Doctor Who: Season 11, Episode 1 Review

The woman that fell to Earth, one of the biggest shakeups to Doctor Who since it’s rebirth in 2005. It is not just a new female doctor but  new companions, new writer, new look and new composer. This episode had a lot of pressure to succeed because Doctor Who needed to be regenerated because of criticisms of past series becoming stale. The biggest episode for any new doctor is the first and all eyes were on Jodie Whittaker to see if she could revitalise the show.

First of, the fact that the new doctor is a female is completely forgotten about 2 minutes in. When the doctor appears, you have a moment of adapting to the change and for the rest of the episode the thought of the doctor being a woman being weird did not cross my mind at all. Any hesitations from fans previously could easily be dispelled in the early moments of this episode. Jodie Whittaker, jumped in and acted and spoke like The Doctor. She was frenetic and full of energy. Bouncing from place to place without stopping with that brilliant Yorkshire accent, that American fans may have to have subtitles for the first few episodes, but I thought it was great to have a strong localisation with one of Britain’s biggest exports. Whittaker’s performance as the Doctor was outstanding, she picked up the role exactly where the previous left of. I applauded the casting of Whittaker as the Doctor because she is a fantastic actress and she has knocked it out of the park on her debut performance as The Doctor.

The show looks to have a bigger budget and a more streamlined look. In this episode there is giant set pieces that easily shadow the early Doctor Who episodes which had garnered a cult reputation of being slightly cheap. In a era of high budget televisions shows such as Breaking Bad, Westworld and Game of Thrones, the BBC has pulled out the stocks to make sure they can stand toe to toe with these massive blockbuster TV shows. The updated  sound from the new composer, Segun Akinola is brilliant, the new Doctor Who theme incorporates old and new, creating a combination that feels fresh but does not forget the past. For someone who was growing tired of the Doctor Who formula, this is what this show needs, a visual and aural update.

The companions also had a good introduction, Ryan, Yas and Graham seem to be outsiders to there own way of life and provide substantial help to the doctor. I’m still a bit hesitant at the number of companions as I’m a fan of the one companion rule but I am open to see where this is heading and how they’ll deal with a team than rather a companion. The story of the episode revolves around a mysterious egg that teleports to Earth bringing a danger to The Doctor. What comes out of the egg is terrifying and it is not afraid to kill. This episode is very dark and there is quite a bit of death in this episode that is unlike the show but I do like the darker tone. It can still have the bubbly-ness and the upbeat and moral tone of the show but I always thought the best episodes had a tint of darkness within them.

The episode was fast and made an hour seem like 20 minutes, you were unable to take a breath it was so fast but that’s Doctor Who. The pace of the show is controlled by The Doctor and Whittaker brilliantly powers through the opening adventure. It was a fantastic opening that introduced new characters, a new story, a new look and a new sound. I haven’t been this excited for Doctor Who since the opening episode of the revival in 2005. The promise of bigger and better adventures are tantalising and we get that at the end of the episode where it presents the cast for the new series and a tease of what to come. If it’s anything like the opening episode this maybe a return to form for one of the BBC’s biggest exports.


Rating – ★★★★

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