Doctor Who: Chibnall Era

Years: 2018-Present

Synopsis: Feeding off the feel of the show’s long history, the now female Doctor continues to help wherever and whenever the universe calls.

Pros:
• Doctor Who is more Doctor Who than it has been in years, aided with the help of excellent casting.
• Episodes are built in a way that more resembles the omnibus serials of the Classic Era, usually without feeling too slow.
• A successful reinterpretation of the narrative glue utilized since 2005.
• Willing to directly discuss the harsher themes in actual history, while simultaneously calling back to the more common historical fiction themes of the show in the 1960s.
• Fully shed the harsh and snarky tones of the Moffat Era, replacing it with an air of etherial mystery unlike any other era.
• Moving forward with etherial calls from the show’s long history.

Cons:
• As is always the case with near complete cast and crew turnover, fans of the prior narrative style might not be pulled into the show well at first.
• The slower feel can be a difficult shift from the quite regular running since 2005.

Discussion:

Thirteenth Doctor (2018-present) —
2018_logo_from_title_sequenceWhile the 2005 rebirth of the show naturally had an overbearing weight on its shoulders to carry on a long tradition, Chibnall seemed intent on creating his own weight. Not only was almost the entire production staff changed, but also he cast the Doctor as a woman for the first time in the show’s history. Sure, some might have freaked out negatively to this casting choice, but Timelords are fictional aliens that never talked much about their full body regeneration ability. We may know a little more about the regeneration process after fifty years worth of the show, but again, it is a wholly alien process the Doctor rarely discusses. Besides, the female Master, “Missy,” was simply amazingly fun, especially when she and her prior male incarnation met.

Regardless, Jodi Whittaker made the character her own brilliantly. The Doctor is as crosseyed about the gender switch as all of us. Yet, regeneration is always confusing for the Doctor, the Fifth of which initially concerned he was about to die just after regeneration! It can take time to adapt and find the Doctor again. Like with the literally colorful Sixth Doctor, some might never feel comfortable with it all. Unlike the Sixth Doctor, everything jelled fairly well by the end of the first episode, showing us a whimsically manipulative incarnation. With that toothy Fourth Doctor smile, the darkest of foes have no idea what’s coming for them!

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