IBOENNAJMI CLAREN SCREENGRAB
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BBC One, Sunday
Ihave always liked the sound of being a Whovian – like an upmarket sort of Hoover – and I dabbled, here and there, with Christopher Ecclestone, David Tennant and latterly Peter Capaldi. But much like the actual Hoovering, I didn’t do it properly and eventually lost heart. The aliens were rubbery, the jeopardy was mild (please just use the screwdriver), the stories got complicated, and my ambition wilted.
Chris Chibnall, the new writer of Doctor Who, is on a mission to round up lost sheep like me, and with 10 stand-alone episodes to graze upon, it’s never been a better time to return to the fold. After all, if Doctor Who can turn into a woman, can’t I turn into a Whovian?
What I saw on Sunday night was very fun, and undeniably daft. It started with a 19-year-old called
Ryan not being able to ride a bicycle, taking out his frustration on his grandmother’s inoffensive second husband, then throwing his bike over a cliff. I didn’t warm to Ryan.
I perked up when, in a jungly bit of woodland, he was ambushed by some lights, which birthed what I can only describe as a massive, blue, plastic head of garlic. The bathos of it was excellent. Later, on a darkened train, a vast, squirming, electrified ball of spaghetti menaced Ryan’s grandmother. Was it an Italian cookery class for plus-sized aliens?
Enter the woman of the hour, Jodie Whittaker, to sort it all out. She was a bit manic, switching between quipface and extreme-pantomime-shockface, but when she reminded you that her every cell was still regenerating
‘NOW WITH SHEFFIELD STEEL!’Jodie Whittaker was a charming, manic Doctor