I’ve watched twice.
First time around I got up, wandered about, found some laundry and put on my washing machine, at the midway point.
In places, it seemed like Sheffield in the dark, at times exposition sunk dialogue and pace and progress halted.
I was underwhelmed and very much disappointed. I initially thought 4 out of ten.
The second viewing proved more worthwhile.
Nuance, balance, some decent performances, possibly less dark as I first thought.
The Doctor. Yes, she’s a woman. Does it matter? I think not. My issues on first viewing weren’t with Jodie Whittaker.
Opening episodes for new doctors can have mixed fortunes. The season thereafter may afterwards improve and get better, I certainly hope so.
I think at times though, the episode clunked.
That’s due to the writing and certainly that’s Chris Chibnall’s creative process and his writing team rather than it merely just being just a new doctor.
There’s a vision to the new start and I wonder just how it was initially envisaged and how that differed from the end product.
Obviously, a point of origin for the Thirteenth Doctor, a background to her companions, a grounding to all the stories to come.
But for all we take the background, there’s a story of an alien and his teeth prized seeking recognition of his clan.
It’s a difficult one to reconcile and that showed.
Ryan’s dyspraxia was well handled, Yazz seems level headed and sensible but wants to prove herself, Graham has survived cancer, but has just lost his wife, his rock through recovery.
There’s things to work with and Whittaker’s thirteen is certainly yet to be defined and developed.
Is she merely a female Tennant/Ten? Is she the old/young Eleven? What remains of Twelve and all the others along the way?
It’s a reboot to NuWho with a change of showrunner and another clean slate, the doctor is now in a group of four, so maybe a more ensemble piece rather than the focus on ‘doctor and companion’.
There’s something there though, with a new direction, a new doctor, new companions and presumably a new TARDIS to be revealed in episode two.
A considered opinion on a rewatch is 6/10.
There’s plenty of work to be done in the next few months and the click of character relations, the actors easing into their parts and the creativity being unleashed.
The BBC certainly have assembled a range of guest actors for the season according to the promotional video played after the end titles, I won’t rattle through names, but certainly impressive.
Much more to come, some fear and some hopes.