After waiting for what feels like several lifetimes, our favorite Time Lord is back with new adventures! We're wiping the slate clean with new showrunner Chris Chibnall, and of course the new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. Everything is different, which can feel a little unnerving at times, but it's also exciting, so let's jump in and discuss 13's first episode, "The Woman Who Fell to Earth."
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
- Who here had the new era beginning with a teenager learning how to ride a bike? Raise your hands. Put those hands down, you liars.
- Graham is Ryan's step-grandfather? Sure, why not. People seem to have strong feelings about actor Bradley Walsh. We confess to not knowing much about him ahead of time, which seems like a good thing in this case. The one thing we can't help noticing right from the start is how much Graham sounds like Wilfred Mott (played of course by the wonderful Bernard Cribbins.)
- Don't remember Ryan's grandmother being named one of this season's companions. That's not going to end well.
- Hey, isn't that the same spot as the promo where Jodie Whittaker was revealed as the new Doctor? Pretty sure it's now the coolest bit of woods on the planet.
- Yaz says she wants to be tested by something different. Looks like she'll get her wish.
- No opening credits this week? Can't wait to see what they look like before episode 2.
- Like that we get about 10 minutes to meet the others before Jodie Whittaker literally drops in. It gives the audience a chance to invest in them before the Doctor overwhelms everyone.
- Immediate response to #13: Jodie Whittaker comes out swinging right from the start. You can feel the energy coming off her has she runs from end to end of the train. She's also slightly crazy, which is the norm for a Doctor who is still finishing their regeneration. We've got no problem believing she was a white-haired Scotsman 30 minutes ago. This is a promising start.
- The Doctor tells the others, "Don't be scared. All of this is new and new can be scary." It's also a reminder to certain parts of the fan-base to take a deep breath and calm down.
- Like the promos before them, the visuals on this show are terrific.
- We're assuming that little energy burst that leaves the Doctor while she's asleep is the last of #12. Peter Capaldi had a mixed run, but when it was all working, it was amazing. Appreciate the chance to say goodbye to him one last time as we push forward.
- Our new villain looks like something out of the Marvel Universe. We're excited to find out what new baddies Chibnall and company have for us this season, while the Daleks and Cybermen take a well-deserved/much-needed break.
- This is a nice job of giving the new viewers a quick primer on the regeneration and sonic screwdriver. Here's what you need to know, and boom, we're back to the story.
- We're loving the new soundtrack. It's dramatic and effective while still sounding fresh.
- The 13th Doctor climbs cranes. Good to know.
- There we go, the speech where everything starts clicking for #13. The rage is still there, so is the compassion, and we've got our Doctor. Welcome back!
- That was the most straight-forward costume change we've seen in the modern era.
- We're looking forward to the eventual return of the TARDIS. It's going to be torture if we have to wait until the season finale for that reunion! Seriously, wasn't it right around the corner from this week's ship in those woods? Fine, we'll wait.
"The Woman Who Fell to Earth" was exactly what we hoped it would be. The episode was new while still feeling connected to the show's history. Our biggest fear was that Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker might not have a firm grasp on who the 13th Doctor is right from the start. (See Peter Capaldi's first season, for example.) However, it's clear that they have a game plan, and they've hit the ground running. This show had good character development, strong pacing, and it both looked and sounded fantastic. The era of the 13th Doctor has finally begun, and we are all in.
Here we go! (pic via bbc.co.uk)