The woman who fell to Earth has very much landed on her feet.
Or so says the first wave of reviews for Doctor Who season 11’s opening episode, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth.” From Empire to The Guardian, the Radio Times to Digital Spy, critics are unanimous in their praise of Jodie Whittaker’s fresh-faced Time Lord, who seemingly spends much of the premiere in the tattered clothes worn by her predecessor, Peter Capaldi.
However, there are one or two criticisms peppered amongst this review round-up, given a number of critics called out the episode’s poorly-timed humor and uneven pacing. All of this washes away once Whittaker’s Doctor begins to hit her stride, though, and she does so with a host of new companions – namely Yaz, Ryan and Bradley Walsh’s Graham.
Here’s a small sampling of the review round-up:
Empire: Indeed, everything Jodie Whittaker and new showrunner Chris Chibnall have been promising us about the ramped-up, cinematic style of the new season turns out to be true. Those new lenses really do make a difference in giving the show a more textured, epic feel, matched by new composer Segun Akinola’s atmospheric score.
Digital Spy: Does this first episode get everything right, all of the time? No. But it scores where it really counts, showing more than enough wit and flair to convince us that we’re entering into a new era that’ll be every bit as bold and, yes, brilliant as we’d hoped.
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And another two reviews of “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” just for good measure:
Radio Times: As an episode of Doctor Who, The Woman Who Fell to Earth isn’t perfect. A few of the jokes (mainly focused on Whittaker getting used to her new incarnation) and lines of dialogue fall a bit flat. And on the whole it’s definitely a less witty and quotable version of Who than we might have seen during the years of former showrunner Steven Moffat.
The Guardian: At just over an hour it wraps together peril, sadness, laughter and some ingenious solutions from the Doctor. Towards the end of the episode, as Whittaker confronts the alien menace, viewers are left in no doubt that she is very much the Doctor. She delivers a speech which could have been written for any of her predecessors, and which outlines the very DNA which has kept the show running for 55 years – about embracing change while respecting the past, and always trying to do the right thing.
So, it’s not exactly what one would call a clean sweep, but at least so far, it seems Doctor Who season 11 has received a hearty thumbs-up from critics – unsurprising, really, given it often takes a new protagonist one or two episodes before they find their feet. Look for “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” to begin at precisely 1:45pm EST on Sunday, October 7th.