just wasn’t long enough.

 

She got one beautiful line before the TARDIS exploded and she fell from the sky, which is where the next season is going to pick up. How does she survive? How will she find her TARDIS? Will her new Companions help her along the way?

We’ve gotten to see the Thirteenth Doctor’s incredible new costume in the promo pictures, along with the outside of the TARDIS, but we’ve yet to see the inside that will be redecorated per the new Doctor’s tastes. We also know from her brief scene that Jodie will be using her natural Yorkshire accent to play the part, just like Peter Capaldi got to keep his Scottish accent. (Sorry, David Tennant, we love your Scottish accent even if you never used it in the show).

We also know that Chris Chibnall is the new showrunner, filling Steven Moffat’s shoes. Moffat’s tenure as showrunner has received mixed reviews, and while there are certainly some great things he brought to the show, it should be exciting to see the new direction Chris takes the Doctor in. He already cast the first woman in the role, so let’s hope he continues to impress us.

Unfortunately, we don’t have an air date yet. We only know that it will premiere sometime in autumn of 2018 - well, at least they’re not making us wait another full year. There will only be ten episodes in this season, but it looks like the show will make up for that with making their run times a little longer.

We also don’t know if there’ll be a Christmas Special yet, which is just a travesty. The Doctor Who Christmas Special is the reason for the season! Hopefully they’ll announce it soon.

With the new Doctor and showrunner also comes a new logo! It looks dark and exciting and fresh, and makes me even more excited for the show, which isn’t an easy feat for something as simple as a logo.

 

 

In possibly the most exciting news, we know who the Companions will be, and after all of these years, we finally have a fully fledged Team TARDIS again! Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, and Bradley Walsh will be starring alongside Jodie, and Sharon D. Clarke will appear in a recurring role. For those disappointed with another white Doctor even as we get the first woman, the diversity of the Companions is exciting to see!

 

Which brings us to why it’s so important that this new season of Doctor Who gets the attention and respect it deserves. Even if you’ve gotten disillusioned with the show in the past, or you don’t think sci-fi is your thing, or if you have some sort of distaste for one of the actors or writers - it’s still important to see this show. Even if you have a genuine critique of it, it’s still important to watch because if this season has substantially fewer viewers than in the past, we all know what will be blamed for it.

We need to support shows that are making an effort to give us female characters and characters of color, even if maybe they could be doing better or other shows are outstripping them. Doctor Who has a fifty-year history and this is its first female star. The Doctor is one of the most intelligent beings in the universe. He always has a plan. He’s always the smartest person in the room. And now he is a she - and that means something. It means something to see a woman in a position of power like that. As a longtime viewer of the show, I can’t wait to see a woman get to wield that kind of influence in such an iconic series. I’ve loved the other actors who have played the Doctor, but it’s typical to turn on your television and see a man as the most powerful person in the room. It’s not typical to see how the world will react to a woman having that position.

Jodie Whittaker and Doctor Who deserve at least a chance to prove how exceptional they can be. So even if you’ve never even seen an episode, give the season premiere a watch and see what you think. Maybe a fifty-year old show can still surprise us in its commitment to change.