Since its revival in 2005, the British made TV serial Doctor Who, which first aired 23rd November 1963 (the day after US president John F. Kennedy was assassinated) has seen five actors take on the enigmatic title role - Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, John Hurt, and Peter Capaldi, each bringing their own nuances and characteristics to the role. Among fans and general audiences the most popular recent Doctor Who has been that of the Tenth Doctor portrayed by Tennant, who starred in 47 episodes across 5 seasons and various specials - the actor with the longest tenure as the Doctor was Tom Baker, who starred as the fourth Doctor in an amazing 172 episodes spread across 7 seasons.
After a brief appearance in the closing moments of Capaldi's last episode as the twelfth Doctor, Sunday 7th October 2018 saw Jodie Whittaker begin her tenure as the Doctors thirteenth incarnation, and the characters first appearance as a woman. Accompanied by a somewhat socially selected trio of companions (a black male, a white male, and an Asian female - pictured below) on the surface it would appear that the series' new showrunner and writer Chris Chibnall has structured the show to appease the growing masses of SJW's and socially inclined commentators that frequently object whenever they perceive any part of the entertainment industry to be sidelining social, sexual, and racial representation. The presumption that the new series of Doctor Who had become another platform for social inequity has led many to worry that the shows unique format, style, and appeal would be lost, especially with the departure of Steven Moffat, who had been integral to the shows revival and success since 2005.
Thankfully, the first episode of the eleventh series quickly put all of these fears to rest. Yes, the Doctor is now a woman, but unlike 2016's Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, the episode does not repeatedly beat the sexual awareness drum and instead allows newcomer Whittaker to etch out her own interpretation of one of science fiction's most beloved protagonists, with just enough callbacks to previous incarnations without being overly referential. The episode, which plays out similarly to Tennant's first episode in the role sees Whittaker's Doctor acclimatizing to her new identity while having to contend with another alien infraction here on Earth.
Although only the first of ten episodes have thus far been aired, the show seems well directed, acted and shot, with the narrative stylings that made the show so successful in recent years thankfully maintained, and Whittakers performance is suitably manic and humorous. Although we have yet to see whether she can convincingly convey the Doctors full range of eccentricities and emotions, the actress has started her tenure with a strong and confident debut that holds promise. Hopefully, by the end of the eleventh series, Whittaker will have proved critics and misogynists wrong and delivered to the fans another multilayered and multi-faceted representation of one of sci-fi's longest running characters.