The Woman Who Fell to Earth

The Woman Who Fell to Earth

Okay, quick maths analogy for you. When an equation has multiple variables, the risk of miscalculation goes up markedly, just like the odds of guessing a one-digit number versus two or more. With that in mind, when Chris Chibnall and his team spent the last many months telling us all the changes, revisions, and exclusions that would be made to first series of his tenure as showrunner, while we trusted him (it’s what we do), we knew that there was a wide margin of error to be mindful of. After all, when you change so many aspects of a known and well-established product, there are that many things that can be blamed if it doesn’t turn out to be something exceptional.

That said, here are two truths.

First, JODIE WHITTAKER IS THE DOCTOR, and has proven that now off and on the screen. We said it. We believe it. If you disagree, you’re really going to hate the next few years of this podcast. Heck ,you’ve probably been hate-listening to us for the past year, for that matter.

Second, for all the other facets of Doctor Who that we were warned would change, and heard the trepidation from various fans about this, that, or the other, we believe Series 11 is off to a start that has the four of us (and if that funny Twitter website is to be believed, more than a few others) very, very pleased.

This week, we finally drop from our levitation points above the couch to hug each other with adrenaline-fueled delight at the first full adventure of the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends in “The Woman Who Fell to Earth”. We take a look at the Series 11 premiere as a regeneration episode, as a “new viewer” introductory episode, and as a Doctor Who story in general. We note the technical and structural aspects that give it such a new (and interesting) tone and balance, the exceptional and in some cases surprising performances of primary and supporting cast, and the baseline this story and its delivery sets for the series to come.

One note of criticism with the episode: to paraphrase an adage, “Grace is when the heavens give us what we don’t deserve”. In an instance like this, the irony of that particular phrase is striking. 

NEWS:

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Once Upon a Time in San Diego

It goes without saying that the events and festivities of the San Diego Comic-Con are legend in the fan communities. From the marketing blitz, to the exclusive merchandising, to the star-studded panels and appearances, it’s a tremendous amount of stimuli to take in if you’re fortunate (crazy?) enough to attend. But on occasions such as this one, where BBC America hosts a bevy of panels, press interviews, and product announcements accompanied by the incoming cast and crew of Doctor Who, you don’t even have to have been there to have your mind blown. Our own brainpans are still fizzling and steaming, days later.

This week, we attempt to process everything that was given to us by cast, crew, and the BBC themselves over the course of the San Diego Comic-Con 2018 weekend. From the release of the new official trailer (in which more words are heard by our Thirteenth Doctor than ever before), to wonderful panels and press interviews with Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, and even producers Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens, to the introduciton and opening sale of the new sonic screwdriver, it’s a cornucopia of Whovian delights.

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Twice Upon a Time

In the Venn Diagram of Whovian anticipation, we stand at the tiniest of intersects. We desperately want Peter Capaldi to stay; we eagerly await Jodie Whittaker’s arrival. We adore where the stories have brought us of late; we are nearly shaking with anticipation for where Chibnall and his staff will take the tale.

And here, amid all the tumult and dissonance that threaten to drive us mad during what is supposed to be a holiday season, time stops — and all is quiet.

This week, we bid a most emotional farewell to our Twelfth Doctor, and shout in triumphant welcome to our Thirteenth. Steven Moffat gives us his final television story, and more characters returning than you could have imagined, in “Twice Upon a Time”. We unpack the themes, messages, subtle inclusions, and even a possible musical easter egg or two. There are a lot of feels flung about, but we lock it down as best we can, and even keep it together through a line analysis of Peter’s (read: Moffat’s) final monologue.

Be kind.

NEWS LINKS:

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It’s About Time

Jodie Whittaker, The Thirteenth Doctor

For over 53 years, the Doctor Who program has gone through a number of changes and evolutions: sometimes written into the construct of the show; other times in reaction to circumstances unforeseen. It is a complex and often messy collection of stories and characters. Doctor Who promotes the intellectual pursuits, the defense of those who call for help, the ethics of brains over brawn. It has attempted to be both a reflection of the issues familiar to the viewing audience, and an escape from those issues into the world of pure science fiction. There have been omissions in these efforts, however, and one that is clear to both those familiar and unfamiliar with the program is that, despite the conceit that the titular character can completely change their physiology at a point of mortal ailment, at no point among the dozen (plus) actors blessed to portray the Doctor, has a single one been a woman.

Until today.

With a single minute video announcement that rocked the foundations of one of the most globally recognized science fiction programs in history, the role of the Thirteenth Doctor has been handed to Jodie Whittaker — and we could not be more thrilled.

Joined by fellow podcasters Danica and Brandon of Doctor Whooch, we spend a full hour on the subject of the Thirteenth Doctor casting decision, looking at the impact of such a momentous step in the evolution of the show, making sense the reactions of the public, reviewing the career and talents of Ms. Whittaker, and considering the ways we might keep ourselves from going insane waiting until as late as 2019 for Series 11, and the beginning of this bold new era.

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