At the time of me writing this article, Jodie Whittaker's first series of Doctor Who is on it's second episode.
Having a large fanbase, the BBC have been teasing this new series for quite some time. Having realised trailers and pictures on their social media.
However, the really important question is, 'Is the new series any good?'. Well, the answer is, as of yet, it seems to be mediocre, however, there is still time for improvement.
A woman Doctor?!
During Wimbledon, the BBC made a massive announcement. The new Doctor who be played by...a blonde!
More perceptive viewers may have noticed that Jodie is the first even woman to take on this role. And that caused quite some controversy. With some claiming that this was very much needed, and a sign that we're making good progress in terms of gender equality. Others were saying that it was just political correctness made to appeal the radical feminists.
Whenever people asked me what I thought of the idea of having a female Doctor, my response was always 'I am rather sceptical, but I am willing to be proved wrong'. In my personal view, the qualities that make a good Doctor (of the Time Lord variety) would not work in a woman. However, if I get proved wrong about that, I will be happy.
However, regardless as to whether or not Jodie makes a good Doctor, she will be needing a good writer in order for her to be given decent storylines and travel with interesting characters. Basically, if the writer isn't good, neither is the Doctor.
Unfortunately, Chris Chibnal is, okay. And that's it.
Nothing about his writing or storylines are particularly astounding or memorable.
For example, in the first episode of the new series, a few of the lines from some of the younger characters (particularly Yaz I found) were just there to fill space on the script, and felt awkward and forced.
Also, in the second episode, the character Epzo made a threat to the king when he refused to allow there to be two winners. But surely, if he had that sort of power over him, he wouldn't be playing the king's game like he is.
Having said that, I certainly don't think that Chibnal is a lost cause! This is only the second episode of the series. Give him a few episodes, and he may very well be able to adjust his writing to a style that perfectly compliments Whittaker's acting style.
One thing I particularly liked about the first episode was how he incorporated Ryan's vlog into the episode. At the beginning when speaks about this 'amazing woman', we think he is speaking about the Doctor, but at the end of the episode, we learn that he is in fact, speaking about his grandmother.
1 for the price of 3
One problem with the series in general is the fact that they're starting with 3 companions. This has never been done before, and there's a reason for that.
When you have too many characters introduced at the same time, it's almost impossible to give each of them the introduction and development that they need.
In the past, when the Doctor had more than one travel partner, this was done by adding new characters to an already established cast- such as when Jack joined rose, or when Rory joined Amy. However, making the viewer get used to 3 new people in one go just means that they will find it more difficult to connect with any of them.
The positive darkness
Another positive note now!
In the past, the Doctor has always had a child like optimism. An upbeat, can-do attitude. Whilst this does have it's benefits, and can be entertaining to watch, I also like Whittaker's more dark and brutally honest approach. Such as when they were on the planet and she admitted that she was out of ideas on how to get back to Earth.
If we can see more of this, it will really help Jodie Whittaker to develop into her own version of the Doctor. It's important for Chibnal and Whittaker to work closely together so that he can help her to develop into the best possible Doctor that she can.
Having a female Doctor has caused a lot of divisions amongst fans. However, the sucsess of Jodie depends on the writing of Chibnal. So far, Chibnal has been okay, however, there is certainly room for improvement.
I like the darker version of the doctor, and some of his writing techniques. However, some of the scripting and story telling could be made better.
I have a lot of hope for the future of the show. And I wish Jodie and Chris the very best of luck!