It seemed like a strange venue from which to announce it, but there it was. During the festive program that was the Final Match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium between France and Croatia, British network BBC launched a new trailer – its second – for its 11th series of the iconic decades-spanning science fiction TV series “Doctor Who”. It was anticipated by fans of the show on all territories where BBC One programming is available, and it is not difficult to understand why. After all, it will feature the first actress assuming the role of the Doctor.
According to The Verge, BBC previewed its second teaser for “Doctor Who” series 11 during the finals of the FIFA World Cup this Sunday, July 15. It was the second trailer released to build up hype for the debut of actress Jodie Whittaker as the newest incarnation of the time-space travelling alien Time Lord known only as the Doctor. Whittaker actually first appeared as the new Doctor in the series’ traditional Christmas special episode last year, showing her character regenerating from her previous incarnation, portrayed by Peter Capaldi. Her debut coincides with a significant shakeup of the show’s production higher-ups.
The casting of Jodie Whittaker has been a defining moment concerning the direction of the “Doctor Who” franchise. Since the serial began in 1963, the Time Lord Doctor character was played by a man beginning with William Hartnell. When he retired from the show in 1966 BBC’s producers hit on the in-universe concept of “regeneration”, a special ability of “Time Lord” aliens to be literally reborn in a new persona after dying, to recast the role with another actor, a practice that has happened 13 times now. Whittaker, the 13th Doctor, is preceded by 12 male actors for the part.
But quarters of “Doctor Who” fans have floated the idea of the character regenerating into a female with the show-runners. The running response to the idea was that the viewership may not yet be ready for such a premise-shattering development. When long-running show-runner Steven Moffat stepped down following the conclusion of “Doctor Who” series 10 (which was also the retirement season of Peter Capadi the 12th Doctor), his successor Chris Chibnall ultimately decided to go for the female casting. Despite alarm from some of the fan-base, Whittaker getting the lead part has been highly praised by Moffat and even some of the previous Doctor actors.
Not much was revealed in the short World Cup trailer for “Doctor Who” series 11, except possible spoilers on the 13th Doctor’s future travelling companions. This is the 11th series since the revival of “Doctor Who” in 2005, following the original series ending in 1989 and the 1996 TV movie. Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor will start her own adventures on BBC One this coming October 2018.
In case you were wondering, France beat Croatia 4-2 to win their second World Cup title ever since 1998, and made it so that European countries won this and the last three FIFA World Cup tournaments in a row. The Doctor’s companions were also watching the World cup on TV in the trailer.
Image courtesy of Comic Book Resources