Doctor Who time travels across the weekend … to Sunday night!
‘New Time Lord, new home’
AS THE galaxy’s favourite time- travelling alien, the Doctor has a habit of leaping from one mind-bogglingly distant era to another.
But now the Time Lord is making a much more modest trip – from Saturday to Sunday night.
The BBC has announced Doctor Who will be broadcast on a Sunday for the first time on October 7, when Jodie Whittaker will make her debut as the Time Lord.
It was announced last year that the Broadchurch star, 36, would be the first woman to play the Doctor. She will be joined by companions Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh.
The move away from Saturday, when the BBC One sci-fi show has traditionally aired, is the latest indication that TV audiences are becoming more inclined to tune in to big shows on Sundays. Hit dramas – including Bodyguard, Vanity Fair and Poldark – are increasingly being shown on Sundays and drawing huge numbers of viewers.
Meanwhile, dwindling Saturday night audiences are watching long-running talent shows such as The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
Strictly Come Dancing, one of the BBC’s biggest ratings successes, is screened on both Saturday and Sundays.
The scheduling change follows complaints from previous Doctor Peter Capaldi that his show was ‘not being looked after’. In 2016 he told Newsweek that BBC executives were ‘pushing it around’ in favour of Strictly. Chris Chibnall, Doctor Who’s new head writer, said yesterday: ‘ New Doctor, new home … Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is about to burst into Sunday nights – and make the end of the weekend so much more exciting.’
It came as Miss Whittaker showed off a sleek blonde bob in a photoshoot for Marie Claire. The Yorkshire-born actress told the magazine: ‘For the first time in my life, I am not playing a stereotypical woman.
‘This job celebrates change more than any other role – you have a physical regeneration, so casting [a woman] supports that story.’
The first Sunday night episode of Bodyguard, which stars Keeley Hawes, saw the highest launch figure for any UK drama since records began in 2006. Some 10.4million tuned in live and on catch-up.
Doctor Who has previously aired specials on a Sunday but never an entire series. The title character has previously been played by stars including Matt Smith, David Tennant and Jon Pertwee.
Changed man: Jon Pertwee as the Doctor in the 70s. Right: Jodie Whittaker
On cover of Marie Claire