End of an Era

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.

2 thoughts on “End of an Era

  1. Jodie wasn’t my favorite Doctor (for me I think it will always be Eccleston), but I would have enjoyed seeing more of her, considering that in the first season she was undermined by what is frankly the worst writing I’ve seen in the history of the show (disclaimer: I was never able to turf up Six and Seven in a watchable format; when I was bingeing the original episodes, they were only available on a streaming site that randomly interrupted the feed every five minutes for a Hoagiefest commercial). She deserves a mulligan for that. I got nothing, because I’ve seen Chris Chibnall’s work elsewhere and found it intense and tight and brilliant, but — he just hosed that job. It was heavy-handed and plodding and painful to watch.

    And yeah, Jo Martin has presence and I’d totally want to see her step up. A little nervous about them bringing back Tennant, whose original arc was fantastic — he seems to have an endless supply of the manic energy that makes the Doctor what he (she) is. How do we explain Ten returning to become Fourteen? What’s the object of it, the reason for it, other than that Tennant was so good (and primo eye candy) and they want to boost viewership? Double that for Catherine Tate returning; it was made so clear that Donna Noble was in danger if she ever crossed paths with the Doctor again. The series has always been good with handwavium to explain preposterous plot developments, it’s practically the hallmark of Doctor Who, but they’re biting off a lot here.


    • (Apologies for the delay in your comment appearing–I just found it lurking in the “Is this spam?” queue.)

      Not a whole lot to add to what you said, beyond noting that we never saw a whole lot of Six and Seven either; our pre-hiatus viewing was confined to whatever the local PBS station had licensed, and by the time technology had advanced to the point of allowing the sort of slow-motion binge we favor, we were pursuing other interests. (Red Dwarf, anyone?)

      Agreed, it’s going to take some significant handwavium to sort this one out. Looking forward to seeing what they come up with–hopefully not some form of “sweeping it under the rug by ignoring the history and hoping it goes away”.


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