Doctor Who season 14: what are the first reviews saying?

Ncuti Gatwa's first steps in the role of the Doctor were long awaited. The actor revealed in Sex Education had already been entitled to a grandiose induction at the end of the three anniversary episodes, taking over from a David Tennant exhausted by his return to the TARDIS. Then followed a shy Christmas Special with Ruby, his new companion freshly extricated from his English suburbs.

If the fifteenth Doctor is therefore not officially its first attempt, the arrival of this new first season, in accordance with Disney's desire to start again on (almost) new bases, sounded like The beginning of a new era. While waiting for the series to arrive on Disney+ in France from May 11, the first English reviews have fallen. Has the most woke alien in the galaxy successfully returned to Earth?

A successful new start

According to IGNthe first two episodes of the season, called Space Babies And The Devil's Chord allow us to give the series the return it deserved. The anniversary arc with David Tennant sounded like a farewell tour for the 2005 series, we have to admit that the Christmas Special, without being a failure, lacked a little panache. So “Space Babies plays all the cards you'd expect from a new start in the Tardis, with long, cathartic glances towards the horizon, and a new companion who realizes she's facing an alien world., estimates the American media. So bet held?

The Doctor has found his diamond of the season

We could see it in the Christmas episode, the chemistry between the Doctor and his new companion works wonderfully. The relationship between the two characters seems to be confirmed, sinceIGN evoked : “Gatwa and Gibson border on genius in every scene they share, with plenty of back-and-forth and a multitude of hilarious moments between them“. Same observation for Varietywho goes even further, estimating that “Ruby's deep connection to the Doctor keeps the season from going off the rails“, and establishes itself as the pillar of this new season.

Same observation for the antagonist of the story. The American drag queen and actress Jinkx Monsoon shines in her role as a villain, without having anything to envy of the Master or the brilliant Puppeteer played by Neil Patrick Harris. For GamesRadar+Gatwa and Gibson are brilliant, and Jinkx Monsoon crackles with malevolent energy“, while The Guardian salute “the flamboyance of the wicked witch of Monsoon“.

Fan service, but not only that

On this point, the series seems to be unanimous: despite the desire, undoubtedly partly dictated by Disney, to take a new start with Doctor Who, the new episodes do not deny their origins. Rather, the goal was to start a new story arc accessible to everyone, including new viewers who would never have heard of the TARDIS and Gallifrey. Because it must be admitted, since the 1960s, the series has become a real headache. With a chaotic international distribution (especially in non-English speaking countries), starting from scratch allows you to rally a new generation of fans.

Don't panic for confirmed Whoovians: the first two episodes are full of easter eggs and references to past incarnations of the Doctor. Variety reports that “Davies (the showrunner, editor's note) offers callbacks to past iterations of the series” which will delight early fans.

Are we watching or not?

Opinions seem unanimous. If many are already crying wokism, this news “first” season of Doctor Who honors the saga, with episodes that “always shine with ingenuity“. While Variety salutes the performance of the actors, and more particularly that of Ncuti Gatwa, “with her megawatt smile and colorful costumes, who immerses herself in the role, delivering a refreshing dynamism that makes the season a particularly fascinating experience“. Despite a narrative that still has to wait for its climax, the casting is a total success.

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