A new Doctor Who. And a new Doctor. So how does she do. How does the show do? How will the audience do?
1. A Very Social Doctor
Talking about the best woman he knows. Obviously has to be the Doctor right? We just haven’t met her yet, not with these eyes… a clear bit of familiarity for the kids, but also a sign that this is a Doctor Who series that is at least au fait with social media as if it’s just another thing, rather than being called out for its oddness by previous Doctors. You can even use it to track down alien activity and learn crane operating techniques.
2. Red Bike When You Were Twelve
He can’t ride a bike, how is he going to steer a TARDIS? If Ryan gets that far of course. At least grandad Graham can drive a bus – or at least he used to. What do you bet that will come into play before the end of the season? Nice views though. Sheffield doesn’t look quite as pretty when you get closer.
3. Curiosity Usually Kills The Doctor
Alien portals and a pod that comes through… or is it a giant blue frozen Hershey’s Kiss?? And while Ryan may not be great with physical coordination, he does have bags of curiosity, which should do in a pinch. And as we will see on the train with Grace, curiosity clearly runs in the family.
4. Yasmine Is The Man
While police recruit Yasmine shows masterly forms of diplomacy. Trust me, fight between Sheffield women, they’re lucky only a hammer got thrown. Cybermen will be a piece of cake. But worth noting there are very few references to Doctor Who canon beyond the Doctor themselves. This is not The Eleventh Hour…
5. It Gets Dark Quickly Up North
Set it in Sheffield and those nights drawn in sharpish. From the forest to the train, the night hits like a hammer through a windscreen. But at least we got a Sheffield steel reference when creating this new ergonomic, slightly less phallic (but only slightly) sonic screwdriver.
6. Layer It On
There are a few references to how the Doctor Who fanbase may be feeling about a new Doctor, let alone a new female Doctor. And when she says ‘all this is new, and new can be scary’, or talking about being able to ‘honour who wev’e been and choose who we want to be next’ she’s talking to and assuring certain members of the audience. Not my kids though, they were lapping this up. Lots of questions, lots of answers…
7. Attack The Doc
Everyone seen Attack The Block, also starring Jodie Whittaker? That alien invasion in a South London housing estate movie does seem to be reflected here as we get an alien hunt across the dregs of an industrial city. More so than Predator 2. Why is she running at another alien, Graham? Because… she’s the Doctor. When she works it out. Never seen danger she doesn’t run towards, arms flapping. Although she doesn’t throw salad at them. That would be too much. Oh and clearly the Gathering Coils don’t respect the Data Protection Act.
8. It’s Dangerous Being A Grandparent
In case you wanted a little Grace foreshadowing, a security guard making a call to his granddaughter because he can’t tuck her into bed is as much a death sentence as a fighter pilot flying one last mission because he marries his sweetheart. And we all knew Grace wasn’t in the ongoing cast…
9. Leap Of Faith
It was probably a lot easier than walking between those rotating air conditioning blades…and the gag about having longer legs worked a treat. Always good for the doctor to perform some kind of physically impossible feat. Not just about the grey matter…
10. Accidental Travellers
In recent years, the Doctors companions have chosen to join the Doctor. But that wasn’t always the case, in the first episode Barbara and Ian were kidnapped so as not to give the Doctor and Susan away, and a few followed that pattern in years to come. This episode seems to have brought that back again, the Doctor trying to get her companions home and more than likely failing in the attempt.
I do hope a ship with an Infinite Improbability Drive comes by…
11. Write The Theme Tune, Sing The Theme Tune
I think that was the original melody from the 1963 theme tune with a little bin bashing from Stomp over the top, wasn’t it? And they kept it until the end…
Okay so… that was a Doctorish Doctor, that drew on the structure of Rose, a little Mummy On The Orient Express, a little Unearthly Child, a little Logopolis and a bit of The End Of The World. Some people in the house who weren’t convinced that this could be the new Doctor (and to be fair had the same thought about Matt Smith) seem won over…