Home Entertainment Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker confirms she’ll be back for at least one more season

Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker confirms she’ll be back for at least one more season

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So here’s something I’ve unfortunately not been able to say in a while: Doctor Who is so good right now! It’s no secret that 2018’s season 11 of the long-running BBC sci-fi show was just not great. A new era for Who, the season saw longtime showrunner Steven Moffat handing over the reins to Chris Chibnall, who then also cast his Broadchurch star Jodie Whittaker in the no-pressure role of being the very first female Doctor in the show’s 56-year history. Chibnall also threw a trio of new companions and spent basically an entire season avoiding all the classic Who enemies and story arcs to instead focus on new perils in short standalone adventures. And it really didn’t work.

And I can’t really lay the blame at Whittaker’s feet for this. She’s been given a historic task to accomplish, and she definitely has the talent to pull it off, but she was given very little to do except either run around flustered or gawk at space baubles. Meanwhile, the chemistry between the companions was iffy at best, the new enemies introduced were just not memorable at all, and Chibnall had a laughably heavy-handed approach when it came to addressing real-world politics. Unsurprisingly, fans were not happy and calling for a whole new era of Who all over again. Surprisingly though, Chibnall and co have seemingly heard them.

Kicking off with a flashy New Year’s Day special (shot right here in Cape Town!) that reintroduced a classic villain (who I won’t spoil here), season 12 has been firing on all cylinders. Whittaker is actually getting to really show her talents, and the scripts have been way better. The companions still need work (seriously, who thought Tosin Cole (Ryan) could act?), but even the standalone episodes have been thrilling. And then there was this Sunday past’s episode, “Fugitive of the Judoon”. The tale featuring the classic rhino-like alien mercenaries was, simply put, freaking fantastic! In fact, it was beyond a doubt the best of Whittaker’s tenure and produced not just one, but two slobber-knocker plot twists and teased all kinds of massive future stories.

And with Doctor Who’s quality trajectory looking up for the first time in ages, Whittaker has now also confirmed that she will be sticking around for at least one more season. Speaking to EW, the British actress explained that due to Doctor Who, “my life has changed in a wonderful sense,” and she’s not ready to give that up yet.

Yes, I’m doing another season. That might be a massive exclusive that I’m not supposed to say, but it’s unhelpful for me to say [I don’t know] because it would be a massive lie! [Laughs] I absolutely adore it. At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight!

With the exception of Christopher Eccleston’s single-season turn to launch the modern incarnation of Doctor Who in 2005, all other previous stars (David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi) have stayed on for three seasons. With the criticisms, many thought that Whittaker would be breaking that trend. As for all that criticism surround season 11 though, the actress says that she’s actually not paid attention to much of it.

I’ve seen loads of fan art, which I always love. But it’s never been that great for me to immerse myself in noise that you can’t control, good or bad. I think both are a rabbit hole that you shouldn’t necessarily go down. We know that we work really hard for the show to be the best it can be in this moment. Once it’s out in the ether, how people feel, in a way, is kind of irrelevant.

What may be relevant though is that Doctor Who has been haemorrhaging viewers since early season 11. The latest season has seen a drop of around a million viewers from episode to episode despite increasingly stronger critical reviews. It appears that the damage had already been done to the fandom, but Doctor Who isn’t going anywhere though. The show is practically a British institution which the BBC won’t let die unless it absolutely tanks its ratings so hard as to become embarrassing. That definitely won’t be happening, especially not after all the buzz the latest episode has generated. So yes, Jodie Whittaker will most certainly be back for another season of Doctor Who. If they left out Ryan though, I definitely wouldn’t shed a tear.

Last Updated: January 31, 2020

15 Comments

  1. I haven’t watched any of this new season. Enjoyed Whitaker in the role, but that last season was just so damn disappointing.
    And unlike Kervyn gushing here, I hear from others that this new season isn’t all that.
    Maybe I’ll get there. Eventually.
    First I gotta finish Dracula! Now THAT is bloody good!

    Reply

    • Pariah

      January 31, 2020 at 12:17

      I haven’t watched since Matt Smith. XD

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        January 31, 2020 at 12:23

        I loved Capaldi’s run. Also a good couple of seasons there.

        Reply

        • Kervyn Cloete

          January 31, 2020 at 12:23

          I feel like Capaldi’s run overall wasn’t the best, but it included some of the best single episodes in the entire show’s history.

          Reply

          • MaSeKind

            January 31, 2020 at 12:29

            True, Capaldi is an awesome actor, but he wasn’t the best Doctor. Did have some very good episodes though. The whole stuck-on-earth-watching-the-vault was a bit meh

          • Original Heretic

            January 31, 2020 at 12:49

            Capaldi’s 1st season felt a bit rocky, but after that it became so much better.

    • Kervyn Cloete

      January 31, 2020 at 12:23

      Different folks, different strokes. There was one ep this season I found rather meh (the alien resort ep), but I’ve enjoyed the rest way more than last season. And the last ep was the clincher for me. It’s a big one which I can’t really explain without getting into major spoilers, but it left me more excited for Doctor Who since Chibnall took over.

      PS: I thought Dracula had a brilliant first episode and then completely shat the bed thereafter.

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        January 31, 2020 at 12:49

        I’ve only watched Dracula episode 1…
        No I’m concerned.

        Reply

  2. Hammersteyn

    January 31, 2020 at 12:23

    Guessing whoever decided on casting the new doctor feels like a TARDIS.

    Reply

  3. MaSeKind

    January 31, 2020 at 12:29

    This kinda answers my question if it’s worth watching again. Started with the previous season but it was just meh. I could probably bitch and moan about them being woke and crap but for me the showrunners didn’t seem to know what they were doing. Anyone can be passionate about creating something but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be good at it (that seems to be a common issue in our society these days)

    I’d kinda hoped they’d get rid of some of the companions (who the hell thinks having 3 extra people to write for is a good idea?). It’s hard enough to find something for 1 companion to do other than having to be rescued. It just all seems very amatuerish fanfic stuff.

    Also, spoilers (very wild speculation and regurgitating 3rd hand rumors)

    Apparently they’re trying to get back fans by bringing back old Cap Jack, who is probably one of my favourite characters ever. God I love that man, and I’m not even gay.

    And then there’s the previously unknown new Doctor. And I have no problem with her being another woman, nor it being a black woman, but it does feel like the new Star Wars where whoever is in charge now doesn’t really care about the work of those who came before them. I don’t know all the details but from what I heard this is not a future Dr (that would have been fine) but a past one. I know it’s all about time travel but this is rewriting history a bit too much

    Reply

    • Kervyn Cloete

      January 31, 2020 at 15:18

      It’s a complete mystery for now. Everything you’ve “heard” is pure speculation.

      Reply

      • MaSeKind

        January 31, 2020 at 15:23

        Ah okay thanks. You can’t trust anything on the internet these days it seems 🙂

        I’ll refrain from spreading these rumors. I have broken my own rules by commenting on stuff I’ve not seen myself so my bad

        Reply

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