So, this here's the place to go to talk about DOCTOR WHO both past and present, including all rumors and official developments pertaining to the upcoming Series/Season 13. When S13 unfolds, we will, as always, revert to episode specific reader reactions/discussion forums.
January 1's Revolution of the Daleks proved a doggedly middle of the road installment that - while more 'fun' and 'interesting' than many Chibnall Era episodes - in no way suggested any kind of genuine course correction for this Era.
The notion of course correction bringing us to:
Rumors are now afoot that series lead Jodie Whittaker may be on the verge of departing the show, presumably at the end of S13. Interestingly, BBC has (as of the the date of this posting) declined to comment on said rumors. Glen Note: Wouldn't it be interesting if Team Chibs pulled a fast one and swapped Doctors mid-stream?
The rumors of Whittaker's departure should hardly come as a surprise. As inconceivable as it may seem, she's already been with the show for (around the) same amount of time an actor/actress has traditionally held the role. When also factoring in the show's fluctuating ratings and (currently) less-than-stellar imprint on the Geekscape, this would seem a very logical - potentially even wise - juncture to steer the show in some other direction.
The challenge is: in theory, replacing Whittaker (with a more charismatic and compelling onscreen presence) would certainly help to minimize the gravity well generated by the Chibnall Era's endlessly tepid scripts; a little on-screen 'zing' can go a long way towards balancing dull writing. The reverse of this is: at the end of the day, replacing the performer playing the Doctor will not be enough: the true monkey in the wrench here is show runner Chibnall himself.
Should he remain present, even the smartest, boldest Doctor casting will face an uphill push against lackadaisical filmmaking and frequently mamby-pamby writing. The only way the skies are going to open up fully for DOCTOR WHO is if both Chibnall and Whittaker step down.
Will this happen? Will either of them exit DW during S13? Will both of them go? Who might replace either - or both? If either or both occurs, what will the fresh complexion of the show be? Might it morph into something more daring, more energetic, and more truthful to the overall history and vibe of the franchise? Wouldn't take much. Could it end up sucking more than it has recently? You know...it's kinda hard to imagine this...but, yeah, it could still suck worse. As ham handed and misguided as the Chibnall Era has been to date...and as unrepentantly 'meh' both its filmmaking and storytelling have felt... imagine a reality in which all casting is stunt casting, in which all storytelling represents some element of (for example) Social Justice. A reality in which the entirety of WHO is shaped by a crass effort to appear cool and relevant - being more attuned to audience concerns than narrative fidelity. That's not what we have now (although there are certainly hints of such proclivities), and that's not what DOCTOR WHO should ever be. With this example, by the way, I'm not defending the Chibnall Era in any regard - merely exemplifying how much more the show could potentially slide.
DW stands at a very interesting crossroads. No matter what it does from this point forward, it will be impacted by this tremendously transformative time. Global culture and politics will, perhaps more than ever before in the show's history, factor into the equation considerably...as they do for any production currently underway, large or small. For the the foreseeable future, the entertainment industry on the whole will remain fractured and scrambling, with production economics and capabilities still not being fully understood in a dangerous reality shaped by COVID. What happens next for DW...could be fascinating, and fateful, in any number of ways.
The IT'S 2021's 'LONG HAUL' TO SERIES/SEASON 13 MEGATHREAD!! is now open for business! Have at it, have fun, stick around! Welcome back to every regular contributor to our discussions. A respectful tip of the hat - and perpetual open invitation - to all the lurkers out there! We know you're out there!
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DOCTOR WHO Season / Series 13