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Doctor Who: 7 (spoiler-free!) things to expect from Jodie Whittaker’s first episode as The Doctor

The newly-rejuvenated sci-fi series returns to screens on BBC One on Sunday 7 October.

By Will Stroude

Words: Darren Scott

As a lifelong fan of Doctor Who I had concerns about the new series, set to launch on BBC One on Sunday 7 October.

No, not because they’d chosen to cast Jodie Whittaker to play the thirteenth incarnation of the Doctor – after all, female Time Lords are the best ones (The Rani? Chancellor Flavia? Come on!), and all of the other characters I’ve grown up idolising in sci-fi and horror have been women.

I was worried because, despite a couple of exceptional actors playing the title role, I felt my favourite show had… lost its way slightly. It had gone from being an exciting family programme, accessible to everyone, to being overly complicated and often boring. Dare I say it was lacking in fun, and certainly in heart – ironic for a character that has two of them.

Was the party over? Had the series finally run its course? Was I actually going to have to stop taking photos in front of Police Boxes?

In this 11th series since the long-running sci-fi show was rebooted in 2005, it’s not just the Doctor that’s regenerated, as Attitude discovered at the world premiere in Sheffield earlier this week.

From the opening episode, ‘The Woman Who Fell To Earth’, all the elements are there – teeming with life once more…

  • A Doctor with character, with optimism, who isn’t some beaten-down warrior, not some ‘oncoming storm’ and general grump.
  • A story that pulls you in, before the Doctor even arrives on the scene – sci-fi with touches of horror, perfect for an Autumn evening. Moments that make you think they’ve *just* got away with pushing the scares too far. Scenes that make you gasp slightly.
  • Expectation for scenes that you’re sure are due to come, as with all new Doctors.. .though you might be surprised.
  • A cast that work together so well you feel like you already know them. An especially wonderful performance from Sharon D Clarke.
  • A cinematic scale – because for something to be big, it doesn’t actually have to be explosions in space and hordes of monsters (not that we’re saying there isn’t that – spoilers!)
  • An incredible score – scary, atmospheric, beautiful. And oh, that theme tune! Like the original with a big, spooky kick. Welcome home you wonderful, wonderful thing.
  • And a TARDIS that looks like the TARDIS is supposed to…

It turns out I needn’t have been concerned at all. The Doctor turned up to make things right, just when I needed her to.

Read our exclusive interview with Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker in the October issue of Attitude.

Sometimes it’s nice to see where the adventure takes you and enjoy the journey, rather than be concerned about what’s ahead…

Doctor Who returns to BBC One on Sunday 7 October, 6.45pm.

Read our exclusive interview with Jodie Whittaker in the October issue of Attitude, out now.

Buy the current now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: 3 issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.