Doctor Who is a Woman?! Its About Time!!!
On July 16, 2017, one of the biggest announcements in the Doctor Who universe was made. With the departure of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor was nearing, everyone was waiting for news of his replacement. For years there has been a demand for the first female Doctor. That wish was granted when Jodie Whittaker was declared the new Doctor (13th Doctor-the War Doctor is not included in this count). Many fans were not receptive of this decision. People said the show was now ruined because the Doctor was now a woman. Some were down right sexist saying a woman should never be allowed to play the iconic role because that’s simple the way things are. Yet for the millions of other fans, this was the moment of a lifetime. There was excitement in the air. Whovians around the world were looking forward to the fresh new spin on the series; a new Doctor and a female one at that.
This season has been one of the best seasons since Matt Smith last played the Doctor (11th Doctor) December 25, 2013. While Peter Capaldi did a good job as the 12th Doctor, the show was missing something. As a dedicated Whovian, I found a few of his episodes dull. Keeping Clara as his companion for the majority of his reign didn’t help. She served her purpose as “The Impossible Girl” during Matt Smith’s era and it seem like they didn’t quite know what to do with her. The same can be said about Capaldi’s Doctor. There was no clear direction and it was apparent. The Doctor Who series started losing viewership and things didn’t look good. However, with this new incarnation of the Doctor as played by Jodie Whittaker, the show has become refreshing. There were many in the fandom that were afraid the series would constantly reference the Doctor’s new gender and the show would become about “women’s issues”. Not only is it never mentioned-except in the first episode when she realizes she’s a woman and this would be a new experience for her-it’s not even a thought. When the new Doctor talks about her past, it’s in regards to her past regenerations, not her past as a male. The new Doctor has that high energy we’ve seen with Matt Smith’s Doctor. She’s everywhere at once, constantly in motion. She thinks out loud, working everything out with her companions via discussing ideas until she figures out the solution. The show has become exciting again.
The new companions are a breath of fresh air as well, a group of 3 individuals, different races, genders, and ages all connected somehow to each other. Ryan Sinclair, played by Tosin Cole, is the first black male companion that’s the central character. He’s not the extra person that comes along occasionally like Mickey, the boyfriend of Rose Tyler (9th and 10th Doctor’s companion). He is the one that brings everyone together. Yasmin Khan, played by Mandip Gill, was a school mate of Ryan. Her Pakistani background lead way to an entire episode dedicated to her past, which also happens to mention the day India and Pakistan became divided. Graham O’Brien, played by Bradley Walsh, is Ryan’s step-grandfather. There relationship starts out complicated. Graham married Ryan’s grandmother three years prior to his introduction into the series and he hadn’t fully accepted him. Tragedy and their travels with the Doctor created a bond they would have never had if the Doctor had not entered their lives.
These three people have learned that family doesn’t have to be bond by blood. The interaction between them and the Doctor is natural and family oriented, very different from the awkward dynamic between Clara and the 12th Doctor. The new Doctor has yet to decide what to call her companions (fam, peeps, crew) but it’s obvious they’re more than just companions. In the holiday episode “Resolution,” she refers to them as her best friends and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate term.
Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the Doctor has just ended. So far people are into her and her rendition of the Doctor. Sometimes a change is needed to bring back that spark. This change is for the better. Whovians are looking forward to the new adventures of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and the new direction of the modern Doctor Who Series.