Farewell, Scotsman; hello, Yorkshirewoman. An event we have been anticipating since the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor (some because they love watching the show, others because they wanted to complain about the new choice, whatever the outcome), the first adventure of number 13 (14, but we know how it works) feels as big as a movie and as charming as your regular ol’ Doc. Also, I loved everyone’s accent.
We start this story with a YouTube video of Ryan (Tosin Cole). This young boy is talking about a brave woman, whom we assume to be the Doctor. Cue to him trying to ride a bike (he has dyspraxia) with his grandma, Grace (Sharon D. Clarke ), and her new husband, Graham (Bradley Walsh). Angered at his own failure, a frustrated Ryan throws the bike down a mountain. Yup. So naturally, he has to pick it up from the forest below. It is here he accidentally touches something bright that appears out of nowhere (wouldn’t we all?), thus summoning a giant blue head of garlic. Stunned, he calls the police, and who comes to help? Yasmin (Mandip Gill), a friend from primary school.
While this is happening, Graham and Grace are on a train back home when something suddenly crashes against it, stopping it in its tracks and causing everyone to run away terrified. I initially thought this would be the Doctor, but she wouldn’t lock people inside carriages, right? It is only after Ryan and Yaz arrive, that an alien falls from the sky. It’s the Doctor, still regenerating, still trying to make sense of it all, but always looking out for others. Then, the tentacle thingy that has invaded the train shoots something at them all and disappears. They all want to do something, but another passenger, Karl, only wants to get the hell out of there and go to work.
To make this story as short as possible, I will just tell you that there are two creatures: the tentacle thingy, that absorbs information and is half-machine, and the being inside the blue garlic head, whom I first thought it was an Ice Warrior, but who was instead a terrifying alien with his victim’s teeth all over his face. It was as disgusting as it sounds. Teeth guy just wants to claim his next harvest victim, and this time, the chosen one is Karl, so he goes to the construction site where he works to get him. And so do our friends.
No need to tell you that the Doctor wins, as usual. But there are tweaks. For instance, the Doctor defeats Teeth Warrior, but Karl kills him instead, which angers the Doctor. And Grace, wanting revenge, kills the tentacle thingy, which causes her to plummet to her own death -of course the woman Ryan was talking about on YouTube was his gran. This and its aftermath was incredibly sad and touching (yes, I cried a bit with the funeral scene), but knowing beforehand that the companions were Graham, Ryan and Jaz, I sort of saw this coming. Grace didn’t look like the type of woman willing to remain at home cooking while her husband and her grandson were out there having adventures.
So there you go, a fitting first episode. Whittaker’s Doctor reminded me a bit of Matt Smith’s, mostly due to the mannerisms and whatnot, but also because that was the last time we had a change of Doctor and showrunner at the same time, so that feeling of brand-new was present here as well as it was in ‘The Eleventh Hour’.
Oh, and the Doctor has boobs now. And it doesn’t make a difference at all. She’s still the Doctor.
‘Oi! Tim Shaw!’
-Proof that the Doctor being a woman can be a good thing: my mum was in the room when I was watching the episode and she got all caught up in it, having never ever watched an episode of Doctor Who before. When it ended with the cliffhanger, she immediately demanded that I put the next episode. She was so disappointed when I said it had only premiered last night and she had to wait a whole week! So Whittaker has earned DW a new fan.
-I forgot to say above that the team finds out about the garlic alien wanting someone to harvest because of a man called Rahul, whose sister had been taken by the alien as its last victim. Needless to say, Rahul lost a tooth.
-Did anyone else caught that spoon moment? The Doctor reminiscing always gives me goosebumps.
-You just have to love that Tzim-Sha/Tim Shaw joke.
-When the Doctor calculated the time it would take her to faint with her nose, all I could think of was Karen from Mean Girls forecasting with her boobs.
-Poor Ryan: there is nothing worse than having all the stuff in your phone instantly deleted.
-“There’s this moment when you are sure you’re about to die, and then, you are born.”
-We can all agree that the Stenza are gross.
-“Well done. Your tiny mind must be burning with such effort.” “Did he just say I had a small mind?”
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