Over eight million people in the UK tuned in to watch the premiere of the latest incarnation of Doctor Who—the “best U.K. ratings for a season opener of the series in more than 10 years,” according to The Hollywood Reporter (THR).
Numbers that prove that the first actress ever to play the good Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, has what it takes to make the fan base happy.
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) October 7, 2018
Doctor Who‘s series 11 premiered on Sunday night with “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” and featured three companions (Yasmin—a cop, Ryan—an old school chum, and his step-grandfather Graham) whom THR is calling “a callback to the 1963 TARDIS inhabitants.”
For what it’s worth, sharp-eyed fans caught the nods to previous incarnations of the Doctor:
Loved it. She made the Doctor her own, yet I saw glimpses of previous Doctors as well. Just what I was hoping for!
— ️ ♿️ (@kathleengmaz) October 7, 2018
Yes! I caught a couple of tributes to the Tenth Doc. and at least one that was totally the 11th Doc. So good!
— Joy D Leonberger (@JoyDLeonberger) October 7, 2018
They LOVED Whitaker’s silly serious take on the Doc, comparing her with David Tennant:
Jodie was made to be the doctor. She gave off a very David Tennant vibe. More serious then silly but still being silly while serious. This is going to be an amazing run i can feel it. She had potentially the best trainer because she worked on her character along side tennant.
— stitch1996 ZER0 MAIN (@lambertjoshua96) October 7, 2018
Sorry to have to disagree with you on this one. i thought Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the doctor was bloody fantastic, full of energy, reminded me so much of David tenants doctor, im now looking forward to the rest of the series.
— Jason (@McStorm_) October 7, 2018
Jodie did a great job and she’s a great pic good mix of Tennant and Smith. But I do miss Matt Smith he was my fave 🙁 But she how the series goes.
— MikethaManc (@MikethaManc) October 8, 2018
Just watched #DoctorWho on iPlayer. Great start; thoroughly enjoyed it. Jodie wears The Doctor as if she was born to it, perfectly projecting that quirky playful confidence & authority that is quintessentially The Doctor. Her unwitting support team also show great promise.
— John McNulty (@neondiet) October 7, 2018
Fantastic! fantastic! fantastic!….loved Jodie as the Doctor. It was fresh,exciting and understandable hence making it accessible for the whole audience. This is just what the franchise needed…..Brilliant.
— Chris (@Chrisdorling1) October 7, 2018
For those who missed the historic episode, The Guardian did a full episode recap complete with spoilers.
But for those short on time, here’s how THR broke down the episode:
The plot was the most classic Whovian tale possible — aliens are up to no good on Earth (in this case, hunting humans for sport). An array of Brits are drawn in, one is killed, and the Doctor both pokes fun at the big bad alien and gives a righteous speech in defense of Earth.
The fact that the big battle took place atop a Sheffield crane from which, as a sign warned, “falling can cause death,” was also something of a callback . . . recalled the death of the fourth Doctor . . .Tom Baker, who met an infamously ignominious end by falling from similar scaffolding.
This time, the Doctor survived her leap into the unknown. And her speech to “Tim Shaw” — a laughable name she adopted for a creepy alien who embeds the teeth of his victims in his face — stood as a manifesto for the show, and for us all.
Whitaker fans thumbed their noses at the misogynistic rants of a handful of trolls who charged that the Doctor could only ever be a man:
That was fantastic. #doctorwho
After months and months of “the Doctor should only be a man” rubbish from naysayers – their incessant moaning and negativity was instantly proven to be irrelevant nonsense. Jodie nailed the character within seconds.
She IS the Doctor. 100%
— ɢᴀᴠɪɴ (@gavinworby) October 7, 2018
all the man babies are still crying apparently
— Shannon (@SonataNo123) October 8, 2018
Those people don’t know what they’re talking about. She was fantastic! And yes, she IS the Doctor! pic.twitter.com/XDfZxFa5xC
— Babs (@BabsSheKing) October 7, 2018
Exactly the kick up the arse it needed. Shoulda dunnit years ago. #DoctorWho is a woman.
— Joss (@JossMalone) October 7, 2018
It even quelled the fears of a few skeptics:
I’ll admit, I was a sceptic on the gender swapping as far back as Capaldi’s first run when the rumours began circulating. Then Missy happened and I really didn’t care for her character. However, Whittaker has won me over.
— James Troughton (@JamesTroughton3) October 7, 2018
Indeed! I was one of those skeptical but patient fans and she did NOT disappoint with her performance. She’s captured the Doctors essence perfectly! Kudos to Jodie!!
— Osta (@ostaralore) October 7, 2018
I was unsure about her at the start, didn’t feel as though she quite fit, and the storyline was a bit off, not to mention the horrific grammar mistake – but from the moment she said “My name is the Doctor” something changed for me. I think with time, she’ll grow into the role.
— Emily (@itsemilyithink) October 8, 2018
There were those who loved the fact that Whitaker being a woman wasn’t called out or highlighted in the episode:
Agreed. On a personal note, I was wary of how they would pull off a Female Doctor. I’ve always felt it was possible & I was worried they would make too much of a big deal out of it. A Doctor’s 1st Episode is not always the strongest but this has reinvigorated my interest.
— Matthias (@dracostrider) October 8, 2018
As my son said during the episode, It’s funny how being a woman isn’t different. #DoctorWho
— Mark Rogers (@Buck_Rogers23) October 7, 2018
Excellent storyline, excellent writing and excellent acting. When Jodie Whittaker said “I am the Doctor” she transitioned right into Doctor Who, not a female Doctor Who, just Doctor Who. I’ve been a Who fan from the 1st show. Jodie Whittaker is going to be a great Doctor.
— Ernie Conger (@erconger) October 7, 2018
We only have one question after seeing Whitaker do her stuff—Who’s your Doctor?