Doctor Who: Breaking down the new trailer for Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the Thirteenth Doctor

doctor who jodie whittaker thirteenth doctor series 11 new trailer world cup screenshot

It’s been a little under a year since it was first announced that Jodie Whittaker would play the Thirteenth Doctor – it was, in fact, 16 July 2017 – and since then we’ve had relatively little news about the new series of Doctor Who.

Today, however, that changed, with a special trailer for Doctor Who series 11 airing at half-time during the World Cup Final.

The trailer gave us a brief look at the Doctor and her companions, promising new adventures to come – here’s a breakdown of everything you might have missed in the new trailer, and what it tells us about what to expect when Doctor Who returns.

So, obviously, I was very much excited about this trailer, because it’s Doctor Who and I love it, and I figured one thing I could probably do (since it was getting towards the end of the week and I hadn’t figured out the topic for my Yahoo column yet) is write about the trailer. I’ve done that sort of thing before, and it usually makes for a good article – take some screencaps, speculate a little about what each thing might mean, throw in a couple of jokes, sorted.

And then this trailer aired. A lovely, enigmatic, sort of mood driven piece… that is probably the most difficult-to-write-about trailer I’ve ever seen. Like, oh man.

Genuinely, I really had my work cut out for me with this one, and I think the fact I managed nearly 900 ish words – roughly 30 words for every second of content – is a testament to, if not necessarily skill, certainly something.

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Breaking down the Doctor Who #TimeForHeroes Trailer

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Earlier today, the BBC released a short trailer for the new series of Doctor Who – set to return on April 15th, Doctor Who series 10 will star Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, alongside Pearl Mackie as Bill and Matt Lucas as Nardole.

The new trailer teased the return of many classic villains, and the introduction of plenty of new ones – here’s what we saw.

I wrote an article breaking down the various elements of the new Doctor Who trailer – I spotted Daleks, Cybermen, Ice Warriors, and possibly Paul McGann!

(Paul McGann probably won’t be in the new series.)

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TV Trailer Thoughts | Doctor Who Series 8: “Who frowned me this face?”

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And now there’s a new radio trailer!

This one focuses, essentially, on the fact that Peter Capaldi has been in Doctor Who before. It questions where the faces of the Doctor actually come from – how he ends up with a face that’s already worn in, with wrinkles and laughter lines. It’s quite similar to something that Moffat discussed in DWM, around the time Capaldi was first cast.

“It’s covered in lines. But I didn’t do the frowning. Who frowned me this face?”

I admit, I’m not entirely sure what to think of this. I’m more or less okay with Capaldi’s previous characters being left unexplained; it never really felt necessary, given all the other occasions things like that have happened across 50 years, and that I was worried about over complicated retcons (Twelve was in Pompeii, using the chameleon arch!) and the frankly quite real possibility that it wouldn’t have a very good payoff and would just be a bit rubbish.

However, having said that… I really do like the dialogue in this trailer, and I feel that it might have the potential for something really pretty interesting, especially, or perhaps inevitably, if tied into the return of Gallifrey. (As a sidenote, I’d rather Gallifrey wasn’t dealt with until series 9 or perhaps even 10. I want Twelve to settle a bit first, for us to get to know him, before we see this potentially massive upheaval and the ramifications. Equally, I would like to see Twelve with the Time Lords, properly, and not just have one episode before regeneration or something similar)

So… thinking about it, this is getting me rather excited. I do love Doctor Who.

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TV Trailer Thoughts | Doctor Who Series 8 Trailer

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I am properly excited for this, in a way I haven’t been for ages. Even with the 50th Anniversary, and Time of the Doctor, I was feeling a bit trepidant, a little anxious. With this one though, I am totally, unreservedly excited. It’s going to be amazing.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Peter Capaldi in the role. That seems quite obvious, everyone is. But from this trailer, it looks as though he’s going to be quite similar to what I was hoping for his Doctor. More mature, a little bit on the morally ambiguous side. Someone quite reserved, in contrast to Matt Smith’s Doctor. I’m leaning towards the word “unflappable” actually. Yeah, unflappable.

The “Am I a good man?” stuff seems really, really interesting to me. I like the more reflective stuff, where you have to actually weigh up the good of the Doctors actions. (I swing between loving the idea of the Doctor as simply trying to do his best, and loving the idea of him trying to do his best, but making it worse).

I’m hoping that that’ll be quite important in the series as an overarching theme, and maybe, maybe that might lead into a Valeyard story. But I do get the feeling that I’m pushing it a little bit with that.

The rest of the trailer looks pretty good as well. Daleks, back again. I understand they’re in Phil Ford’s episode, so I’m confident that’ll be a good one. There’s a dinosaur, which really just speaks for itself. And! Some cool new aliens that we don’t know about, which is all untold possibilities and new and wow.

So… roll on August 23rd. I really, really can’t wait.