‘Flat, worthy and woke’ Doctor Who skewered over BBC’s ‘criminal waste’ of Jodie Whittaker

Doctor Who: First look at John Bishop as Dan Lewis

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The actress, 39, returns as the Time Lord this evening for a special Halloween episode of the BBC sci-fi series. ‘The Halloween Apocalypse’ is one of Jodie’s final episodes after it was announced earlier this year that she would leave the long-running series. She and her companion Yaz, played by Mandip Gill, will be joined by Dan Lewis, played by comedian John Bishop.

He joins the Doctor as her latest travelling companion as she battles ancient evil forces that have broken free.

The episode is the first of the new six-parter, ‘Flux’, which will be Jodie’s last full series in the Tardis before her departure in 2022.

The outgoing Doctor – the programme’s 13th incarnation of the Time Lord – will also take place in three feature-length specials next year.

Her last episode is expected to see her regenerate into the new Doctor, who will take over in 2023. 

Ms Whittaker made history in 2017 as she became the first female Doctor in the show’s six-decade history.

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However, Mr Hogan argued the franchise had “completely failed” Ms Whittaker, branding her adventures in the Tardis “flat, worthy and woke”.

He wrote in The Telegraph in January: “A fine actress has been let down by muddled thinking and inadequate writing,” adding that episodes often started “promisingly” but then disappeared “up their own space-time continuum”.

He is not the only one to take issue with how some of the narratives were framed.

After episode ‘Orphan 55’ was broadcast ‒ an episode about the dangers of climate change ‒ Twitter user @MidwinterMakes wrote: “That last monologue felt so shoved down my throat.”

Meanwhile, Dan Hadley on Twitter branded the episode “boring and patronising”.

Mr Hogan wrote of Jodie’s character: “She was made slightly socially awkward and needy, forever talking about friendship, trying to make her ‘fam’ catch on, cracking corny jokes and straining to be down with the kids.

“It’s like a lack of confidence in the character becoming female found its way into the uneven writing.

“She was made tomboyish and surrounded by men so her femininity didn’t scare the horses.

“Unfortunately, all this achieved was to drain her of originality and dilute Whittaker’s undoubted charisma.”

Mr Hogan didn’t attribute the issues to Jodie, who he praised as a “talented actress” with “warmth and fizzing energy”.

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The journalist instead took issue with Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall, who is also leaving the programme next year.

Chris will be replaced by Russell T Davies, who led the show’s revival in 2005, and will take over the helm for Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary.

Mr Hogan claimed the “muddled thinking and inadequate writing” of Mr Chibnall’s era had seen ratings slump to half what they were during Russell’s tenure.

He said: “The best Chibnall and co could do was make her confused about her own identity – which, in turn, confused viewers.”

Mr Hogan also picked holes in some of the plotlines, writing “it’s no wonder Whittaker’s brow was permanently furrowed.”

He concluded his piece by writing: “Jodie Whittaker has done her best with an undercooked role during a dodgy era for Doctor Who.

“She has been likeable, inspiring, bravely heroic and a good role model for young girls.

“Sadly, she’s been badly let down by her bosses. If she is quitting earlier than planned, it’s a shame but I can’t say I blame her.”

Doctor Who is on BBC One this evening from 6:25pm-7:15pm.
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