For the first time in the show’s history, Doctor Who aired on Halloween, making the debut Halloween special one to remember. Those who were looking to be scared will have no doubt felt a shiver or two, thanks to the introduction of new villains that will change the future of the show forever. There were also fan favourite monsters that remain in the nightmares of many children and even young adults – the Weeping Angels. While the show has come under some flak in recent years amid criticisms that the quality of the show has dropped, the start of Jodie Whittaker’s last season silenced those critics and made Doctor Who feel like itself again.
Fans of Doctor Who will be no stranger to what the state of the show was like before the Halloween special aired. It is not a stretch to say that it was in its most dire position it’s been since before the revival in 2005. This was largely because of the showrunner, Chris Chibnall who inherited Doctor Who from fan favourite showrunner, Steven Moffat. With a new, female Doctor, new showrunner and new composer, fans were expecting great things and for Doctor Who to take a direction unlike ever before. Fans certainly got what they wished for – but not in the way they expected. One thing that fans hated was how politically correct the show had become. The Doctor used to do things like visiting the casino, fans can go to genie casino to play for real money, but this seems a far cry away from the show of today.
Although Chibnall had written some great stories for Doctor Who in the past and in fact wrote some of the best Torchwood episodes, the first two seasons fell flat when it came to audience approval. Many criticised the fact that the Doctor was not presented as the Doctor that fans had come to know and love, and instead felt like a wholly different person. This may have been intentional, as it was made clear by Chibnall that he wanted to stay far away from things that could tie his series to past outings, such as reusing the same monsters. The cast was also said to be too crowded – in the Tardis, there was a total of four characters to work with. Taking on this many meant that any of them never had room to breathe and grow as characters.
With the start of the new series though, Chibnall has seemed to turn things around. The show is now genuinely exciting to watch again which can be seen through clear changes that Chibnall has made. The cast has shrunk by one, meaning that there are fewer characters to focus on. This allowed each to get as much screen time as they needed, and it is the best representation of Yaz that audiences have yet seen. The Doctor also feels like the Doctor again, which is due to changes in writing and a better performance by Jodie Whittaker.
If the rest of the series can carry the same quality as the first episode, then Chibnall will certainly leave the show in positive spirits.