How Did The Doctor Lose Her Tardis? Jodie Whittaker's 'Doctor Who' Debut Was Missing This Key Thing

Sophie Mutevelian/BBC/BBC Studios

The Thirteenth Doctor has finally, officially arrived! Doctor Who fans (or Whovians, if we're being official) saw a glimpse of Jodie Whittaker's long awaited incarnation in Peter Capaldi's final episode last Christmas. But tonight saw Whittaker fully make the role her own: complete with new companions, a new outfit, and a notably absent Tardis. With the help of new team Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan, and Graham O'Brien (played by Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, and Bradley Walsh respectively), the Time Lord cobbled together a device to help her relocate it — but how did the Doctor lose her Tardis in the first place?

Jodie Whittaker's Doctor crashed into her first full episode, "The Woman Who Fell To Earth," acting ever so slightly discombobulated — and I mean literally crashed, directly through the roof of a train. The newly regenerated Doctor couldn't remember her name, muddled up her senses, and was missing two essential Time Lord tools: her sonic screwdriver, and her Tardis. Spent the whole episode trying to puzzle out where they went? Cast your mind back to the 2017 Christmas special, when Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor regenerated into Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth — and caused a little bit of collateral damage along the way.

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As Capaldi's Doctor regenerated, the Tardis bore the brunt of those dramatic beams of light he expelled. With the process complete, Whittaker's Doctor pressed a single button on the Tardis console, only to meet with a "MULTIPLE OPERATIONS FAILURES" error message. The ship's interior began to erupt, and the Doctor was tipped out to begin her plummet to Earth — which ended, in tonight's episode, with her smashing through the roof of a train. So there you have it: the Tardis was last seen spiralling into space, away from its captain. And it'll presumably be in a right state when the Doctor finally gets back on board.

This episode also saw the Doctor forced to construct her own sonic screwdriver, sporting some pleasingly steampunk goggles as she did so. The new design was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con back in July, as the Radio Times reports. And it marks a significant aesthetic departure from Capaldi's sonic screwdriver (and, indeed, his sonic sunglasses) as well as other recent iterations. As the Radio Times points out, its light is orange, rather than the blue or green of previous versions, and it looks an awfully lot more handmade than earlier models, too. Which, we now know, is because it is.

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So why did Jodie Whittaker's Doctor have to make her own sonic screwdriver? Well, she probably left hers in the Tardis before she was ejected; alternatively, it could have fell from her pocket as she plunged to Earth. And considering we last saw the Tardis interior entirely consumed by flames, it's probable she won't be able to recover her previous screwdriver when she finally resumes control of her ship.

That should answer your questions after Jodie Whittaker's first full episode of Doctor Who. Now: on with season 11, because it looks like it's going to be cracking.