Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor

Is a Completely Revamped Doctor Who Really a Good Idea?

We get it, Chris. You're not Moffat, but you don't have to let go of everything.

Recommended Videos

New Doctor Show showrunner Chris Chibnall is saying there will be no River Song, no Daleks, and no Missy in upcoming season of Doctor Who, to which I say, “But why?” The entire modern-day series, from Christopher Eccleston’s start as the Ninth Doctor in season 1, has relied on the nostalgia of the original decades of Doctor Who, as well as introduced enduring fan favorites.

According to Syfy, Chibnall is saying that the show “will be all about the new” and serve as a “clean slate” to viewers who may just now be joining the audience. Growing Who‘s audience is a great goal, but Doctor Who is a show with an extensive history in fandom and an incredibly rich official canon developed over the course of more than 800 episodes. To say “we’re focusing on the new” is, honestly, not my favorite move coming from Chibnall. Many of us dropped in at extremely different seasons and points in time and were fast able to determine what a Dalek was.

They’re already changing a major aspect of the show with Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, and I say this as someone who wanted nothing more than a female Doctor for quite some time. So to not include some of the most iconic aspects of the show feels like it’s moving Whittaker away from the Doctor as we know the Doctor, rather than centering her firmly as the Doctor. Chibnall has also asserted that we’ll see no Cybermen or Weeping Angels, either, among other well-known characters.

Taking the Daleks (or any of the Doctor’s past villains) entirely out of the equation almost feels like Chibnall is trying to make a brand new show. Sure, Doctor Who needed a breath of fresh air, but at the end of the day, it should still be Doctor Who. We should come into the show and be excited to see the Doctor go to new places; that won’t change.

But the looming threat of the Daleks should always be on our minds while we are watching the show. Or else, Chibnall at least could have left us guessing about who would or would not be making an appearance. He has a real chance to create his own new iconic characters and villains here, which is exciting, but that doesn’t have to mean nostalgia is out.

Honestly, having a River/Thirteen storyline would be absolutely revolutionary for the show, equally so if they kept Missy involved. Cutting off both the characters feels like the show just doesn’t want a female Doctor to have a wife. (Something we’ve already caught a whiff of.) It possibly means that they’re not interested in having many female characters as the focal point of the show, though of course, we’ll have to see where Chibnall takes the TARDIS.

Up until now, modern Who has always been the Doctor with a female companion, with the occasional other man thrown in. Very rarely has there more than one female character as a main player and, with the exception of Jenny Flint and Madame Vastra, there hasn’t been as much queer representation as there could have been prior to Bill’s introduction in season 10. This was the show that gave us Captain Jack Harkness in 2005, after all.

Ultimately, this is Chris Chibnall’s show, and he can do with it what he likes; we are definitely rooting for him. We could not be more thrilled about Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor, but we kindly ask that Chibnall and Co. remember that this is Doctor Who, and Doctor Who is a show that many have loved for years. Taking away the Daleks, River, The Master/Missy, and more leaves us unsure about what’s coming next, when we want to be 100% jumping up and down about it.

(via SYFY, image: BBC/Screengrab)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Sophia Di Martino Breaks Down Sylvie and Loki’s Connection in ‘Loki’
Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie and Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains in the background on 'Loki'
Read Article Thank Goodness the ‘Bluey’ Special Ended the Way It Did
bluey, bingo, chilli and bandit from bluey
Read Article Is ‘Queen of Tears’ Fated to Have a Tragic Ending? We’re Not Ready for Episodes 13 and 14
Hae-in rejecting Hyun-woo after his second proposal in Queen of Tears
Read Article Jeff Daniels Won’t Go Down Without a Fight in Netflix’s Upcoming Series ‘A Man In Full’
Jeff Daniels sits at a desk in A Man In Full
Read Article Leslie Uggams Proves Once Again Why She’s the GOAT in ‘Fallout’
Betty Pearson, played by Leslie Uggams, in 'Fallout'.
Related Content
Read Article Sophia Di Martino Breaks Down Sylvie and Loki’s Connection in ‘Loki’
Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie and Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains in the background on 'Loki'
Read Article Thank Goodness the ‘Bluey’ Special Ended the Way It Did
bluey, bingo, chilli and bandit from bluey
Read Article Is ‘Queen of Tears’ Fated to Have a Tragic Ending? We’re Not Ready for Episodes 13 and 14
Hae-in rejecting Hyun-woo after his second proposal in Queen of Tears
Read Article Jeff Daniels Won’t Go Down Without a Fight in Netflix’s Upcoming Series ‘A Man In Full’
Jeff Daniels sits at a desk in A Man In Full
Read Article Leslie Uggams Proves Once Again Why She’s the GOAT in ‘Fallout’
Betty Pearson, played by Leslie Uggams, in 'Fallout'.
Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.