Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
Well, we’ve had the announcement that Jodie Whittaker is the new Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’ back in July 2017. Now we’ve had the announcement of the new TARDIS team. That’s right! Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor will be joined by not one, but THREE companions in the series! You can find more about this in the BBC News link here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-41716877
Wait a minute! This all sounds familiar, doesn’t it? My first reaction to this was: It’s like the Peter Davison era all over again! Even someone on ‘BBC Breakfast’ said the TARDIS will be getting crowded. Like that’s never been done before! Well…it’ll be a first for the new series of ‘Doctor Who’, won’t it?
The new TARDIS team of ‘Doctor Who’ for 2018 will consist of Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor, Bradley Walsh as Graham, Tosin Cole as Ryan and Mandip Gill as Yasmin. The fact that we have a new crowded TARDIS for the 2018 series of ‘Doctor Who’ is pretty exciting and something I am okay with.
As I indicated, this is an ensemble set-up that has been done before. The previous TARDIS team of one Doctor and three companions was in the Peter Davison era when his Doctor was joined by Janet Fielding as Tegan; Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and Matthew Waterhouse as Adric (and still my favourites!)
But it goes even before Peter Davison’s era in 1982. In fact, it happened right at the start with William Hartnell’s Doctor in 1963 when he was joined by William Russell as Ian Chesterton, Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright and Carole Ann Ford as Susan for ‘Doctor Who’s first season on TV.
And of course it happened with Patrick Troughton’s Doctor when he had a full complement of TARDIS companions for his first year in the TV series in 1966/67. This included Anneke Wills as Polly, Michael Craze as Ben and Frazer Hines as Jamie. So there! It’s all been done before in ‘Doctor Who’.
I’ve talked about my thoughts and feelings about ‘The Crowded TARDIS’ in ‘Doctor Who’ through the Peter Davison era when it was Season 19 with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric. I’ve shared what I thought was positive about that TARDIS set-up as well as negative after I enjoyed Season 19.
The fact that we have a crowded TARDIS for this era of ‘Doctor Who’ is another brave move by new showrunner Chris Chibnall when he’s setting up a new season now consisting of 10 episodes of 50 minutes as well as a 60 minute special to begin with. And it also seems to make a lot of sense to me.
Jodie Whittaker’s announcement as the new Doctor has divided fan opinion. Some like it; some don’t. These opinions I appreciate and sympathise with. So to have three companions added into the mix with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is supposed to ease the tension for fans that watch the TV series.
I’m sure many ‘Doctor Who’ fans back in 1982 were uneasy about Peter Davison, who was a young man as opposed to an older man, playing the Fifth Doctor for Season 19. Hence it proves the theory that producer John Nathan-Turner added three companions with Peter’s Doctor to ease the tension.
Any ‘Doctor Who’ fans that are uncomfortable with a new female Doctor in the series are likely to engage with a company of one older male companion and two younger companions before they get engaged with a female Doctor. This is all just a theory on my part but it sounds plausible, doesn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong. A crowded TARDIS in ‘Doctor Who’ isn’t without problems. Even Sarah Sutton stated it in ‘The Crowded TARDIS’ documentary on the ‘Castrovalva’ DVD. In the Peter Davison era, Sarah stated that by having four companions in four-episode stories is not going to be very achievable.
In all likelihoods, you’re going to split the TARDIS team up by having the Doctor joined by one companion whilst the other two companions have an adventure on their own. Now this would be easier to enjoy and engage with if the ‘Doctor Who’ stories were long as in the William Hartnell era.
But this is a new series of ‘Doctor Who’ where you’re telling stories in either one-hour stories or two-part one-hour stories. Telling fast-paced stories as they are now with a crowded TARDIS of one Doctor and three companions is going to be more challenging than one Doctor with one companion.
This is all speculation on my part and if Chris Chibnall can deliver compelling adventures with this new TARDIS team for us to enjoy, I’ll be happy to be proven wrong that a crowded TARDIS in the new series ‘Doctor Who’ could work. But it’s hard to deny this approach isn’t without problems.
Saying that, I’m looking forward to seeing Jodie Whittaker’s new TARDIS team for ‘Doctor Who’ especially with whom they’ve cast. It was speculated that Bradley Walsh will be a new companion in ‘Doctor Who’ with Jodie. All those who had speculated were right, except without the two additions.
I’ve seen Bradley Walsh before since he was the host of the ITV game show, ‘The Chase’, which I loved watching when it was on TV and when my Nana was still alive. But does that mean Bradley Walsh can be a good actor as well as a good presenter. Well yes, since I’ve seen him in acting before.
Before he was a game show host, Bradley Walsh starred in ‘Coronation Street’. And I know that because I’ve seen him in episodes of that soap opera. He’s also starred alongside Peter Davison and Freema Agyeman in the ITV series, ‘Law & Order: UK’ at some point during his career. And let’s not forget that he guest starred as Odd Bob in ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ tale, ‘The Day of the Clown’.
So yeah, the fact that Bradley Walsh is an actor as well as a game show presenter proves that he can be a reassuring presence in ‘Doctor Who’ with Jodie Whittaker. Would he make a good companion though? Well that’s yet to be determined, since I haven’t seen him star as Graham in the series yet.
But the idea of having an older male companion with a younger female Doctor is interesting. It’s a switch from having Evelyn Smythe as an older female companion to Colin Baker’s Doctor in Big Finish. Will it make interesting drama to see Bradley Walsh with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor? I think so!
And it would also be remiss of me to mention that Bradley Walsh is a ‘Doctor Who’ fan himself. So to have someone who has an interest in the TV series as well act in it is a reassuring thing. I’m pleased Bradley Walsh is a ‘Doctor Who’ fan. I look forward to how he delivers his performances in the show.
I can’t really say much for the other two companions in Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill, as I don’t really know much about them. They’re obviously new talent and if Chris Chibnall has confidence in their acting to play companions in ‘Doctor Who’, then I’m happy to go with it while I watch the new series.
By the way, Tosin Cole has been in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Force Awakens’ if anyone’s interested. The fact that Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor has two young companions as well as one older male companion helps to reassure the target audience in kids who want to see young talent in this.
So all in all, I’m looking forward to this new TARDIS team in Series 11 of ‘Doctor Who’ with Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill. It won’t be like Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and Matthew Waterhouse, but I’m pleased Chris Chibnall has gone with this approach.
I only hope that the storytelling will be as good as the acting in the new TV series under Chris Chibnall, since I feel the Steven Moffat has been such a mix bag these past seven years. This is my current opinion on the subject for now, but the way things are I can’t help but be optimistic about it.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!