Doctor Who is back! And it’s about time.
This year’s first episode features a new Doctor, new companions, a new Tardis, a new sonic screwdriver, a new showrunner… We could go on and on – and we do, below.
Here’s everything you need to know about the first episode of Doctor Who series 11…
- The scripts for Doctor Who series 11 were originally written for a male Doctor
- There’ll be no romance between Jodie Whittaker and her companions in the new Doctor Who series
- Doctor Who to move from Saturdays to Sundays for new era
What is it called?
The episode is titled The Woman Who Fell to Earth, which is presumably both a reference to the David Bowie film The Man Who Fell to Earth, and the fact that the last time we saw the Thirteenth Doctor – in 2017 Christmas special Twice Upon a Time – she had fallen out of her Tardis.
What is it about?
The official plot synopsis of the episode is below:
We don’t get aliens in Sheffield. In a South Yorkshire city, Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan and Graham O’Brien are about to have their lives changed forever, as a mysterious woman, unable to remember her own name, falls from the night sky.
Can they believe a word she says? And can she help solve the strange events taking place across the city?
When is it on TV?
Although a time is yet to be confirmed, The Woman Who Fell to Earth will air on BBC1 on October 7 – a significant scheduling change from a Saturday to a Sunday.
If you’re watching in America, then the episode will air at the same time as the UK debut, followed by a special encore in its new regular primetime evening slot.
Who wrote it?
The first episode is written by new showunner Chris Chibnall, who most people will know as the creator of hit ITV1 crime drama Broadchurch. He has also written various episodes of Doctor Who, and had a large creative role on Russell T Davies’ spin-off Torchwood.
Who is in it?
The Thirteenth Doctor will be played by Broadchurch’s Jodie Whittaker, who will become the first woman to play the lead on the show.
Alongside her are companions Yasmin Khan, Ryan Sinclair and Graham O’Brien, played respectively by Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh.
Sharon D Clarke will also feature in the episode, playing a regular character called Grace.
The episode will be directed by Jamie Childs, who will be making his Doctor Who debut after working on shows like Stan Lee’s Lucky Man and Poldark.
Who is the villain?
This is yet to be confirmed, but unsurprisingly all the signs point to it being an alien who can make an outline in a chain fence, as evidenced by the photo below:
Will we see a new Tardis interior?
Presumably so – the reveal of a new Tardis interior is usually a big part of every new Doctor’s first episode. In a since deleted tweet, Doctor Who series 11 concept artist Darren Fereday described new production designer Arwel Wyn Jones’s ideas for the interior in one word: “crazy”.
Will we see a new sonic screwdriver?
Absolutely. Promotional images have already featured the sonic screwdriver, including this one below which may or may not show the Doctor actually building it.
Will there be a new theme tune?
Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine, Chris Chibnall has said: “There’s a new opening title sequence, and a new arrangement of the opening theme, by our brilliant new composer Segun Akinola.”
But he then adds: “You’ll have to wait until episode two to see those in situ, though. Episode one starts slightly differently.”
This presumably means that The Woman Who Fell to Earth will not feature an opening title sequence – an unusual move for Doctor Who.
Where was it filmed?
Doctor Who is mainly filmed in Cardiff, the home of BBC Wales’ studio space. But for The Woman Who Fell to Earth, a lot of exterior filming took place in Sheffield, where the episode is set.
Doctor Who series 11 premiers on BBC1 on October 7