The superficial elements of Doctor Who season 11 are starting to come together now. We’ve known the outfit that Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor would wear for a while already and this week brought us our first look at the show’s revamped logo. But what will the actual content of the regenerated series consist of? Well, a new report suggests one keyword that’s being used behind the scenes to sum up the preferred tone is “family.”
Sources told the Radio Times that new showrunner Chris Chibnall is using this to explain his approach to the upcoming season. For starters, it refers to the familial dynamic between the Doctor and her group of companions. As was revealed last year, Whittaker will be joined by three time-travelling assistants – Graham (Bradley Walsh), Tosin Cole (Ryan) and Mandip Gill (Yasmin). RT’s source told them that this was done to call back to a similar dynamic from Doctor Who‘s early years, saying:
“The first Doctor played by William Hartnell was a grandfather to Susan and he had the companions Ian and Barbara in these early adventures. Chris’s show will be very much its own thing but that is kind of the vibe.”
The keyword also has a second meaning, however, as Chibnall is keen to recalibrate the show as mainly being aimed at a family demographic. According to a different source, RT reports that Chibnall’s production team believe Doctor Who under previous showrunner Steven Moffat “complicated” things too much and he wants to make it accessible to the general audience again. Most of all, he wants it to be known for its “emotional intelligence.”
“There is a feeling that the drama has been complicated by self-referential plotting at times and Chris wants his Doctor Who to be a show notable for its emotional intelligence.”
This approach makes a lot of sense, considering Chibnall’s previous work. He’s most known for the hit crime drama Broadchurch, after all, so focusing on accessible down to earth stories rather than wild sci-fi plots will definitely fit his wheelhouse. Though given that this is Doctor Who we’re talking about, there will still be lots of timey-wimey goodness to enjoy.
Doctor Who season 11 is set to TV screens this October.