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The Daily Telegraph - Review - - COVER STORY -

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

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