Season 10 of Doctor Who is officially over, and so is the Moffat-Capaldi era. But even though we’re a little sad, there’s an exciting future on the horizon!
The Doctor Who Christmas Special was amazing and fulfilled all our expectations. It did an excellent job of bidding farewell to eight years of Steven Moffat running the show, and Peter Capaldi’s time playing the Twelfth Doctor, but it didn’t stop there; it also set up what promises to be the most revolutionary change in Doctor Who’s history: a female Doctor played by Jodie Whittaker, and Chris Chibnall as the new showrunner.
But of course, every change brings with it some nostalgia, and this time of transition has us both happy and sad. So here are some things we’ll rightfully miss — and some things we can get hyped about for next season!
We’ll miss: Grouchy, old-man Doctor
Capaldi’s arrival to the show brought back what had been a longtime staple of the Doctor’s character back in the day: the grouchy old man. While it was something of a shock for those of us that were used to Nine, Ten and Eleven’s youthful style, it eventually grew on us.
There was something endearing about Capaldi’s Doctor, with his bushy eyebrows and almost perpetual frown. It made him very stubborn, and grumpy at times, but the dynamic between him and his young companions had the tone of an uncle and niece, which was comforting to watch.
It also made his character growth feel more poignant. The Christmas Special only highlighted it further: the Doctor has become old and tired — but that doesn’t make him any less heroic.
We’ll miss the irritable, bushy-eyed Doctor. Whittaker’s Doctor is completely different, and it’s probably going to take some getting used to, just like we had to adjust to Capaldi when he started.
We can’t wait to see: A different Doctor-companion dynamic
With the new Doctor will come a new companion: Graham, who will be the show’s first regular male companion since 1984. Played by Bradley Walsh, who is 58 years old, he’s also the oldest actor to ever be cast as the Doctor’s main companion.
Next season seems to be breaking down all sorts of barriers! While we’re already excited to see a female Doctor, it’ll be fascinating to see her interact with Graham — especially since the role of wide-eyed sidekick being given to an older man is almost as rare as an eccentric, powerful female protagonist. It’s a dynamic we have yet to see on television, and it’ll be fascinating to see how both characters learn from each other and grow together.
We’ll miss: Moffat’s grasp of the eerie
Let’s admit it: what we loved the most about Moffat’s writing was the creepy elements he introduced to the show.
From “The Empty Child” to the disturbing plot twists that the story had during the seasons he headed, such as the concept of the Silence and River trapped in the astronaut suit, and all the creepy foreshadowing/songs that surrounded it, to the very idea of Oswin Oswald being trapped in a Dalek, he made us afraid even when the Doctor wasn’t yet aware that there was a reason to be afraid.
As much as we might object to other writing decisions Moffat made, there’s no doubt that he was a good writer, especially when it came to episodes that scared us. We’ll miss the slightly disturbing twists and turns he gave the show.
We can’t wait to see: Chibnall’s new tone
We don’t know much about the angle Chibnall intends to take with Doctor Who from now on. Will he do as those before him did, and make each episode have a distinct tone? Will he favor a series of interconnected episodes, or big overarching plots that connect entire seasons together? Will we be focusing mostly on Earth and invading aliens, or jumping around space and time? Will he favor time travelling, or will he show us new planets?
It’s all up in the air at this point, and we won’t find out until we see the entirety of season 11. But he’ll bring his own touch to the show, and take the Doctor on unexpected journeys. It’s going to be a very interesting season.
We’ll miss: The moments of nostalgia
Something nice about having the same person write many seasons of the show in a row was that they would miss old characters just as much as we did. While the repeated returns of Daleks and Cybermen might have felt excessive at times, we loved seeing beloved characters like River Song make cameos, or getting glimpses of Amy and Clara in the Doctor’s most desperate moments.
These moments heightened the emotional impact of dramatic scenes, by reminding us of the characters we loved and all the joy and sadness associated to them. It also helped show us the depth of the Doctor’s memories, and just how much weight he carried on his shoulders after losing so many.
Chibnall will probably want to start Season 11 with a clean slate, just as Moffat did before him, and it’s not likely that we’ll get cameos from the old companions with Thirteen (although we would certainly love to see that happen!). As excited as we are to see a new story unfold, there will be moments when we’ll wish we could see characters from the past.
We can’t wait to see: An entirely new story arc
Most exciting of all is the prospect of a completely new story. For the past few years, we’ve had some idea of where the story would go, because of foreshadowing and how familiar Moffat’s style had become to us. But with Chibnall starting a completely new era for the show, with a completely different Doctor, we have no idea what’s going to happen.
And that’s great. Doctor Who is so full of possibilities that it would be sad for it to become predictable. With the next season starting production very soon, we’ll be eagerly waiting for stills and hints of what’s to come.
It’s okay to be a little sad every time the Doctor regenerates. But the Thirteenth Doctor is finally here, and that’s something we should be excited about.