I hate to be the naysayer, but I’m a little worried about New Who (the titular mantle now inherited by Chris Chibnall’s iteration of the show).
Worried about a female doctor? Hell no. It’s the most exciting thing to happen to the show since it got resurrected in the first place.
Worried about Bradley Walsh. Nope. If they’re going to do what I hope they’re going to do with him, it’ll be a blast.
Worried about the other new cast-members? Worried about them being soap refugees (apparently)? Worried about all the diversity? Nope, nope and nope.
Here’s what I’m worried about: the BBC losing faith in the show. The numbers have been on the slidey side lately, and, like it or not, introducing a female Doctor is a risk. A cynic–who is obviously definitely not me–might think that that the BBC is worried that Jodie Whitaker might not be able to carry the show on her own, and is therefore surrounding her with a range of other characters (which is what happened when Tom Baker left) in the hopes that at least one of the characters will land with potentially disaffected audiences. The last three (male) Doctors have all started their days in the TARDIS with a single companion, giving the new Doctor plenty of opportunity to make his mark.
Hopefully I’m wrong, and this is all just part of a new vision for the show–and, believe me, I get as excited as anyone to see how the show changes and evolves each time the showrunner or Doctor changes.
And, then again, the BBC is giving us fewer episodes each year. At first I was all up for this, when rumours suggested that we were getting 60 minute episodes instead of 45. That sort of change offers the chance for a completely new storytelling dynamic–a whole extra 15 minutes to craft a story in. And then it turned out each episode is only being extended by 5 minutes, which … isn’t so exciting. And, in fact, it smacks of nothing more than the BBC trying to reduce the costs of the show.
Again, I might be wrong. And I am seriously excited to see a completely different version of the show at some point in 2018. I just hope that Jodie Whitaker is given the space to own the show, as every previous [male] Doctor has; and I hope that the change in format (and running length) has a better rationale than money saving.
So, come on New Who–bring it, and prove me wrong 🙂