There were a few notable episodes from last fall’s eleventh season of Doctor Who. There was the premiere, which properly introduced us to Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, the New Year’s special, which featured a lone Dalek and perhaps the most impressive outing of the run, “Rosa”, which saw the TARDIS visit 1950s Alabama and the Doctor and friends meeting Rosa Parks.
It was a moving, timely episode that tackled racism in a bold and unflinching way that was pretty surprising for a sci-fi series that’s ostensibly about running away from monsters. And now, it’s been officially recognized as a superlative installment of British television, too, as “Rosa” won a gong at the inaugural Visionary Honours Awards for its “positive social impact.”
The Visionary Honours Organisation describes itself as the “UK’s first social impact entertainment & media awards,” that “aims to be a catalyst for social change inspiring teenagers and young adults aged 16-34 via art, media and entertainment.” Doctor Who earned the title of TV Show of the Year and in a nice coincidence, this turned out to be an unexpected birthday present for co-writer Malorie Blackman, who penned the episode alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall.
What a lovely birthday present! ? Chris Chibnall and I won a Visionary Honours award at BAFTA this evening for Doctor Who – Rosa. I love my job! Thanks to all those who voted for us. ? pic.twitter.com/1iz2HOGMWR
— Malorie Blackman (@malorieblackman) February 8, 2019
Given the success of “Rosa”, we wouldn’t be surprised if Blackman returned to script another episode of the show in its upcoming twelfth season. It’s currently in production in South Africa – where “Rosa” was filmed, funnily enough – but, as with season 11, nothing’s being revealed about the new run just yet. All we know for sure is that Whittaker will return alongside all three of her companions: Bradley Walsh (Graham), Mandip Gill (Yasmin) and Tosin Cole (Ryan).
Doctor Who season 12 won’t arrive on our screens until “very early” 2020, and while that’s certainly a long wait, it at least leaves plenty of time to rewatch season 11 and relive the brilliance of “Rosa” over and over again.