Written by Ollie C.
The twelfth series of BBC's Doctor Who came to a dramatic and arguably controversial close last night, with 'The Timeless Children', and after ten weeks on our screens it's time to take a look back at the highs and lows of Jodie Whittaker's second series.
The Season That Changed Everything
Before Series Twelve premiered on New Years Day 2020, with Spyfall: Part One, claims that it was going to be a dramatic and consequential series were circulating around the internet and news publications. Chris Chibnall, show-runner from 2018 to present, claimed that it would be 'the season to change everything'- but was it?
It's safe to say that, for the most part, Series 12 stayed true to the tone of its preceding series that was a rather fun, happy romp with the occasional scare. But interweaved with these typical tones was a drastic change to Chibnall's risk free approach, bringing in huge reveals week after week. These included the return of the Master (portrayed by the wonderful Sacha Dhawan) along with Jo Martin's 'Ruth Doctor' - a mysterious past life of the Doctor we hadn't met before - and of course the grand finale in which the enigmatic Timeless Child was finally revealed.
This was a huge shift from what had come before, using the ten episode structure to give us a fantastic opening two-part shocker, a mid-season finale featuring a new Doctor and a bombastic conclusion featuring Gallifrey, the origins of the Time Lords, and of course more information about the Doctors elusive past. This certainly seems to be a structure that works for the series as we no longer have a dip halfway in the series where stories become stale and uninteresting.
The Thirteenth Doctor Arrives... Properly This Time
While Series Eleven of Doctor Who was by no means horrific, it equally wasn't particularly consequential, with Jodie Whittaker's 13th Doctor coming across as more of a watered down version of some of the more recent incarnations such as Tennant and Smith. But Series Twelve saw a much needed change, giving us a layered, vulnerable, determined and traumatised Doctor that we have rarely seen throughout any incarnation, let alone Whittaker herself.
Giving a stellar performance throughout the series, Whittaker's Doctor has finally cemented herself into the show, giving us an interpretation that is a stark contrast to what has come before. Standout moments include her powerful speech at the end of episode eight, 'The Haunting of Villa Diodati' and of course the two-part finale that saw her confront her past for good.
A Masterful Performance
Speaking of powerful performances, Sacha Dhawan, the latest incarnation of the Doctor's nemesis The Master, is truly outstanding in the role. Giving us a tortured, deranged yet nuanced portrayal, Dhawan's Master is truly a joy to watch, in particular giving superb performances in 'The Timeless Children' episode twelve, and of course the opening blockbuster in which his alter-ego of 'O' was revealed to the Doctor and friends.
Looking to The Future
As Series Twelve has now ended in dramatic fashion, with revelations surrounding the Doctor, the Timeless Child and Gallifrey, it's difficult to see where we could take the Doctor next. It's been revealed that the show will return over the festive period with the special 'Revolution of the Daleks'. It remains to be seen how the Doctor will escape her imprisonment, and how the three members of the TARDIS Team will return for what seems to be their final time. One thing we do know is that Chibnall is no longer holding back on putting his stamp on the show, and we look forward to seeing where the team take it next.
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