So! New series of Doctor Who soon, very exciting. As usual, here’s a quick round-up of everything I’ve written about the show since it was last on, as well as a few odds and ends and general thoughts about the state of play at the moment.
I’ve also done a series of Doctor Who interviews over the past year: I spoke to Christopher Eccleston about The A Word and his career highlights; I spoke to Mandip Gill about trying her hand at comedy and what she’d like to do after Doctor Who; I spoke to Segun Akinola about his work on Doctor Who and his creative influences more broadly; and I spoke to Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor, about what Jodie Whittaker has brought to the role and why he still enjoys playing the part nearly forty years later.
I was a guest on the wonderful Galactic Yo-Yo podcast, talking about my personal Doctor Who fandom, and my belief that whoever takes over from Chris Chibnall shouldn’t be a Doctor Who fan (or, at the very least, not a fan of the same generation as Davies, Moffat, and Chibnall).
There’s also this piece on Class, which published recently – I’m extremely proud of it, I think it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever written really. I spoke to several of the cast and crew, including Patrick Ness and three of the writers he’d lined up for Series 2 – there’s a lot about his plans for the Weeping Angels, which ties neatly to their upcoming Series 13 appearance.
I wrote a little bit about the news that Russell T Davies will be taking over as Doctor Who showrunner once again, with some additional thoughts on the news that Bad Wolf will be co-producing the show (and that Sony will likely be buying Bad Wolf) and what that means going forward as well.
I’d also point you towards friend of the blog Will Shaw’s upcoming reviews of Doctor Who: Flux, the first of which will be available on his website, and subsequent pieces on his Patreon. (I think also Molly is doing some more Galactic Yo-Yos for this series, and they’re doing some episode discussion roundtables over at Spacetime Junction, so I’ll edit those in shortly once the links are up.)
That about brings us up to date! It’s been a long year, hasn’t it? Well, I suppose that’s because it’s been longer than a year since The Timeless Children – getting on eighteen months now!
The other big news – which I never actually wrote about, looking back – is that Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker both will be leaving Doctor Who in 2022. Much as I’d hoped Whittaker might do a fourth year, I wasn’t surprised she was leaving; I did expect Chibnall to stay on, though, I assumed he’d be locked into a longer contract than he was. (My immediate assumption was that Pete McTighe was heir apparent, though I was hoping Nida Manzoor might get the job.)
It’s no secret, anyway, that I’ve not particularly enjoyed this era of the programme – it’s full of little details that I appreciate, even individual moments that I love, but it’s never really cohered into something I care for particularly. It’s striking to look back and realise, actually, how close I came to just giving up on it all with The Timeless Children – a piece of television that, honestly, I was embarrassed by.
Yet I’m excited for Flux. Even in the knowledge that Chibnall is writing (or co-writing) every one of the next six episodes! When Series 10 broadcast, we knew that Chibnall was waiting in the wings, much like we know now that Russell T Davies will be taking over for Series 14. But where Moffat’s final series had something of a sense of a victory lap – one last go, a postscript after his intended departure point, The Husbands of River Song – you don’t quite get the same feeling here.
The Chibnall era isn’t complete yet: it’s still going, still building, still mid-swing. Maybe it can still surprise us? I like the idea of committing fully to that vision – not always, not as a general rule for the show, I’d be disappointed if Series 14 was similarly authored – but if this is it for the Chibnall era, then let’s go. Chibnall Unbound.
I’m desperate for them to stick the landing, for Flux to be something we’ll look back on as a really strong close to Chibnall and Whittaker’s contribution to the programme. Wouldn’t that be fantastic? So I’m going into this with an open mind, or as close to one as I can, ready and willing to enjoy it as much as possible.
That said, “Flux” is a bit of an awful word, isn’t it? I quite like the idea of giving the series its own title, but what a meaningless choice. Surely you’d want something evocative and attention grabbing – something like Doctor Who: The Trip of a Lifetime, or Doctor Who: Silence Will Fall, or even actually Doctor Who: The Timeless Children. There’s an intrigue to those that you just don’t get with Doctor Who: Flux.
Still. Let’s see what happens.