The weekend brings us Eve of the Daleks, the penultimate story in showrunner Chris Chibnall's tenure on DOCTOR WHO. It will also mark the second-to-last appearance of star Jodie Whittaker as series lead - before the whole kit and cawhodle is returned, battered and bruised, to Eccleston/Tennant Era showrunner Russell T. Davies.
Eve is described thusly by BBC:
Sarah (Aisling Bea) owns and runs ELF storage, and Nick (Adjani Salmon) is a customer who visits his unit every year on New Year’s Eve. This year, however, their night turns out to be a little different than planned as they find themselves joining forces with the Doctor, Dan and Yaz in a fight against the Daleks.
This installment marks to first directorial appearance of Annetta Laufer in the DOCTOR WHO universe.
If iMDB is to be believed, Eve also represents her first full-on directing assignment anywhere (she is credited with having directed a number of short films in the past).
Is this a bad thing?
Not intrinsically, no. Historically some amazing work has been done by 'newbie' directors, and especially directors fresh to franchises (the history of STAR TREK shows many examples of this). In a strange way, her unusual background and current status here may actually be one of the most compelling elements of this episode.
An interesting side note: The Powers That Be have behaved in even odder fashions than usual regarding recent DOCTOR WHO installments. For example: promotional images from Flux were far fewer and further between than any previous iteration of recent WHO. The same is proving to be the case with Eve of the Daleks. A quick glance at BBC's Official DOCTOR WHO Gallery shows no image updates since The Timeless Children (back in February 2020). Images from Flux, released elsewhere, are nowhere to be see on BBC's site (and only a smattering appeared on BBCA's site pre show launch).
It would be easy to assume COVID impacted this to a degree. But, on the other hand, plenty of COVID Era shows are releasing as many promotional images as Saul - if not more than usual. And,. there were some Flux images released...so it's hard to discern exactly what's going on with DW at the moment. Perhaps BBC has simply grown weary of trying to keep the ball on the playing field while Chibnall is effectively making every effort to drop it. Perhaps BBC is passively-aggressively reacting to the recent migration of control and power of the franchise show to RTD and Bad Wolf/Sony, and away from BBC altogether. Or, perhaps the explanation is far more mundane. It is a strange and notable trend nonetheless.
By the way, if I'm missing something (like: if the Flux and Eve images are simply somewhere on BBC's site), by all means correct me/point it out.
Meanwhile...The Eve of the Daleks discussion is ready to go! We'll be back in a few days to launch with a 'Long Haul' Discussion to bridge us to the last Chibnall/Whittaker installment ever- and the beginning of the RTD2 Era!
By the way: RTD has recently indicated he is already scripting his new WHO iteration, that casting is just beginning, and that his reworking will appear in November 2023 - for the series' 60th anniversary. More HERE!
Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to the Good Things - they are still out there. And here's to Better Days...
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MORE TO COME NEXT YEAR!!