Jodie Whittaker and Shaun Dooley in Doctor Who series 11 (BBC)
If we’re not mistaken, the fella on the right of this image (who crops up a couple of times during the trailer) is non other than Shaun Dooley, best known for his roles in Misfits, Gunpowder and Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall’s OTHER big show, Broadchurch.
Who he’s playing or which episodes he turns up in are anybody’s guess, but it’s great to see such a well regarded character actor in Doctor Who.
Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole in the new Doctor Who trailer (BBC)
It seems that, like incarnations of the Doctor before her, Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord will have some variations on her usual outfit, with some shots in the trailer – specifically the ones set in what looks like mid-twentieth century America – showing her in a reddish-brown rainbow-patterned T-shirt instead of the navy one we’ve all become used to. The trousers also appear to be green instead of the usual “petrol” colour, but that might just be the lighting.
Look, we know it’s a small change, but Christopher Eccleston used to just have distinct coloured sweaters under his leather jacket and loads of people talked about that.
Jodie Whittaker with the new Doctor’s sonic screwdriver (BBC)
However, the trailer offers some possible extra information about the prop, which designer Arwel Jones hints has an interesting background.
“I can’t wait for people to see how the Doctor acquires it!” he said in a release.
Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who series 11 (BBC)
Specifically we’re talking about the scene where the Doctor throws on an apron and welding mask to create…something…with a blazing torch, in a scene that presumably takes place in the very first episode of the series given that she’s still wearing the clothes of her previous incarnation Peter Capaldi.
Given how early this seems to take place in the series (and the handmade, pitted appearance of the screwdriver) we’re willing to bet that this scene is actually showing Whittaker create her own screwdriver from scratch, possibly out of necessity after being deserted by the Tardis at the end of the 2017 Christmas special.
Look, we could be wrong – we certainly have been before – but we’re feeling pretty confident about this one. Let’s all check back here in a few months and see how we did.
Back to the past
Jodie Whittaker and her crew in Doctor Who series 11 (BBC)
Rumours that the new series would see the Doctor and crew travel back to the time of Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights era seem like they might be true, with various scenes in the trailer appearing to show the Tardis team with old-fashioned cars and buildings in keeping with that time period.
Based on how quickly they’re running away from trouble, however, we’re betting they have to face some peculiarly otherworldly threats on their jaunt into history.
A strange landscape in Doctor Who series 11 (BBC)
Based on dialogue from the Doctor it also seems like we glimpse an alien world in the new footage, complete with smoking wreckage from some sort of spacecraft.
Given showrunner Chris Chibnall’s previous comments about the “all-new” nature of the series it seems fair we can assume this is a brand-new world the Tardis team are exploring – unless we’ve misread it and someone just dropped an engine in a quarry somewhere on Earth, and the team are investigating. Also possible!
A traumatic regeneration
Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who series 11 episode 1 (BBC)
It’s a tradition that new incarnations of the Doctor always struggle a bit post-regeneration (David Tennant basically spent a whole episode in bed, remember?), and based on the trailer it seems like Whittaker is no exception, clutching her chest in pain and confusion in the very first shot of the footage.
Other shots from the first episode see her sitting in a crater (possibly after her long fall at the end of the Christmas special), and a shot from a later adventure see her suffering from a pretty nasty headache, so overall it looks like the Thirteenth Doctor has a bumpy introduction into the Whoniverse.
Bradley Walsh as Graham in Doctor Who series 11 (BBC)
We don’t actually see that much of the Doctor’s friends in the new trailer, with all the shots of Ryan, Yaz and Graham (Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Bradley Walsh) keeping things fairly non-descript without any dialogue from their characters.
However, there is one shot of Graham that attracted our attention, where the new companion – who Walsh admitted would rather put his feet up than save the world during the SDCC panel – trudging through a mysterious landscape with some strange objects and a piece of mysterious technology affixed to his right temple.
Is he being controlled by an outside force? Picking up the Doctor’s high-tech ways in order to track down a mysterious foe? Or is it just the latest must-have fashion accessory for the time traveller on the go (in which case, we’ll all be wanting them for Christmas).
For now, as with all our other questions, we’ll have to wait to find out – but won’t it be fun trying to work it all out before the series returns this autumn?
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