Culture&Arts

Female Doctor Who a hit with viewers

Female Doctor Who a hit with viewers

All set to the iconic Doctor Who theme song. It's about people trying their darndest. "Stick with me - you might get some". Jodie is fantastic! The new series of Doctor Who in a sentence is forward thinking, innovative, bold and courageous. This leaves little room to really dig into the monster of the week, this time a tooth-collecting alien hunter named "Tim Shaw" (at least, that's what his alien name sounds like to the Doctor, much to Tim's chagrin). A "mashup of the old and the new".

Speaking to Junkee about her new role, Whittaker insisted her gender is "irrelevant" in the grand scheme of Doctor Who.

"Sonic screwdriver. Well, I say 'screwdriver, ' but it's more multipurpose than that". But perhaps more important is how much fun she is having with it.

Doctor Who moved from its traditional Saturday evening slot to Sunday evenings for this new era, nestled between ratings big-hitters Countryfile and the Strictly Come Dancing results show.

Naturally, the first female incarnation of The Doctor has angered wild pissbabies everywhere, and generated a lot of debate and discussion. I mean, genuinely. I love her. To be quite honest though, for me the episode was very much just an episode of Doctor Who. "You know this not a goal break for the show, this is absolutely within the rules and the law of this extraordinary series".




From the moment she crashes through the roof of a train, still dressed in predecessor Peter Capaldi's ill-fitting clothes, to the scene near the end where she chooses her own distinctive costume of long coat, rainbow top, braces and culottes (I'm glad I have daughters to tell me what these things are called), she owns the role. It's thrilling to think, in the next few weeks and months, there will be children who've never seen the show before encountering Jodie's Doctor. But also, it's a great time for a new generation of children and families to start the habit of gathering around the television together to watch this amusing, scary, extraordinary show!

"We are half of the population, we are not alien".

"Well, my relationship with it is I'm now a very new Whovian". It works, to the feeble extent it does, because it rests on our unconscious, culturally programmed preconceived notions - the kind of sexist background radiation that bombards us every day. Capaldi, especially in his first season, seemed unsure of which way to play the character, but Whittaker makes an effortlessly assured debut, as if she's been doing this for years. But because Jodie's a friend and because Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch creator) who now runs the show is a friend, it was exciting on so many levels. They're off kilter, walking on baby legs as they discover the new aspects of themselves. Even with the premiere's extended runtime, the chase to prevent Tim from hunting down an unsuspecting human for his bounty takes a backseat to developing the Doctor and her three co-leads.

It makes sense. Doctor Who has always melded sci-fi spectacle (or as near to spectacle as its special effects budget allows) with mundane, workaday life on Earth. It will screen on the ABC on Monday nights at 5.55pm.


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