Doctor Who season 11 is being hyped up for its pioneering spirit and female lead (read: Jodie Whittaker), but there are a number of signatures being left behind as showrunner Chris Chibnall attempts to give the series a complete makeover.
One of the things that’ll be gone this year is all the classic monsters we’ve come to know and love, like the Daleks and Cybermen. That’s disappointing for Doctor Who purists who consider them to be very much part of the show’s DNA. But then again, this is a whole new era we’re talking about here, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Chibnall and his creative team are wanting to introduce different enemies for the Time Lord and her new friends who’ll be traveling in the TARDIS with her.
In a recent interview, Chibnall explained the decision to do away with some of the show’s staples, saying that it’s all about moving forward and not being defined by what’s come before.
“There are no [Daleks]! I don’t know how many times I need to say it. There are no old monsters this series. OK? I think, you can’t as a showrunner coming in, you can’t really define it against the past. Like, that’s what [the press] will do, but it’s actually not for me to come in and go ‘Where am I going to place this in relation to the Hartnell era, or the Hinchcliff era, or Peter Davison. It’s not about that. It’s about going ‘Ah, what stories do I want to tell? What’s happening in the world? What’s happening in film and television? And how does Doctor Who sit at the forefront of that? I just wanted us to feel like we were moving forward.”
Continuing on, Chibnall said that season 11 of Doctor Who is being made in the era of Netflix, where it’s getting tough to keep up with all the other great television shows out there that are fighting for fans’ attention.
“This is Doctor Who in an era of Netflix – you’ve got to keep up,” he says. “You’ve got to keep up with Black Mirror, you’ve got to keep up with all the DC shows in the US. So it’s just making sure it’s fit for purpose. I think you tell great stories with great actors. And you tell stories that feel resonant to people’s lives. I mean, Doctor Who is the single greatest idea anybody’s ever had in the history of television, so just make that, really, and make it to the best of your ability.”
Aside from all this, Chris Chibnall has also promised a much darker (and spookier!) journey than previous installments, while the whole gender swap plot twist won’t be given much attention, as Doctor Who season 11 will seemingly be too busy with its 10 standalone adventures to fret over the sudden change of appearance.
And it all begins with “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” which premieres on October 7th.