Sci-Fi Doctor Who (2023- ) [Disney]


Code Monkey
Staff member
Title: Doctor Who

Genre: Action & Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Creator: Sydney Newman, Russell T Davies, Donald Wilson, C. E. Webber

Overview: The Doctor and friends travel from the dawn of human history to distant alien worlds. And everywhere they go, they find adventure, terror, fun, chases, joy and monsters.
Doctor Who (2023- ) [Disney]

After the 'Timeless Child' and 'Flux' stories that weren't exactly well received by fans, combined with the temporary return of David Tennant, I was expecting a much more powerful story line as the transition is made to Ncuti Gatwa being the new Doctor. I should be used to being disappointed by now when it comes to Who.

In the US the transition was presented as four 60th anniversary 'specials' streamed on Disney+. The first three specials were centered on Tennant's Doctor and the return of Donna. The fourth episode was the 2023 Christmas special with Gatwa now fully in the role and introducting new sidekick Ruby played by Millie Gibson.

Good parts of watching all four specials back-to-back was that the Christmas episode shows that Gatwa and Gibson are capable of carrying the show and, if they can get viewers to find them on Disney+, will likely attract a fan following of viewers in younger demographics.

The bad parts of watching all four specials back-to-back was that you are left with feeling like the first three specials serve absolutely no purpose other than for Russell T Davies (RTD) to try & wipe-out the past 15 years of Doctor Who so he can resume where he ended with Tennant in 2008. While that itself might be a little eyebrow raising to some, RTD spends so much time preaching about certain inclusivity issues (and actually making it a part of the plot about how the world gets saved this time) that the first three specials with Tennant come off as PSAa (Public Service Announcements) starring Doctor Who characters instead of actual shows. "Hey kids, you remember Doctor Who from 20 years ago? Well, he is back along with some of his friends to talk about inclusivity!"

The really interesting take-away, though, is that if the Disney era of Doctor Who fails miserably then the the BBC has a way of essentially wiping out everything with Gatwa & his successors and to try another reboot starting with Tennant again as a starting point. It does help explain why, here in the US at least, Disney+ is not getting any of the past Who content. For anything prior to these 60th anniversary PSAs specials and the new future episodes with Gatwa, US viewers will need HBO Max to watch the Eccleston to Whitaker period and BritBox to watch classic Who along with the offshoots like the old specials and the Sarah Jane-Smith K9 spin-off.

new sidekick Ruby played by Millie Gibson
... and she's gone, supposedly.

Gibson's Ruby is supposedly leaving after just one season to be replaced by a different character. The new season (either "Season 14" or "Season 1" depending on which listing service you go by) will drop in May 2024 and S15/S2 has already started filming but with a different sidekick, actress Varada Sethu who sci-fi fans may recognize from Andor.

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