Good luck Jodie Whittaker…. you’re probably going to need it.
Today, after the Wimbledon final the BBC announced that Jodie Whittaker will be the new Doctor in Doctor Who. She will be the first woman to take the role of the iconic Time Lord since the show’s inception in 1963. A lot of the fans will be against this. Already there are Tweet storms galore, people saying goodbye to the show forever, how a woman will ruin the show, and who the true fans really are. I’m going to withhold any judgment until we at least get to see her in the role.
The casting of a female Doctor really shouldn’t be a surprise, but I was surprised. Casting a female Doctor is risky, and I didn’t expect the BBC to take that big a risk with a new showrunner coming in. Current showrunner Steven Moffat is stepping aside and Chris Chibnall is taking over for the next season. I really wanted current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, to stick around for a season under the new runner, but it was not in the cards. I fully expected a female Doctor to happen eventually, just not in the first year. I know there have been a lot of hints and seeds planted over the last few years suggesting the next Doctor would be female, and there were numerous hints dropped in the Series 10 finale:
MASTER: Do as she says. Is the future going to be all girl?
DOCTOR: We can only hope.
BILL: But, hey er, you know how I’m usually all about women and, and kind of people my own age.
BILL: Glad you knew that.
- Will Whittaker get a long run as the Doctor?
- Is this just a quick fix to satisfy the fans who were asking for it?
- Will she be quickly replaced?
- Are they setting her (and the show) up to fail?
- Will she be a “sexy” Doctor?
- How will they cast the 14th Doctor?
- Will the companion be male or female?
- How will the stories differ?
- Will they be tailored for a female Doctor? (I hope not actually. One of my favourite things about the show is that in a well written Who story the Doctor should be interchangeable with any of the past incarnations.)
- Will they be a bit more serious and dramatic or will it be played more for humour?
I really wasn’t sure who Jodie Whittaker was, but I quickly checked IMDb and see she was in Attack the Block and played Beth Latimer on Broadchurch… It’s been a while since I’ve seen Broadchurch so I had no idea who that character was until a friend told me she was the “mom of the dead kid”. I did really enjoy her in both roles. She is a talented actress and will hopefully bring something special to her new role.
Jodie Whittaker will be the thirteenth Doctor, and 13 isn’t a lucky number…. Ah well, as with everything with Doctor Who, time will tell….
Again, good luck….Doctor.
It seemed last weekend was one of finally getting around to seeing things I’d meant to for a while. I watched Attack the Block and found it quite enjoyable. As the box promised, we have Outer Space vs. Inner City in another enjoyable comedy-horror from England. The film had decent special effects, and a good enough plot, and plenty of thrills and chills, and quite a good mix of humour along the way.
Given the limited (I assume) budget of the film, the aliens were remarkably well handled. Of course we don’t get to see very many full shots of them, which just increases their “fear factor”. What limited glimpses we did enjoy were quite impressive. The aliens were almost a cross between giant dogs and gorillas, with their black fur obscuring any real details. We do get to see their glow in the dark teeth, shining in the darkness, as the invaders slink around in the shadows of “The Block”.
The film opens with a gang of thugs mugging a young woman (Jodie Whittaker) on her way home from work. Their mugging is interrupted as something falls from the sky, destroying a parked car, allowing the woman to make her escape and run home. What fell to earth? A small alien, that the gang chases and kills; parading the body through their neighbourhood as a trophy. Of course, when you have one alien fall to earth, more must follow, and follow they do. Now we get the hairy, terrorizing aliens, and the gang must fight them off and defend their homes. Our gang heroes now step up and fight the aliens, avoid the police and a rival gang leader.
Unfortunately this is where the movie kind of lost me for a bit. This gang of hoodlums just mugged an innocent young woman at knife point, and we are meant to empathize with them? They violently killed an alien, not knowing what it was. The invasion really played out like the aliens were there to avenge the death of the first alien. I was really hoping that the aliens were going to just slaughter the gang, who were; at first meeting; essentially teenage, narrow-minded thugs.
Of course these thugs have their own “codes of honour” as all gangs seem to proclaim, and I did like how this was brought up later in the film. Upon returning home to their apartment building, hiding from aliens, the gang runs across Sam, their mugging victim from earlier in the night and forces themselves into her home to hide from the aliens. The gang eventually apologizes to her, saying they didn’t know she lived in “The Block”. The social commentary deepens as she calls them out.
“Listen yeah, we never knew you lived in the block, if we knew you we wouldn’t have stepped you” one of the gang says to Sam who replies “What, it would have been okay to mug me if I didn’t live here? Is that how it works?”
The young cast did quite a good job with their roles, and were well handled by writer/director Joe Cornish. The dialogue could be confusing with all the slang being thrown about, and when you add in the accents; well let’s just say I was happy to have watched it at home with the subtitles on. Nick Frost as a supporting character was highly enjoyable as comic relief, and gave some extra incentive to watch. The gang casting was well done, but I really did enjoy Jodie Whittaker, as her character was the only one that you could truly like and empathize with from start to finish. Attack The Block was equal parts fun and horror, making for an enjoyable film, even if I didn’t enjoy the way the main characters started out, as they defend their block, and travel their path of redemption.