Sci-fi and fantasy fans unfamiliar to Doctor Who may find jumping into the series with a decades-long history more than a little daunting. After all, where does a newbie begin their travels with the Doctor and his — now her — companions? Does one start at the beginning with “An Earthly Child,” which originally aired back in 1963? Or is it better to start with 2005’s “Rose,” the first episode of the rebooted series? Or somewhere else altogether?
Well, new Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall are suggesting the new series, while honoring its history, could be a great jumping-on point for newcomers. In an interview with Deadline, Whittaker, the first actress to play the Doctor in the long-running Doctor Who series, told the outlet at San Diego Comic-Con that you “don’t need to have an encyclopedic knowledge” of the show to enjoy it.
“Well, the way we’ve been operating is that if you’ve been a fan of this show for the last 20 years or 50 years, then this will absolutely carry on your passion, and engagement, and excitement,” Whittaker explained. “But if you’re brand new to it, that’s OK too. You don’t need to have an encyclopedic knowledge to come into this with fresh eyes, and that’s of any age or gender.”
Whittaker added that since she “didn’t come at this as a Whovian,” that inclusivity has made doing the show very exciting for her, since it makes Doctor Who “a show that’s inclusive rather than exclusive and that’s great.”
Chibnall also suggested that this new iteration of the series will be fun for all ages and all sort of fans, new and seasoned. “I think the biggest thing for us, as Jodie says, is these are new stories,” he offered. “There are lots of new monsters but there’s no barrier to entry this year, if you’re 8 years old and you’ve never seen it before, if you’re 88 and you’ve heard about it and never tried it, and if you’re 58 and you love it more than anything. I want everybody to be very, very included in the series.”
Chibnall also promised “a lot of new adventures, a lot of new settings, lots of new characters to fall in love with, and lots of new monsters.” Oh, brilliant!
The new season of Doctor Who is set to air both in the U.S. and U.K. this October.