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They're calling her the Thirteenth Doctor, which means that both times we've seen a Thirteenth Doctor the actor has been a woman.

 

 

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Turns out, "The Husbands of River Song" felt so much like a conclusion to the Moffat era that I just...forgot to watch the actual last season of Capaldi. I'm fixing that now, while I watch the new series as it comes out. And, um....

I like Whittaker as the Doctor. Not a lot, but she's good (which is to be expected). What I don't like is anything around her. The scripts are mostly rubbish, the emotional payoffs are undercut by bizarre plotting and pacing choices (there's an event late in the first episode that should have had me in tears and didn't because it occurred after it needed to, plot-wise). The direction is pretty flat and uninteresting. The companions are attractive and dull. It's basically as bad as I expected a Chibnall-run Who to be.

This is particularly apparent since I immediately turned to the last Capaldi season and watched a few episodes of it. And, while it's not up to the really glorious heights of the second Smith year or the first and second Capaldi years, it's good. And interesting. And thematically more complicated than "working together is a good thing to do." And it's shot well. Basically, it's superior in almost every way to the current season.

Almost. I won't say that Whittaker is superior to Capaldi, but she's different, and that's a good thing. This Doctor is (as Elizabeth Sandifer has noted) notably more emotionally aware and present than any previous Doctor. She's still the same character, insofar as any of the incarnations of the Doctor are the same character (she  reminds me of Tennant, which coming from me isn't exactly a good thing--but it will be for most viewers). But she's also giving a notably more community-minded Doctor. (There's an obvious gender thing going on below the surface, as Sandifer points out). And I like it. So I'll stick it out for her (and for the hope that the non-Chibnall writers coming up have a better sense of how to tell a story than the showrunner does).

Next week is Rosa Parks, btw.

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