Doctor Who Episode Review: The Woman Who Fell to Earth

Synopsis: A newly-regenerated Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) struggles to remember her name and other details about who she is but, with an assist from some new companions, still helps save humans from a tooth-collecting alien hunter (Samuel Oatley).

Review: The Green Bay Packers weren't doing so hot yesterday afternoon so, instead of watching the game, my wife, oldest daughter and I wound up tuning in to the global broadcast of this season 11 premiere. And, I have to say, overall, I was very impressed with what I saw.

As I've mentioned in the past, I was excited to see a female version of the Doctor but also was curious in what sort of direction they would take the character. After watching last night's episode, I can honestly say I'm happy with how they are using Whittaker in this role.

In many ways, she reminded me a bit of Matt Smith's Doctor. She was quirky enough to be interesting and that quirkiness, in turn, disguised the fact she was still very intelligent. At the same time, I liked how she would, at times, show a lack of patience toward those who were around her (and often trying to rush her). This shows she may be quirky but not necessarily a pushover either. So, in other words, a good mix of characteristics other versions of the Doctor have portrayed.

I also loved how this episode got right into the action, with a (somewhat creepy looking) alien hunter with the ability to freeze humans to death with just one touch and using a mechanical device that can also cause damage and death. This allowed Doctor 13 to show off her skills right away.

I'm still a bit undecided about the Doctor's new companions though, mostly because, at least for the moment, there's really nothing about them that is all that interesting. Ryan (Tosin Cole) reminds me a bit too much of Mickey (Noel Clarke), who was OK in short doses but never really won me over. Graham (Bradley Walsh) seems like a duller, wimpier version of Brian Williams (Mark Williams), AKA Rory's (Arthur Darvill) dad. And, while I don't hate Yaz (Mandip Gill), the only thing that stands out about her is she's a police officer.

That being said, since this episode was more about introducing us to the new Doctor, I'm willing to give them a pass for now in the hopes future episodes will make me actually care about them or, at minimum, thin out the group so she only has one or two companions and not three.

Final Opinion: Considering what this episode had to accomplish in a short amount of time, I thought it was a decent season premiere. As I said before, I'm still undecided about the new companions. But, I saw enough of Whittaker's Doctor to make me want to watch more.

My Grade: A


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