New Doctor Who Photos Take Us Inside Jo Martin’s TARDIS


It’s fair to say “Fugitive of the Judoon,” the fifth episode of the twelfth season of Doctor Who, had some huge surprises hidden under its sleeve, surprises with some equally huge continuity implications. Showrunner Chris Chibnall has taken the opportunity to bludgeon his way into Who-lore, deciding to re-stage the 50th anniversary’s secret Doctor ploy (Chris, that was done less than 7 years ago), a sin that he can now add to his decision to re-obliterate Gallifrey (did you even watch the 50th anniversary, Chibs?).

Staying on topic, I need to contain some barely-concealed sentiment until after I’ve shown you the new TARDIS interior. Jo Martin’s no less. Here, have a look at her terrifyingly Hartnell-era console in the gallery below:

Right, I’ve just about held myself together. Which of my 2.47 billion Chibnall-era gripes should I pile in on for the next hundred-fifty words? Suppose I could elaborate on what I meant by her console being “terrifyingly” Hartnell-era. Well, non-nerds, bizarre as it may seem for a show so famously loose with its continuity, Doctor Who has some rules.

One, you can never reveal the Doctor’s name. Two, the TARDIS is a phone box, and though its interior has undergone many a makeover, the phone box stays the same. Three, William Hartnell is the First Doctor. It’s a fact so hardwired into the writing of the show that you’d have to be clinically insane to go anywhere near suggesting otherwise. Enter, Chris Chibnall.

Not content to merely pass-on through as a regrettable footnote, a hack we can quietly ignore, Chibnall wants to make his mark. And rest assured, if Jo’s Doctor (none of this is her fault) is crowbarred into canon as a pre-Billy incarnation, Chibnall stands to unwrite himself out of the show’s entire history (much as the TV movie did 24 years ago), because unless you scrub him out, the damage he’d have done would be irreparable.

Chris, you should be shelf-stacking, not writing a flagship BBC television series. I’ve seen better plotting in Fimbles.