Monday, 24 July 2017

Doctor Who is a What? or That's Numberwang!

By now you have heard that the 13th Doctor on Doctor Who will be portrayed by Jodie Whittaker. That’s right; the next Doctor is going to be a woman.

How can this happen? How can this be? That’s not cricket. No, number 13, that’s Numberwang.

Who could have seen this coming? Only those who have a clue. D’uh.

The 13th Doctor being a woman was inevitable. The growing army of fangirls coupled with sinking ratings equals BBC executives wondering what trick they can pull to keep the show afloat.

My concern is not that Jodie Whittaker will be playing the Doctor. (Olivia Colman, also with a Broadchurch connection, would also have been a fine choice as she can play intensely serious – as in Broadchurch – and insanely silly – as in Julie on Numberwang.) My concern is which way Chris Chibnall (Doctor Who’s new showrunner) takes the character.

Broadchurch, Chibnall’s deathly serious detective drama, is freshest in the minds of most people. If Chibnall transfers that humourless drudgery to Doctor Who, I fear the show will die and Jodie will be blamed.

I would rather Chibnall go back to one of his earlier creations for inspiration: Born and Bred.

Born and Bred also featured strong female characters. It was a delightful mix of pathos and humour. The balance was a good one.

It is that balance of peril and laughter that Doctor Who has used to survive these many years.

We’ve just gone through the moody, brooding Doctor. We don’t need more of it.

It’s time to lighten up again, but not so light that the audience doesn’t take Doctor 13 seriously.

This will not be an easy time for Jodie and Chris, but I’m sure they can pull it off.

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