[This review contains some minor SPOILERS!]
The Doctor has fallen.
Fallen to Earth. And everything is changed forever.
Well, not everything.
As seems to be typical whenever The Doctor is in the middle of a regeneration, something has gone wrong. Several things, in fact. And the fact that The Doctor was thrown out of the TARDIS is only the start of it.
There’s a weird rocky thing that is cold to the touch, sitting next to a hilltop in South Yorkshire.
There’s some creature made of cables and electricity that stopped a train and terrorized the people on it.
And then there’s the fact that The Doctor is not at her best, having just gone from being an elderly, easily-annoyed Scotsman to an excitable Millennial who can’t remember her name. Or much of anything else.
Still, The Doctor (if that’s who she is?) is certain of one fact – when there is trouble, she’s not the sort of man to stand by and do nothing. Even if she is a woman. At the moment.
The Woman Who Fell To Earth is everything a post-regeneration episode should be. One could easily sit a non-Whovian down to watch this episode and not have to explain anything regarding the concept of the show beforehand. Everything is explained easily over the course of one hour.
There’s a woman called The Doctor. She’s an alien. She’s a traveler. She’s brilliant with building things. She helps people when she can.
For those who already know and love the show, the hour also fully develops all of the new companions and gives us a quick grasp of who they are, apart from being the kinds of people to help a strange woman in the fact of an alien invasion. There’s Yasmin Khan, a rookie cop looking for more excitement and responsibility than her supervisor will allow her to handle. There’s Ryan Sinclair, a tech-savvy warehouse worker and former classmate of Yasmin’s, who suffers from dyspraxia and wants to be a mechanic. And there’s Graham O’Brien – a retired bus driver and cancer survivor, who is Ryan’s step-grandfather.
Chris Chibnall’s script establishes The Doctor’s new friends far better out of the gate than I think any writer has managed since the series’ revival in 2005. The new cast are all engaging in their roles and Jodie Whittaker cuts a fine figure as The Doctor. All in all, we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the new series.
There are some who will complain that Doctor Who has gone PC in the name of appeasing the SJWs with a truly diverse cast and a female Doctor and how they aren’t going to watch the show until there is a proper Doctor who won’t have bras hanging up all around the TARDIS. These people, assuming they ever truly viewed an episode of Doctor Who before, never truly comprehended it.
The fact of the matter is that Doctor Who has always been about people with intelligence and heart standing up against the brutal, the selfish and the just plain idiotic. So long as The Doctor continues to never be cowardly or cruel, never give in and never give up, they are still The Doctor, whether you like it or not. True fans of The Doctor will like this new series. A lot.