And so we’ve arrived at the end of Jodi Whittaker’s time as the Doctor. (Yeah, as usual, I’m running a couple of weeks behind. Had to finish the first season of The Sandman first. Hopefully there’ll be a second season. But I digress. As usual.)
The haters can stop hating. Not that they will, of course, but they can. After all, their childhood is still there, safely in the past. And the next Doctor will (presumably) have dangly bits.
Which was probably inevitable. Gods and goddesses forfend we should have two female Doctors in a row. Ncuti Gatwa has been well-publicized as the next Doctor. But at the end of Jodi’s last show, we instead got former and now future Doctor David Tennant instead. Because the BBC apparently feels that a diamond anniversary has to be backward looking.
Is it unreasonable of me to suggest a connection between this little surprise, delaying the first appearance of a black Doctor*, and the announced deal with Disney+ for American broadcast and financial investment?
* Yes, we have already seen a black Doctor–and a female one at that–but Jo Martin hasn’t been the protagonist in any of the episodes she’s appeared in. Personally, I’d love at least a couple of seasons of her story, but I’m confident in predicting it’s never going to happen. It’s abundantly clear that nobody in a position to shape the future of the show is interested in exploring the Doctor’s past beyond what we’ve already seen.
Three episodes with David a year from now, before Ncuti steps in. At least, that’s the announced plan. Much could happen in a year; as the saying goes, maybe the horse will learn to sing.
There were missteps and missed opportunities during Jodi’s time, but on the whole, it was a good time. She’ll never be my favorite Doctor (still Tom Baker) or even favorite in the modern era (Peter Capaldi). But I don’t regret watching her shows*. Some I’d even rewatch: “The Haunting of Villa Diodati” and “Spyfall, Part 1” spring to mind.
* Except for “Orphan 55”. Now that was painful. But no more so than a dozen or so episodes starring other Doctors.
As for that final episode, well… Breaks with established continuity always tick me off and there were a few of them here. Underutilized characters. Unanswered questions (what flavor of ice cream does Yaz prefer?). On the other hand, there were some excellent lines–I’m particularly fond of “Volcano Inspector”–and I love the idea of a Former Companions Support Group. Hopefully that won’t be a one-off bit. I’d love to see them act as an ongoing resource for the Doctor. Including chapters on other planets in other times–we know the Doctor has scattered companions (and one-time friends and helpers) across pretty much the entire reach of time and space.
Like all of Jodi’s tenure, some hits, some misses, but overall positive.
Thanks for your time, Jodi. Don’t be a stranger.