The Good Stuff

The Power of the Doctor

I think that Chris Chibnall’s run as showrunner on Doctor Who has had its ups and downs, but overall I’ve really enjoyed Jodie Whittaker’s stint as the 13th Doctor. (I’ve particularly liked the way that Chibnall and the writers frequently used real historical figures who many viewers might not have previously been familiar with, such as Noor Inayat Khan, Ada Lovelace, and Mary Seacole.) And while I’ll be sorry to see the 13th Doctor go, she went out with a bang in one of the best regeneration episodes to date.

As someone who has been following the Doctor’s adventures since I stumbled upon the first installment of “Robot” on my local PBS station in the mid-80s, who watched the 1996 TV movie live in broadcast, and who been in the front row since the character was reintroduced back in 2005 (and consumed mountains of novels, comics, and audio adventures along the way), “The Power of the Doctor” felt like a love letter both to the franchise and to all of the longtime fans. The twist at the end had been spoiled for me on social media before the episode had even aired in the States, but I was completely unprepared for all of the cameos along the way. And while I was momentarily worried that bringing back so many characters might devolved into a fan service checklist, it was genuinely moving seeing some of those interactions, and the way that the Companions plot wrapped up in the end completely justified it all for me. (Though I’m still having trouble coming to terms with the fact that Ace and Graham are now essentially the same age…)

I’m looking forward to the new episodes next year, but in the meantime I think that I’m overdue for a rewatch of the modern series to date, some of which I haven’t seen since they originally aired.

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