The 40-second trailer – which premiered at San Diego Comic Con 2018 – has dropped some major clues as to what fans can expect from Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who.
Speaking about playing the Doctor, the critically-acclaimed actor said: “It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be.
“This is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change,” she said, adding: “The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”
Since then, we’ve been given a glimpse of Whittaker’s costume – and learned that she will have not one, not two, but three companions as she travels the galaxy in her Tardis.
Now, at long last, the new cast have been shown in action for the first time: a new trailer has aired at San Diego Comic Con.
At just 40 seconds long, the trailer did not give much away.
However, it did drop some hints and clues as to what fans can expect from Whittaker’s twist on the series.
Check it out:
The clip opens on a dark note: Whittaker’s Doctor, seemingly struggling with the after-effects of regeneration, awakens with a scream of pain. Then, as the music grows louder, we are offered glimpses of Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole), and Yasmin (Mandip Gill) — the new friends who’ll be travelling with her through time and space.
What’s particularly striking about these clips, though, is the fact that none of the Doctor’s companions are smiling. Indeed, all of them look strained, tense and unsure.
Narrating over the footage, Whittaker can be heard stating: “All of this is new to me. New faces. New worlds. New times…”
The trio is, at this point, shown investigating the (still burning) crash site of a spaceship – before wandering through an empty, desolate town on Earth. There are shots of the 13th Doctor wielding a blowtorch, lying on her own in a darkened room and (according to reporters in San Diego, who saw a longer-length version of the trailer) being blasted out of the Tardis and into open space.
Again, Whittaker is shown grabbing at her head and screaming in pain. But, just as things seem far too serious to handle, the mood shifts.
“So, if I asked — really, really nicely — would you be my new best friends?” comes Whittaker’s request, which seems to be directed at both her character’s companions and viewers watching at home.
“[Because] this is gonna be fun!”
The trailer also treats us to a glimpse of the latest incarnation of the Doctor’s trusty sonic screwdriver.
In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot, Whittaker can be seen pointing the device – which glowed orange at the end – at an unknown target. Following the trailer’s premiere, though, the official Doctor Who account released a close-up image of the screwdriver on their Twitter page.
And, as you can see for yourself in the picture above, it seems that costume and prop designers have opted for a more traditionally sci-fi look (read: silver) than recent versions of the screwdriver.
One thing that is missing from the trailer entirely, of course, is the monsters we’ve come to associate with Doctor Who over the years. No Daleks, no Cybermen, no Oods, no… well, no nothing.
Instead, the trailer focuses on a very stark, empty and bleak landscape, suggesting the show may be going back to the psychological horrors it treated us to during David Tennant’s critically-acclaimed run as the Doctor.
Addressing this rumour, showrunner Chris Chibnall has promised that series 11 will have “all new monsters” to serve as a soft reboot for fans not caught up with the continuity from the past eras.
“It was really important to me that there’s no barrier to entry,” he explained to the Radio Times.
“You don’t need to know about anything that’s come before.”
In the same issue of the Radio Times, Whittaker promised that her Doctor will prove to women and girls that being a hero “isn’t just attainable for half of the population. The other half can be the Doctor as well. Girls will no longer just think, ‘Oh, I could be a companion’.”
“Being the first female Doctor and showing children that their heroes in shows don’t always look the same is a huge honour for me,” she continued, pointing out that Doctor Who has long made icons out of unconventional figures – from Tom Baker’s whimsical and fiery Time Lord to Matt Smith’s world-weary fop.
“There’s the chiselled superhero that we’re used to seeing and we’ve all grown up with,” she observes. “But Doctor Who has never been that, which is wonderful. It’s attainable in so many ways.”
Hear, hear. Roll on the new series, already.
The 11th season of Doctor Who will premiere on BBC One in the UK and BBC America in the US this autumn.