Doctor Who series 11 episode one, The Woman Who Fell to Earth, Jodie Whittaker’s long-awaited debut as the Thirteenth Doctor, has landed.
And with it has come a bunch of questions. This is, after all, a bold, new, exciting era – there’s a lot to get to grips with.
Here are 13 questions (and some answers) we had about the episode…
Where was The Woman Who Fell to Earth filmed?
Doctor Who is mainly filmed in Cardiff, the home of BBC Wales’ studio space (it’s where the Tardis interior set is based, for example). But for The Woman Who Fell to Earth, a lot of exterior filming took place in Sheffield, where the episode is set.
Where were the opening credits?
Good question. It seems that for Jodie Whittaker’s first episode Chris Chibnall has decided (as he says in Doctor Who Magazine) to start the episode a “little differently”, omitting the opening titles for the first time since 2015’s Sleep No More. But don’t worry, the new title sequence will feature in next week’s episode.
What is dyspraxia?
The Woman Who Fell to Earth opens with an introduction to new companion Ryan (Tosin Cole), a young man who struggles with riding a bike, climbing ladders and other physical tasks due to having a co-ordination disorder called dyspraxia.
According to The Dyspraxia Foundation, dyspraxia is “a life-long condition affecting gross and fine motor coordination, organisation, perception, language and thought,” and it affects a large number of children and adults around the world (around 10 per cent of children have it to some degree).
“We did a lot of research into that with the Dyspraxia Foundation,” series showrunner Chris Chibnall said of his decision to write Ryan with the condition. “The script team have been working with those guys. It was important, because people live with these things. I have a nephew with dyspraxia – it’s a relatively common thing among kids. So it’s important to see that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. That’s the most important thing about Doctor Who and you’re going to see that a lot this year.”
And while The Dyspraxia Foundation hadn’t seen the first episode at the time of writing, when RadioTimes.com spoke to one of their representatives about it, they were extremely happy with how the disorder is portrayed in the story – and you can read more about dyspraxia and their response here.
Is that Jodie Whittaker’s real accent?
Yes! Jodie Whittaker was encouraged by Chris Chibnall to keep her native Yorkshire accent for the show. (More specifically, she is from the village of Skelmanthorpe in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire).
At the premiere of the episode, Whittaker explained that while she loves working on accents (as she did in ITV drama Broadchurch for example), she was pleased to be able to speak in her normal voice because of the complexity of the dialogue. “I take my hat off to David [Tennant],” she said, referring to how he changed his native Scottish accent, “who transformed his voice as well as doing a phenomenal Doctor.”
She also maintained that although the Doctor speaks in a Yorkshire accent, she is ‘certainly not a Yorkshire character’.
“It’s a body with a voice, and that voice is mine. I think that if I was RP [received pronunciation] or came from London and had chosen to have a Yorkshire accent, it would have a real meaning behind it in a way. But it doesn’t in this instance because it’s me.”