Takeaways from Doctor Who Series 11

18 Dec

The latest season of Doctor Who being led by a new showrunner and after a  massive binge-watch and rewatch, I found the season has its specific hits and misses. Chris Chibnall is at the helm of the series now and he is best known for developing BBC’s Broadchurch. Instead of intense drama, five episodes of the ten-episode run plays with the concepts traditional in many a tale of terror. The two most prominent were “Arachnids in the UK” and “The Witchfinders.”

Jodie Whittaker is very likable as the new Doctor. She gives the character an erratic quality similar to David Tennant’s time in the role and has the tendency to be scattered. As the later episodes show, there’s an energy that’s undeniable. She’s more empathetic to others, and this can make for interesting contrasts to previous incarnations.

The choice of companions for this Doctor makes for a welcoming change. They are not atypical of previous past character types and I find them more relatable. Graham O’Brien, Ryan Sinclair, and Yasmin Khan are more down to earth people. The elder (Graham) is notable when considering his wife died during the debut episode, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth.” His feelings are more obvious in “It Takes You Away” and he finds he cannot stay at a silent home when he finally makes it back to terra firma. With only his grandson left (Ryan), spending time with The Doctor is like therapy.

In the larger scheme of things, the third episode “Rosa” showed how the inevitable has to be allowed to happen. Graham meets his wife’s murderer in the season finale, “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos,” and thankfully realizes revenge is not the best thing to do at all.

The highlight of the season is definitely with the third episode and sets forth a prime directive: Do not interfere. The casting Vinette Robinson as Rosa Parks was bang on. The gravitas put into the performance speaks for itself; it conveyed more than just the struggles of an individual but also a community. This episode perfectly recalls the roots of Doctor Who: to entertain and educate.

“Demons of the Punjab” offered a similar tale where it looked at the Partition of India is the backdrop. To witness brothers against brothers is heartbreaking, especially when it concerns Yaz hoping to understand her family roots.

The satire in “Kerblam!” deserves honourable mention. Anyone who bought from Amazon knows what this story is making jabs at. The humour in this episode is, pardoning the pun, bang on. When considering this company’s future includes shipping with drones, the implications in this episode is not too far from the truth and I had to laugh.

Altogether, the first season with a new Doctor had two weak episodes. The second episode felt very throwaway, offering very little to enjoy other than a passing familiarity to Star Trek The Next Generation’s “The Arsenal of Freedom.” The finale was lacklustre, and all I can hope the Holiday special can remedy things. It will broadcast January 1st, a departure from past seasons, and I know what I’ll be tuning into in the new year.

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One Response to “Takeaways from Doctor Who Series 11”

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  1. Takeaways from Doctor Who Series 11 — Otaku no Culture – neweraofhorror - 2018-12-18

    […] via Takeaways from Doctor Who Series 11 — Otaku no Culture […]

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