Well folks, we have reached the end of another (too brief) season of Doctor Who and boy did they pack a lot into this go around. In retrospect, Season 11 and Jodie Whittaker’s introduction as the first female Doctor was a slow paced monster of the week set up that honestly had her and her three companions (Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, & Bradley Walsh) struggling to gel into a cohesive team. Between the slow pace of the season and the LONG wait for season 12, I was admittedly nervous to watch this year as I found my interest waning. Those fears were quickly dashed with the exciting two part opening episode, Spyfall.
Throughout the season, the acting, especially from the three companions, grew in leaps and bounds. I really felt that three was too many in the previous season, with these fine actors regulated to human set pieces. They found their voice in season 12 as did Jodie as The Doctor. She found the mix of goof-ball and edge that the character really needs, and was honestly missing from Peter Capaldi’s version. Don’t get me wrong, Capaldi is a brilliant actor, but he seemed to make the Doctor all claws and no purr. The pacing of this series was also vastly improved. As I found myself nodding off with last season’s self contained episodes, this year really popped with main story being interwoven into every hour.
This brings us to being reintroduced to some old friends. We saw a new Master, Sasha Dhawan, who dove into the role with the same gusto as John Simm. I loved Michelle Gomez‘s take on the character but she was a bit more slow burn as opposed to the maniacal over the top antics of Dhawan & Simm. The Master has returned to confront his old frenemy, The Doctor, reveal his destruction of Gallifrey (their home planet), and tease the ancient deceit of The Timeless Child. We saw the Earth be threatened by environmental disasters of our own design, the return of The Judoon and Captain Jack Harkness. Last but not least, one of The Doctor’s oldest enemies, the Cybermen were the key villain of the season.
One of the biggest shocks of the year was the introduction of the second female Doctor, Ruth. The mystery is how could she be the Doctor when neither has any memory of each other? Is Ruth from The Doctor’s past or future? This brings us to the largest bucking of known Who canon probably in forever.
**Spoilers For The Season Finale “The Timeless Children”**
The Master comes back for the finale with a plot to trap the Doctor on the burnt remains of Gallifrey, while using the Cybermen to create an army of Time Lord Cybers with the corpses of his own people that he has killed. He also exposes what he has found in the Matrix, a sort of Time Lord library. It is revealed that The Doctor is in fact aforementioned Timeless Child. A space traveler from Gallifrey found the child on a distant planet and brought her back home with her. As the result of an accident that results in the child’s death, regeneration is discovered. Through years of experiments, the secret of regeneration is found and injected into the population, giving rise to the Time Lords. The child’s memory is wiped and The Doctor is born with the lives that we the viewers know and love. This, of course opens up a million story-lines and raises just as many questions. How many times has The Doctor been regenerated? Where is he/she actually from? Is this actually true or an elaborate ruse put on by The Master? In the end, the Master is defeated and The Doctor is imprisoned by the Judoon, forcing us to wait until the upcoming holiday episode for answers. However, if there is anything that Doctor Who has perfected, it is making us wait.
4.5 Cyberium out of 5
What did you think of Season 12 of Doctor Who? Tell us in the comment section.