In some ways, it is absolutely a surprise that Doctor Who season 11 is not set to feature any returning monsters. In some other ways, it’s not a surprise at all.
According to a new report from Variety, the BBC series is going in a new, very-creative direction for its upcoming batch of episodes, one that is very much different from the jump given that you’ve got Chris Chibnall now as showrunner and Jodie Whittaker as the series star. There is a real cognizance and effort here on the part of the powers-that-be to remake the series into something that appeals to a new generation, and also to create a world that can be grown and adapted over time.
Does this mean that we’re going to be without Daleks and Cybermen forever? Hardly. We do think that a time will come when there are some familiar creatures and characters who show up again, but it feels like there is an effort right now to separate this version of the show from ones that have been seen before. There are still elements of Doctor Who nostalgia present here, but also a lot of new innovations and twists. Some of these could end up becoming series twists in their own right.
What we see here in the end is basically this: If Doctor Who season 11 fails, it’s not going to be because of a lack of familiar monsters. It’s going to be because of the stories. This is a worthwhile gamble and an interesting idea mostly because of this. We do admire Chibnall’s guts in really going out on a limb here — he wasn’t interested in even taking this job unless he had a female Doctor, which superficially is the biggest change of all. Personally, we don’t think that it’s actually a major deal, but that’s just because The Doctor isn’t a character who really depends on gender in order to tell stories in the first place.
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