Why new Doctor Who is so special
GET the TARDIS ready because a new season of Doctor Who is coming.
We're less than a week out from a momentous time in the Doctor Who canon. Not only is there a new Time Lord, it's the franchise's first female Doctor with Jodie Whittaker taking on the iconic role.
So here's what you need to know before Monday.
WHAT MAKES THIS SEASON SPECIAL?
After 12 Doctors, 840 episodes and 55 years (albeit with a 16-year break, minus one 1996 TV movie) all with an XY chromosomal make-up, the show's casting of the first female actor to be the 13th Doctor is definitely exciting.
Ignore all those bitter, socially regressive basement dwellers that say otherwise.
Jodie Whittaker was announced in July 2017, with her first on-screen appearance at the very end of the Christmas special last year when Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor regenerated into Whittaker with a beaming smile and the words, "Oh, brilliant!"
Whittaker, 36, made her feature film debut in 2006's Venus alongside Peter O'Toole, picking up a swag of nominations for her role. And while she's also starred in flicks like St Trinian's and Attack The Block, it's TV where she's best recognised.
To Australian audiences, Whittaker will be familiar for her three seasons as Beth in Broadchurch, the mother of the boy whose death is the catalyst for the story. She's also been in Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Trust Me, The Assets and an episode of Black Mirror.
This season also marks the start of new era in terms of writers, with Chris Chibnall taking over from Sherlock producer Steven Moffat who worked on the show for six seasons.
Chibnall has previously written for Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, Life On Mars, and worked with Whittaker on Broadchurch. He seems to have a knack for reuniting with former colleagues with Law & Order UK (which Chibnall wrote six episodes on) alum Bradley Walsh also joining the cast.
Walsh is a former footballer and popular actor in the UK, having starred on Coronation Street and hosted The Chase.
THE STORY SO FAR
If you're already a Whovian, you're not going to need to any crib notes. But if you're new to the series and you don't have the time or inclination to go back through even the modern incarnation of the series (10 seasons!) then be assured that Chibnall has said there is no barrier to entry with the new season.
The basics are that there is a time-travelling being from the planet Gallifrey called The Doctor and she has adventures through time and space, often battling villains with evil designs, and usually with a companion and other allies in the TARDIS, which from the outside looks like a blue police box.
The Doctor regenerates into different personas which is a clever plot device to change actors after a few years. In theory, it's still the same character even though they have different personalities and quirks - this is explained as being different life stages of The Doctor, who occasionally meets other versions of himself/herself because of all the time-travelling.
Chibnall also confirmed that this season will be a completely blank slate with no major characters carrying over other than The Doctor and that each of the 10 episodes will be a stand-alone story - so, no multi-episode story arcs.
Expect the season to focus on bedding in the new Doctor and her relationships with her new friends.
The primary companion will be Walsh's Graham while Tosin Cole (EastEnders: E20, Hollyoaks) will play Ryan and Mandip Gill (Casulty) will join as Yasmin.
Alan Cumming said he'll play King James I in an upcoming episode while comedian Lee Mack will also appear.
WHEN AND HOW CAN I WATCH IT IN AUSTRALIA?
ABC will be screening Doctor Who in Australia as it has done in the past. The episodes will be available on iview on Mondays at 5.45am AEDT, from October 8, immediately after the UK broadcast. It will screen on the ABC on Monday nights at 5.55pm.
On the same nights, ABC Comedy will also air a half-hour fan show with Rove McManus called Whovians.
The first feature-length episode will also be in screening in selected cinemas.
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