Watching The Woman Who Fell To Earth

Before I properly get going here, we’re not going to talk about specific plot points but anyone reading this before watching The Woman Who Fell To Earth for themselves might want to rectify that situation before continuing – if nothing else, you’ll at least be better armed to disagree with me! So for everyone still reading… now the default disclaimer is out of the way, here we go with a new season of Doctor Who, a new Doctor in Jodie Whittaker and three new companions all in need of an introduction.

My Beloved and I sat down to watch it together and enjoyed meeting all of these characters for the first time, learning more about them and finding out how they were connected to and interacted with each other; obviously we knew who the actors were going to be well in advance because that’s how the hype machine works these days but it’s always fun to actually see them in action as it were. That said, it’s been a few years since I last visited Sheffield but I don’t remember it being quite that dark and forbidding… perhaps I just managed to avoid the more ropey, alien-invaded areas?

The response online has apparently been mixed and I’ve already seen this episode described on social media as the “worst opening of a new series” amongst other things, but that rather implies a lack of previous Doctor Who experience on the part of the commenter… this was a post regeneration story and those have always been relatively weak in part because they need to dedicate time to establishing the new Doctor’s character. Other elements tend to be left aside to make room for that process, so classic ‘Who brought us “gems” like Time And The Rani, which I’d argue that still stands as the worst opening of a new season and is incredibly unlikely to ever lose that dubious “honour”. And don’t get me started on The Twin Dilemma…!

So the villain was okay but two dimensional enough to slip under a badly hung door and I felt that the resolution of Twice Upon A Time’s cliff hanger was something of a letdown (oh dear… sorry about that) but at least easily retconned, but as a whole The Woman Who Fell To Earth did what needed to be done in a more than reasonable fashion. The companions will no doubt be fleshed out as the season progresses but are already interesting enough that I want to find out more, the story was a “fun romp” and the new Doctor is a little scatterbrained but charming and likeable, with lots of energy which makes her a good counterpoint to Capaldi’s more brooding and grumpy rendition.

The new version of the theme works nicely with lots of Radiophonic Workshop overtones – I’m thinking it’s an improvement over the last season personally – and I’m very interested to see where things go especially after the cliffhanger and the roll call of upcoming guest cast – again, some people on the interwebs have complained that they felt this showed a lack of confidence on the BBC’s part but it’s no different to the season-wide trailers we’ve seen previously and actually less likely to spoil future episodes in the long run – so roll on next Sunday evening and, whilst I’ sort of expecting a certain missing element to remain so for a while longer, we also have that reveal to look forward to.

2 thoughts on “Watching The Woman Who Fell To Earth

  1. Continuing your ‘not-wanting-to-spoil-things-for-readers’ slant, all I’ll say is that I thought it was a bog-standard episode after a regeneration kind of episode. Nothing flash, but nothing too bad either.

    I LOVED the ‘new’ theme tune which seems to be a very old version over-dubbed with modern sounds? And the middle-8 returneth! Me happy!

    I did think production values seemed quite high? The crane stuff, unless faked another way (and in which case faked well!), I assume was green-screen work but was *VERY* effective I thought. Thumbs up if that kind of work continues; hopefully it wasn’t just for the opening episode.

    I’m not a huge fan of Bradley Walsh, but actually thought he was ok here. And Ryan I’m intrigued by because my two daughters also have dyspraxia – it’s not something that comes up often on TV.

    Here’s hoping for a new, simple TARDIS interior like the ‘old’ days.

  2. The BBC DW YouTube channel has some behind the scenes footage and at least some of the crane shots seem to be using a real crane assembled near to the ground and shot from below.

    I rather like Bradley Walsh personally, didn’t watch Law And Order: UK as such but saw a few bits and he always came across well; he was great in Sarah Jane Adventures too, though.

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