The Woman Who Fell to Earth
|277 – "The Woman Who Fell to Earth"|
|Doctor Who episode|
|Directed by||Jamie Childs|
|Written by||Chris Chibnall|
|Script editor||Nina Métivier|
|Produced by||Nikki Wilson|
|Incidental music composer||Segun Akinola|
|Running time||64 minutes|
|First broadcast||7 October 2018|
"The Woman Who Fell to Earth" is the first episode of the eleventh series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. It was written by new head writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall, directed by Jamie Childs, and was first broadcast on BBC One on 7 October 2018. It stars Jodie Whittaker in her first full appearance as the Thirteenth Doctor, and introduces the Doctor's new companions – Bradley Walsh as Graham O'Brien, Tosin Cole as Ryan Sinclair, and Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan. The episode also guest stars Sharon D. Clarke, Johnny Dixon and Samuel Oatley.
The story focuses on a group of people who come across a new alien threat together within Sheffield, and find themselves banding together with the recently regenerated Doctor, who has been separated from her time machine the TARDIS since the events of "Twice Upon a Time". As the group seek to understand the threat, they find themselves in danger as well, and discover that the recently arrived aliens are planning a hunt upon a single human, leading the Doctor to co-ordinate an attempt to save everyone from danger.
It is the first episode to be led by Chibnall, alongside executive producers Matt Strevens and Sam Hoyle, after Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin stepped down at the conclusion of the tenth series, and marks the third era of production in the revived series, following Russell T Davies' tenure as executive producer from 2005–2010, and Moffat's from 2010–2017. It is both the first regular episode of the revived era to be broadcast on Sunday, instead of Saturday, alongside subsequent episodes in the series, and the first episode not to feature any opening titles or credits. Since its first broadcast in the UK, the episode has received positive reviews from critics, as well as a rating of 10.96 million viewers, the highest series premiere for a Doctor in the history of the programme, and the highest consolidated ratings since "The Time of the Doctor" (2013).
Ryan Sinclair, a dyspraxic youth, calls the police after causing a blue pod to appear while retrieving his practice bike. After showing the pod to PC Yasmin Khan, his old school friend, Ryan receives a call from his grandmother, Grace, learning that she and her husband Graham O'Brien, are trapped on board their train by a floating orb of electric tentacles, alongside a crane operator, Karl. Ryan and Yasmin reach the train just as the newly-regenerated Doctor falls through the carriage ceiling. The orb departs, shortly after zapping the group with an energy bolt. Karl leaves while the others remain with the Doctor, suffering partial post-regeneration amnesia while discovering they have all been implanted with DNA-destroying bombs.
The search for the orb brings the group to a warehouse whose owner acquired the pod, linking it to his sister's disappearance, arriving just after the man was killed by an alien that emerged from the pod. The Doctor, assuming the two aliens are mortal enemies, tinkers with the pod and builds a replacement sonic screwdriver from spare parts before the group finds and subdues the orb. The orb is revealed as a mass of biological data-gathering coils with data on Karl. The second alien soon appears, introducing himself as Tzim-Sha of the warlike Stenza who came to Earth for a ritualistic hunt for leadership. Though a furious Doctor (addressing him as "Tim Shaw") demands Tzim-Sha and his people leave Earth alone, he downloads the coils' data before teleporting to Karl's location at a construction yard.
After the group are unsuccessful in preventing Tzim-Sha capturing him, the Doctor fully recalls her identity and confronts him. Ordering Tzim-Sha to release the human, she threatens to destroy his recall device and strand the Stenza on Earth upon his refusal. Tzim-Sha responds by detonating the DNA bombs, but the Doctor reveals she transferred them back into the coils, which the Stenza unknowingly self-implanted while downloading its data. As the Doctor throws the recall device at Tzim-Sha to return him to his planet, Grace dies as the result of falling from the crane while successfully destroying the coils. Following Grace's funeral and a change of clothing, the Doctor builds a teleporter to reach the TARDIS. She bids the others farewell, only to inadvertently bring them with her into deep space.
It was announced in January 2016 that the tenth series would be Steven Moffat's final series as executive producer and head writer, after seven years as showrunner, for which he was replaced in the role by Chris Chibnall in 2018. Matt Strevens serves as executive producer alongside Chibnall, as well as Sam Hoyle.
A new logo was unveiled at the BBC Worldwide showcase on 20 February 2018. This logo was designed by the creative agency Little Hawk, who also created a stylized insignia of the word "who" enclosed in a circle with an intersecting line, typically used for social media accounts. Murray Gold announced in February 2018 that he would step down as the programme's composer, having served as the musical director since 2005, and that he would not be composing the music for the eleventh series. On 26 June 2018, producer Chris Chibnall announced that the musical score for the eleventh series would be provided by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire alumnus Segun Akinola.
The episode introduces Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. Her predecessor Peter Capaldi departed from his role as the Twelfth Doctor after the tenth series, having played the role for three series. His final appearance was in the 2017 Christmas special, "Twice Upon a Time". Moffat stated in February 2017 that Chibnall tried to persuade the actor to continue into the eleventh series, but despite this, Capaldi still decided to depart.
The search for the actor to portray the Thirteenth Doctor, led by Chibnall, began later in 2017, after he completed work on the third series of the ITV series Broadchurch, for which he is also the head writer and executive producer. Chibnall had the final say on the actor, although the decision also involved Charlotte Moore and Piers Wenger, the director of content and head of drama for the BBC respectively. Media reports and bookmakers speculated as to who would replace Capaldi as the Thirteenth Doctor, with Ben Whishaw and Kris Marshall among the most popular predictions. On 16 July 2017, it was announced after the 2017 Wimbledon Championships men's finals that Whittaker would portray the thirteenth incarnation of the Doctor.
The episode introduces a new set of companions, including Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill as Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan, respectively. Actress Sharon D. Clarke appears as Ryan's grandmother and Graham's wife, Grace. The episode also guest-stars Johnny Dixon and Samuel Oatley.
Pre-production for the eleventh series began in late October 2017. After filming for the series was expected to begin in late 2017, it officially began with the first episode on 30 October 2017. The eleventh series was shot using Cooke and Angénieux anamorphic lenses for the first time in the series' history, a creative decision made in order to make the show look more cinematic.
The first teaser for the series was released during the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 15 July 2018, almost exactly a year after the announcement of Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. Whittaker, Gill, Cole, Chibnall and Strevens promoted the show with a panel at the San Diego Comic-Con on 19 July 2018, where the first trailer was released.
Broadcast and reception
|Rotten Tomatoes (Average Score)||8.13|
|Rotten Tomatoes (Tomatometer)||92%|
|New York Magazine|||
|New York Post|||
|The A.V. Club||B|
As "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" was the premiere episode of the eleventh series, it was aired for an extended broadcast length, like previous series' premieres, for a total of 64 minutes, with a broadcast both in the United Kingdom on BBC One, and United States on BBC America. The episode length was described by the BBC as "feature-length". The premiere episode of the eleventh series featured neither opening titles or credits, and is the only episode of the "revived" era to begin without either of these – while episodes such as "The Day of the Doctor" (2013) and "Sleep No More" (2015) were created with a similar lack of these, they featured either a modified title sequence or opening credit sequence.
The premiere of the new series was held at Light Cinema in Sheffield on 24 September 2018, as part of a red carpet event for the episode and eleventh series. "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" was released in the Brazilian cinemas on 7 October 2018, in Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Kazakhstani and Azerbaijani cinemas on 7–8 October, in select Australian cinemas on 8 October, and in the United States on 10–11 October.
The episode was watched by 8.20 million viewers overnight, accounting for an audience share of 40.1% during its first broadcast, and making it the highest overnight viewership since "The Time of the Doctor" (2013), which received 8.30 million overnight viewers. Additionally, it marked the highest overnight figure for a series premiere since the opening episode of the fourth series "Partners in Crime" (2008), which achieved 8.40 million viewers. "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" received a total of 10.96 million viewers, making it the highest series premiere for a Doctor in the history of the programme, and the highest consolidated ratings since "The Time of the Doctor" (2013). The episode received an Audience Appreciation Index score of 83. In December 2018, the BBC released details for the top ten requested episodes on iPlayer for the month of October, with "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" ranking second with 2.96 million requests.
In the United States, the original broadcast on BBC America, part of a worldwide simulcast, was watched by 1.37 million viewers, combining for a total of 1.88 million viewers. The episode received 480,000 viewers upon its Australian premiere.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 92% approval rating for the episode, based on 37 reviews, with an average score of 8.13/10. The site's consensus reads "Jodie Whittaker easily embodies the best of the titular time traveler in 'The Woman Who Fell to Earth' and proves that change can be a very, very good thing."
- "Doctor Who, Series 11, The Woman Who Fell to Earth". BBC. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
- Dowell, Ben (22 January 2016). "Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat quits to be replaced by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall". Radio Times. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
- "Everything we know so far about 'Doctor Who' Season 11". CultBox. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- Sandwell, Ian (27 October 2017). "Doctor Who series 11 lands its first director as work gets under way on Jodie Whittaker's debut". DigitalSpy. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Fullerton, Huw (20 February 2018). "New Doctor Who logo revealed for Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor era". Radio Times. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- O'Connor, Rory (20 February 2018). "Doctor Who: Bradley Walsh WON'T work with two big stars after they confirm their exits". Express. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- Jeffery, Morgan (26 June 2018). "Doctor Who series 11 composer has been revealed". Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- Turner, Camilla (16 July 2017). "Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker is to replace Peter Capaldi in the Time Lord regeneration game". The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
- "Peter Capaldi announces he will stand down as Doctor Who at the end of the year". BBC. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- "Steven Moffat: Chris Chibnall tried to persuade Peter Capaldi to stay on Doctor Who". Radio Times. 17 February 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- Dowell, Ben (31 January 2017). "New Doctor Who boss Chris Chibnall will lead the hunt for Peter Capaldi's replacement". Radio Times. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- Shepherd, Jack (6 March 2017). "Doctor Who: Betting suspended on Love Actually's Kris Marshall replacing Peter Capaldi". The Independent. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
- "Doctor Who: Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Sharon D Clarke join Jodie Whittaker as regular cast members". Radio Times. 22 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
- McHenry, Jackson (19 July 2018). "Jodie Whittaker Wakes Up in Doctor Who's Comic-Con Trailer". Vulture. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
- "Doctor Who spoilers: Sharon D Clarke spills on Bradley Walsh in new series". Metro UK. 26 March 2018.
- Chibnall, Chris (18 September 2018). "My Doctor Who Manifesto". Radio Times: 18.
- Marcus (18 September 2018). "Series 11 – New Images and Infomation (sic)". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- "Doctor Who – Series 11 – Episode 1 The Woman who Fell to Earth". Radio Times. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
- "Sarah Davies 1st Assistant Director" (PDF). Retrieved 28 October 2017.
- "Doctor Who: Bradley Walsh among new cast members". BBC News. 22 October 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
- Strauss, Will. "Films at 59 supplies filmic kit for the next Doctor Who". Broadcast. Broadcast. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
- Jeffery, Morgan. "Doctor Who series 11's first official trailer will air during the World Cup final". digitalspy.com. Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "Doctor Who Comic-Con panel details revealed". RadioTimes.
- Schaefer, Sandy. "Doctor Who Season 11 Trailer & Poster: New Faces, New Worlds". screenrant.com. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
- "Doctor Who – Season 11, Episode 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- Hyland, Ian (7 October 2018). "Jodie Whittaker is a hit as first female Doctor Who but Lord, is the time wrong". mirror. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- Lavin, Lauren (7 October 2018). "Doctor Who Season 13 Premiere Review". IGN. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- Nguyen, Hanh (7 October 2018). "'Doctor Who' Review: New Doctor Jodie Whittaker Is Remarkable, but Her First Episode Is Not". IndieWire. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- Ruediger, Ross. "Doctor Who Season Premiere Recap: Stranger in the Night". Vulture. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- "Gender swap, diversity and wit rekindle 'Doctor Who'". New York Post. 7 October 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
- "Doctor Who series 11: The Woman Who Fell to Earth review – 'Jodie Whittaker is exactly the regeneration this show needed'". Radio Times. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- Siede, Caroline (7 October 2018). "Doctor Who boldly goes into a whole new era". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- Hogan, Michael (7 October 2018). "Doctor Who series 11, episode 1: The Woman Who Fell to Earth review: Jodie Whittaker shines in flawed but fun Doctor Who debut". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- Mangan, Lucy (7 October 2018). "Doctor Who review: great Jodie Whittaker debuts in new series with heart(s) and soul". the Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- "Doctor Who, The Woman Who Fell To Earth, review: Jodie Whittaker delivers blockbuster performance as BBC sends out statement to Netflix". The Independent. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- "Doctor Who Season 11 Episode 1 Review: The Woman Who Fell To Earth". TV Fanatic. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
- "Doctor Who – how long is the new series? Extra-long opening episode for Jodie Whittaker's Doctor". Radio Times. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- Marcus (5 September 2018). "Doctor Who Back on Sunday 7 October". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Ling, Thomas (13 August 2018). "Doctor Who confirmed to return to screens "by October"". Radio Times. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- "Meet the cast of the all new series of Doctor Who". BBC. 22 October 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
- "Who are Dr Who's three new companions?". BBC. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
- Amaya, Erik (7 October 2018). "Doctor Who: What's Old and What's New in Season 11's Premiere". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- Kelly, Stephen (8 October 2018). "13 questions (and some answers) we have about Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who debut". Radio Times. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
- Marcus (12 September 2018). "Doctor Who: Red Carpet Experience". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Youngs, Ian (24 September 2018). "Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker lands in Sheffield for red carpet premiere". Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- "Doctor Who | Estreia da temporada 11 será transmitida nos cinemas do Brasil". Omelete (in Portuguese). 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
- "Doctor Who: The Woman Who Fell to Earth". CoolConnections. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- Marcus (12 September 2018). "Doctor Who Hits Australian Cinemas". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Collis, Clark (27 September 2018). "Doctor Who season 11 premiere to screen in cinemas". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- "The Woman Who Fell To Earth Tops Charts". Doctor Who News. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
- "Most Viewed Xmas Special 2005–2013". Doctor Who TV. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- "Whittaker debuts with new Doctor Who high". BBC News. 8 October 2018.
- "The Woman Who Fell To Earth". Doctor Who News. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
- Marcus (1 December 2018). "iPlayer achieves its best results in October". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.7.2018". Showbuzz Daily. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
- "TV Ratings: 'Walking Dead' Hits Premiere Low, 'Doctor Who' Grows With Jodie Whittaker". The Hollywood Reporter. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
- "Timeshifted: Monday 8 October 2018". TV Tonight. 2018-10-21. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Thirteenth Doctor|