Dr Who is back to its roots

Dr Who started the same year as me 1963, such was its impact, that before the second incarnation in 1966, even small children like me (at the time) knew about Doctor Who. Like most people my age I grew up with Dr Who. My Doctors were the 2nd and the 4th; I never really cared for John Pertwee’s Doctor, probably because the TARDIS didn’t really work for him, and 8 year old me really wanted one of my own (a real one not just the make-believe garden shed version).

Inevitably Dr Who has been changed over time as the society and technology we live in and with has changed. Multi-episode story lines have gone and stories have to run in single episodes with the very occasional two parter. In part that’s because it is now possible to fit a lot more story into 45 minutes, with the faster pacing typical of modern productions, the higher budget and slicker effects

William Hartnell’s original Doctor Who was intended to be both adventurous and educational; stories for children. Stories alternated between futuristic and historical. The early Doctor and his 3 companions witnessed many historical events and survived many futuristic foes.

Jodie Whittaker’s new Doctor is closer to the original Doctors than any of the more recent incarnations.This current series has many echos of the earlier series. There are 3 companions, there are alternating appearances of historical events. Some have criticised these for being ‘more like history lessons’. The potential for education was part of the original justification for the airing of the first series. There have also been criticisms that the show is ‘treating us like children’. Well yes, it may do, but it is after all a children’s show.

The ratings for this season appear to be holding their own against those for other recent seasons and the show has gone down well with the US audience. 

Unfortunately it looks like after the New Year special we will have to wait until 2020 to see what happens next. 

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