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What Did You Think of the Doctor Who Series 11 Teaser?

It’s been a whole year since Jodie Whittaker was announced as the Thirteenth Doctor, and, apart from a brief scene in the TARDIS at the end of Twice Upon A Time, we’ve not really seen anything. All that changed with the teaser trailer which aired during the World Cup 2018 final. Okay, so “all that changed” is a bit of hyperbole…
Yes, it was short, effectively introducing the new companions played by Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, and Bradley Walsh. But Doctor Who fans still have loud opinions. It’s sort of our golf, to paraphrase Steven Moffat.
So before learning about what you, dear DWC readers, thought, here’s what a few of our contributors thoughts of the teaser.

Matt Badham

What were we expecting? Really. Truly. What did we think we were going to see? The main selling point of the new series of Doctor Who is change. A new showrunner. New companions. A new Doctor. A different gender. (Presumably, a whole different agenda too.)

That’s what this teaser emphasised: the new. The Doctor. Her Companions. New Faces. A fresh start. The Universe is Calling (is it?) and apart from that…
Well, we don’t know anything more of substance about the new series at all, which, in a way, is the point. The teaser shows nothing and it shows everything.
And that ‘everything’ is that it’s time for change (not a moment too soon?) and if we want to know what form that change will take… well then, we’ll have to tune in come… October… to find out.

Liam Brightman

A picture may say a thousand words, but Jodie Whitaker’s smile says a million. It looks like she’ll have this infectious enthusiasm that I cannot help but be swept up in. I found myself grinning alongside the Doctor at the end of the ‘trailer’.
It looks like all three companions will be coming along at the same time. I like a crowded TARDIS, but 4 regulars may be pushing it.
We haven’t seen much of what’s in store for the next series, but I am very excited to be followed the Thirteenth Doctor through the universe. Brilliant.

Philip Bates

It was always due to be a bit underwhelming, let’s face it. But this took “underwhelming” to a whole new level.
I can see what they were going for – they’re establishing a new look for the show, demonstrating that all the companions are “normal” because they, y’know, eat and such. Then the Doctor’s there and she… smiles. I don’t know, I was hoping for something more akin to that wonderful “do you wanna come with me?” trailer from Series 1: I wasn’t even a Doctor Who fan back then, yet that got me excited.
That’s what I need right now. Excitement. I need something to rekindle my passion for the future of Doctor Who. But instead, I felt nothing but disappointment. I might as well have watched a trailer for Poldark. I know some will be over the moon because Doctor Who, but I just don’t feel it right now. To be fair, I felt somewhat like this when Series 8 rolled around, so perhaps I can live in hope.

Simon Danes

Well… Too short to say much, really.
The companions look fine and I’m looking forward especially to seeing how Bradley Walsh works out. (Will there be enough plot for three companions in the furious pace of NuWho?) Jodie Whittaker’s appearance at the end was well done and I even, despite myself, felt a small frisson as she smiled, charmingly and reassuringly. Stylish and well filmed; cautiously optimistic that the new series and the new Doctor will both be good.

Ian McArdell

Oh, Doctor Who teaser trailers are a funny old thing aren’t they. Eccleston ran from a fireball, in scene arguably more impressive than some of his episodes, and, well… there’s never been anything which quite matched it has there? Except maybe that thing with Matt Smith and Karen Gillian floating about… or maybe not.
So, what did we learn this time around? Graham reads the Beano, matey boy likes a full English, and herself is more of a pizza girl (come on, it’s only the first teaser – you don’t expect me to have character names down yet!). More importantly, the Doctor leaks wisps of vortex energy now. Involuntarily? How embarrassing! And she has decided to model the TARDIS interior on a greasy spoon. Or it is a pizza place. Or a chippy? Whichever, it’s a bold choice to be sure… though doubtless someone is out there, right now, is complaining that the windows are the wrong size.
What’s my takeaway (geddit?) from this first look at the new Doctor Who? Other than that I remain unconvinced that the midst of a major sporting event – effectively the loo break for footie fans – is the right place to land such things (hell, even the three companions-in-waiting weren’t watching the TV screen)…
The companions are being established as real people… with friends and lives of their own, lives a certain freshly regenerated Time Lord is going to plummet into and disrupt. And she’s going to do it with a smile on her face – and what a cracker of a smile!
Fantastic! Allons y! Geronimo! Aw Brilliant!

Jonathan Appleton

No doubt it’s just one part of a carefully planned launch strategy and there will be much more to follow, but it would have been nice to have something a bit more substantial.
Ah well, based on this (very scant) evidence, it looks like the world of Series 11 will be a bit closer to the everyday domesticity of the RTD era than of late. Other than that, I’m not really sure what to make of the Doctor magicking up high fat foodstuffs for her pals. Time will tell…

Andrew Reynolds

The new Doctor sure does ‘deliver’. Like an interstellar Just Eat, the Thirteenth Doctor traverses space and time to slip her new friends some ‘za while pit stopping to nick some eggy toast and deliver a factually inaccurate copy of the Beano before smiling at the prospect of the universe dropping her a line – it’s fair to say it wasn’t what a lot of people were expecting.
There’s parts that I like – the idea of the Doctor dropping some random weirdness into everyday scenes renews my hope that we’re going back to the domesticity of the Russell T. Davies era and the flashes of white er… time drift hopefully means we’re going to really explore just what’s out there in the vortex (this and the red crystals of the logo reveal trailer remind me of something out of Jack Kirby’s sketch book – and no, I don’t think the Doctor has some new superpower) – and then there’s the rest; I wish I had stronger feelings for it but, yeah, the new TARDIS team look good… It made me want a pizza too.
I’m kind of glad we didn’t get a full trailer – if the air date is October then it’s far too soon for that – and honestly, the less I see of the new series, the better. I want Doctor Who to surprise me again and if that means hanging around for the steady drip, drip of news to increase to a (hopefully) conservative trickle then I’m fine with that.

James Lomond

If I’m honest, it took me about 5 watches til I realised that The Thing™ that happened with Tosin Cole’s character was that the Doctor dipped a toast soldier in his yolk. As it were. Which is very British and extremely cheeky. So far so… okay?

The teaser was very much that – this showed us the characters in a brief bit of visual context. Two men alone in a café reading or watching something and a woman socialising at home. Eaten pizza un-ate itself and some grown-up reading was replaced with something fun and nostalgic. Something for an old kid. There was no real content here – it was more showcasing what the tone and visuals might be like… perhaps some of the musical timbre of the new series. Though experience has taught us that trailers tend to have a very different production and tone to the actual series so maybe not.
One slight worry is that there didn’t seem to be much new in this – the Doctor stands in opposition to the everyday. She’s mysterious and hidden (initially) and is going to make these three people’s lives so much bigger and better. And that’s all very 2005. But it’s also very 1963 so I don’t think I mind. Frankly, there’s a part of me that will always be perfectly happy with jeopardy, a TARDIS, and a sonic. That’s me happy for 45+ minutes!
And while I’d really REALLY like to have seen more – this was lovely. It was the Doctor on-screen and it was shown in the middle of BIG-football. Brill. The main thing for me which this simply re-enforced was that Jodie Whittaker can absolutely do numenal awe – she doesn’t just allow a smile to creep over her face; she lets the whole of time and space dance around in her eyes. That woman can give a universe-baiting look to camera like very few actors can. It’s a more serious, less comic version of Tom Baker’s grin. Expressions that convey everything that there is beyond beans and chips in the universe without a single word. And I love it. Bring on Jodie!

Nick Kitchen

As far as teaser trailers go, this less than a minute tease of Jodie Whittaker’s freshman season as the Doctor was extremely light on substance yet still had a hopefulness to it that was surprising to me. I mean, I’ve lost count of the times I wish I could reopen the lid to my pizza and find it completely replenished after its been eaten, but that’s not what I’m getting at. Perhaps it’s because I’m projecting my own anticipation and hopefulness for the upcoming series, but there is a certain kind of joy evoked in this extremely short, extremely food centric TV spot. You only have to look at the smile on Jodie’s face when she finally gets her brief moment of focus to see it. So yes, the trailer wasn’t what I hoped for when it was announced. However, it was enough to whet the appetite for a proper trailer which has to be coming sooner than later.
And perhaps that’s enough for now.

Alasdair Shaw

300 words Phil asked for. “300 words, Boss? Is that all you want? Yeah no problem!”
Of course, that was before I knew that 300 words was probably about 3 times as many words as were in the script. Maybe. There might have been 100 words, it’s hard to guess really as there’s as much dialogue in that 50 seconds as Mark Hamill had for the duration of The Force Awakens.
There was a lot more dialogue in that leaked scene. There’s a thought, could I give you 300 words on that instead, Boss? (No. Nice try. -Ed)
In the end that was nothing but a series of little events. But then as a wise man once said, “For some people, small beautiful events is what life is all about.”
So what can we take from last night? Apart from the fact that the bloke off the crisp adverts is now a football pundit? Well, for starters this new Doctor is partial to a bit of sausage isn’t beyond using her control of space and time to nick some poor sod’s sausage and dunk it in some egg. (God, I hope that isn’t a metaphor.)
Then we learned that she’s all about justice and balance in the universe and is more than willing to use time-ninja like skills to replace stolen pizza.
And finally, and most importantly in my opinion, she seems to favour the Beano over the Dandy. I like that. I’ve never trusted Dandy readers, shady lot in my opinion. They tend to like Fear Her and Love & Monsters in my experience.
So 300 hundred words, Boss? There. You. Go.

Peter Shaw

“It’s a big occasion but he’s a big game player
“You can see that from the confidence he has on the ball.
“He’s got great movement”
It’s coming soon, it’s coming soon, it’s coming
New Who’s coming soon
“The first touch was out of this world”
It’s coming soon, it’s coming soon, it’s coming
New Who’s coming soon
It’s coming soon, it’s coming soon, it’s coming
New Who’s coming soon
It’s coming soon, it’s coming soon, it’s coming
New Who’s coming soon
Internet seems to be a bore, they’ve seen it all before
They just know, they’re so sure
That Chibnall’s gonna throw it away, gonna blow it away
But I know he can write, ’cause I remember
Dinosaurs On A Spaceship
Broadchurch BAFTA still gleaming
Fifty years of blokes
Time to get a new team in
So many jokes, so many sneers
Cyberwoman makes me fear, about what’s in store this year
But I see that brilliant Doc, falling out of the ship
Bradley reading the Beano, and Jodie smiling
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
Broadchurch BAFTA still gleaming
Fifty years of blokes
Time to get a new team in
“They’ve got the makings of a really strong team.
“They’ve got great energy, they’ve got great flair.
“I’m really excited to see what happens.”
It’s coming soon, it’s coming soon, it’s coming
New Who’s coming soon
It’s coming soon, it’s coming soon, it’s coming
New Who’s coming soon…

James Baldock

It really is time we talked about the Beano.

I mean, you all saw it. Bradley Walsh’s unidentifiable newspaper (complete with a back page story about Sheffield, which CANNOT BE A COINCIDENCE) is ripped from his grasp and turned into a Summer Special, the sort of thing you read in the car over the first 10 minutes of a six hour drive to Cornwall. And it’s not just any Summer Special, but the 1981 Summer Special: this, dear readers, was the very same issue that Smith was reading at a bus stop when he was doing undercover surveillance on Clara’s parents, way back in Series 7 (The Rings of Akhaten to be exact). Meanwhile, Whittaker has absconded with Walsh’s newspaper, and somewhere in the TARDIS David Tennant is burning up a Sun just to say goodbye.
But I’ve done my homework on the Beano as it was in 1981 (some years before I started reading it; I think I came in around the Gnasher-is-missing story arc in the middle of the decade). And there’s something very mysterious about the people who were in it. There are layers of intrigue here, folks: layers.
First, consider Biffo the Bear. Cheeky, big-eared and fond of dungarees: the parallels with Bill are obvious – we’re clearly not done with her yet. There’s the Bash Street Kids, indicating a return to Coal Hill School – and possibly a Class team-up. There’s also a fun, subversive strip called Grandpa, which foreshadows a guest appearance from Wilfred Mott (lest we forget, one of the Bash Street Kids is also called Wilfred). And there was Little Plum and Baby Face Finlayson, fastest bandit alive – suggesting a pitched battle in the Old West in the company of Craig, Sophie, and young Alfie. And you thought the Doctor wore a cowboy hat in Closing Time simply because it looked cool.
Things get even more interesting when we get to Billy Whizz. Sure, he’s the fastest boy alive – but what happens to the fastest boy alive when he grows up? He becomes the fastest man alive. And all of a sudden all those lightning bolts and scenes where the Doctor appears to be phasing in and out of reality make an uncanny sense.
Watch this space, folks. There’ll be a DCU/ Doctor Who crossover in the works before the year is out, and we called it. Anyone got a number for Arthur Darvill?
It’s alright, folks – we’ve got them all back in the box now.
But what did you think of the teaser? Let us know in the comments section below!

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

What Did You Think of the Doctor Who Series 11 Teaser?

by Philip Bates time to read: 11 min
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