Posted on Monday, January 4th, 2021 by Hoai-Tran Bui
For the past two seasons, Doctor Who has been going through an identity crisis. What kind of show is Doctor Who now? What kind of character is Jodie Whittaker‘s Doctor? The answer has constantly eluded us, even 22 episodes into showrunner Chris Chibnall‘s era. Russell T. Davies’ era was the campy family soap. Steven Moffat’s was the fairy tale adventure. And now, as we head into a new year and the 3rd season of Chris Chibnall’s era (13th overall), we still have no idea what kind of show our beloved, ever-changing sci-fi series is aiming to be.
But the show has been slowly improving since Whittaker first fell into a Sheffield train car in “The Woman Who Fell to Earth.” A rocky season 11 gave way to a more entertaining, if still overstuffed, season 12 that ultimately ended on yet another uncertain note: a lore-altering twist that piled yet another identity crisis onto a show that was still trying to figure out what it was. The latest episode, “Revolution of the Daleks,” which follows up the game-changing season 12 finale “The Timeless Children,” embodies both the strengths and weaknesses of the past two seasons. It’s a mostly solid 2020 New Year’s special with way too much exposition and some promising glimmers of character conflict and development, that tries to make up for a lack of identity with a lot of nostalgic callbacks to the Davies era. We get it, Jack, you’re immortal.