In his five decades touring the cosmos and the popular imagination, Doctor who It has given us a lot of philosophies to choose from: "Advance in all your beliefs". "It does not make sense for you to grow up if you can not be childish sometimes." "We are all stories at the end". The bananas are good. "But at the premiere of yesterday's season 11, the last incarnation of Time Lord, who changes faces, changes faces, changes his face, gave voice to the most enduring philosophy of the show:" Somos Todos capable of the most incredible change. "
As sure as the Doctor has two hearts, the change is integrated into the DNA of this show. It has a lot to do with Doctor whoThe enduring message of hope and progress, and even more to do with practicality: a show can continue indefinitely if its leadership can change body every time an actor decides to leave. In its 54 years of history, 12 uncles have assumed the role, four of them only in the last 13 years, since the series resurrection in 2005. But no change has been more monumental, more shocking of time, than the decision of that the Doctor regenerates as a woman.
As with any important news about a beloved franchise, last year's announcement that our hero would be transformed from Peter Capaldi to Jodie Whittaker (along with a new showrunner, Large church write Chris Chibnall) found equal parts of euphoria and derision. But the proof is in the pudding, and Whittaker's long-awaited debut, "The Woman Who Fell to Earth," is an episode firmly rooted in the Who Tradition while offering something deliriously new.
After six seasons under the showrunner Steven Moffat, who delighted in the kind of "timey-wimey" plot that would leave your head spinning, the character's myths had become so intricate that they were indecipherable to new or casual viewers. The last series fortunately makes its way through that jungle of background story to bring us a new beginning. New to this universe? Do not worry, like the doctor.
Freshly regenerated and separated from her TARDIS (that's the blue police box that can travel through time and space and is bigger inside, for those who join us), Whittaker's Who lands on Earth dressed in the torn and oversized clothing of his predecessor. She is a bit confused and is still cooking, completely new to her body. "Why are you calling me Mrs"Ask one of the first humans you know." When he discovers that it is because he is a woman, he opens his eyes with surprise and joy.
But it does not matter, because the lady has extraterrestrials to fight as soon as possible, in this case, an electrified tentacle creature and a goth-like ranger-like type that threatens the great Sheffield. Would not be Doctor who without some idiots threatening Great Britain, or without a skeptic, humane human or four to join the Lord of Time in his heroic deeds.
The new group of companions breaks the usual mold of "brave young woman who seeks to have an adventure". This time, it's a quartet: local teenager Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole); the police in training Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill); Ryan & # 39; nan, Grace (Sharon D. Clarke); and her husband, Graham (Bradley Walsh). Together, they help the doctor, but very sure, to find their doctor, to design a new and bright sonic screwdriver, and to eliminate the threat of the week. (It is a testament to the spirit of inclusion of the new series that this group includes three actors of color).
Appropriately, said villain is a personified toxic masculinity: a grave-speaking extraterrestrial (Samuel Oatley) who comes from a planet where they hunt and kill innocents by sport to ascend rank; As fun, gross bonus, the man uses the teeth of his victims as face jewelry. When the Doctor wins the day and puts his own DNA fusion weapons against him, she says, "You had a choice, you did this to yourself, go home."
It is one of several lines in the episode that works both within the plot and as a message for skeptics and those who hate. "Do not be afraid, this is all new to you, and the new can be scary," he tells Graham, and later, in a confrontation from the top of the crane: "We can evolve while remaining true to who we are. We can honor who we have been and choose who we want to be next. " Everything is in the nose, of course, but you could argue that this is a moment, in a show whose occasional hard hand is part of its charm – when everyone's noses need a good prick.
Because, well, let's become personal here: as a Who fan since Christopher Eccleston took Billie Piper's hand for the first time and shouted, "Run!" In 2005, I fell in love with the Doctor's particular brand of heroism. You already know the exercise: brains on muscles, divine powers married with self-critical wit, ardent curiosity, hidden darkness, infinite wonder and a determined compassion even for the most monstrous creatures.
Through its many incarnations, the program has imagined a universe of infinite possibilities, so it seemed absurd that the Doctor limited himself to resurrecting as a series of white types. Not that the 12 men who have been the captain of the TARDIS have not been frequently brilliant, but like many other women who love Doctor who, I have been waiting for the day when that glow of regeneration from the Lord of Time would fade away to reveal a different type of face than we were accustomed to.
It is a multiversally recognized truth that the Doctor is always the most intelligent and capable person in any room. And the value of seeing. a woman In that position, after five decades of strange men, you can not underestimate it. The real world is far behind, but when it comes to speculative fiction, we have the science fiction equivalent of a president.
Whittaker (who is best known for her previous work with Chibnall in Large church) absolutely owns the part from the moment she jumps to the frame. Like all doctors, she is a ball of frantic energy and a single line, commanding the room making everyone else nervous and nervous. But it also brings something else to the table that sets it apart from its male background: emotional availability. Take the way you describe the experience of regeneration: "There is a moment in which you are sure that you are about to die, and then … you were born! It is terrifying." The previous incarnations attracted the power to deeply push their true feelings; Whittaker's version transmits them to the outdoors, and is no less formidable for her.
There comes a moment in the first episode of each Doctor when they oppose the villain, they squat and declare: "I am the Doctor". It's a formula, but it's exciting; The mantra is both the establishment of a nickname and a mission statement, a so-called superhero to combat injustice in time and space. And when Whittaker says it, whipped by the wind and majestic in the charred remains of a black coat tailored to an old body that no longer served, sent a chill down my spine. For the first time in half a century, women are not simply in the passenger seat of the TARDIS. We are the damned lords of time and space.