Television: Doctor Who, "The Woman Who Fell to Earth"

I really agonized over whether to suck it up and watch the remaining Capaldi episodes or just pick up with this one. In the end, I wasn't interested enough to finish out Capaldi's season. I couldn't muster the enthusiasm, or even the basic sluggish energy, to pull it up on my DVR (where it has been sitting... and sitting... and sitting...) But people kept asking me what I thought of Whittaker as the Doctor, so I decided to fire this one up and dive in fresh.

Long story short, I don't have the Capaldi backstory, though based on this it hardly seems necessary?

In the interest of playing fairly, let me acknowledge that I'm one of the people who find Moffat to be a terrible show runner. And I really like Chris Chibnall's work. Well, I adored Broadchurch anyway.  And Torchwood. So I was primed to really like this, too, because (a) sweet release from the Moffat era, and (b) Chibnall has shown to be competent and compelling in his work.

So, yeah, as expected, I really liked it.

Spoilers Ahead, Sweeties

Not just Whittaker's Doctor, but the entire supporting cast. And even though we'd only just met Grace, I felt the impact of losing her because she'd already left such an impression. This is what Chibnall does so well—characterization. And really good, tight stories.

What was this story about? Well, Ryan Sinclair is... I don't know how old he's supposed to be, actually, but seems like 20s? And he lives with his nan Grace and her second husband Graham. When Ryan discovers something strange, he phones in to the police, and they send Yasmin, who just happens to be someone Ryan went to school with way back when. Meanwhile, an alien attacks the train Grace and Graham are on, and the Doctor shows up, and things pretty much go from there at a fair clip.

Whittaker's Doctor is a tad manic, but many of them have been to some extent. And sometimes they start off that way after regeneration and then calm down a bit. We'll see what happens, but I don't mind this take on the character. It's fun. And she has a depth of compassion that we haven't seen in recent Doctors.

Mostly I'm just glad to be excited about Doctor Who again. To be enjoying it again because I honestly haven't liked it in years. It became more of a chore than something to look forward to, which is why I eventually quit watching at all.

Now I'm back, fresh, and it seems like I needn't worry too much about what I missed, which is good. It will allow new viewers to catch on, too, so that's a smart move. Looking forward to seeing more.

1 comment:

Christine Rains said...

I couldn't guess Ryan's age either. He looked early 20s, but acted like a teen. Yet he was the same age as Yasmin. I really liked Grace, and while I had hoped she'd stick around, it did make me feel her death more. Plus maybe Graham will be reminiscent of Donna's grandfather who I adored. I thought Whittaker did a good job as the Doctor, but the problem is that Broadchurch is fresh in my mind, and her character on there was so well played I hated her. (The character, not Whittaker!) I need to get that out of my head and see only the Doctor. I haven't watched any of the other episodes yet, but I'm eager.