In 2017, BBC announced that Jodie Whittaker would become the first woman to play the Doctor, and now fans are finally getting a glimpse at the new season. On Sunday, the teaser trailer for Doctor Who Season 11 premiered during the World Cup Final, and it looks like the Time Lord will be recruiting some new companions. The 50-second clip highlights three new friends joining the fold: Bradley Walsh as Graham, Tosin Cole as Ryan, and Mandip Gill as Yasmin. These actors aren't household names yet, but fans might recognize them from their previous roles. Walsh starred for several years in Law & Order U.K., Cole appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Gill was in the soap opera Hollyoaks.
The cast shakeup might not come as a surprise to Whovians, as the series also has a new showrunner, Chris Chibnall. In January, 2016, Steven Moffat, longtime head writer and executive producer, announced his decision to step away from the show. Moffat was responsible for introducing the 11th and 12th Doctors, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi, as well as two companions, played by Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman. Chibnall, who is behind the popular ITV series Broadchurch, was personally tapped to take the reigns of the show alongside producers Matt Strevens and Sam Hoyle, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Doctor is an iconic character, but over the past decade, the companions have become an equally crucial part of the story. The teaser gives the first glimpse at the friends the Doctor will bring aboard the TARDIS, the character's time-traveling ship. In the opening shot, Ryan is seen enjoying a meal in a diner when a bit of time-traveling magic swoops in and steals a sausage. Then Yasmin's friends finish off her pizza, only for time to stand still and the slices mysteriously reappear. Graham reads a paper, then finds it replaced with The Beano, a popular children's comic in the U.K. The words "THE UNIVERSE IS CALLING" appear onscreen, and then there's a quick shot of the Doctor stepping into view and smiling. Unfortunately, the trailer didn't offer a formal release date, nor did it give away any further details about the upcoming series.
According to THR, fans can expect the 11th series of the show to premiere in the fall. The season will open with a feature-length premiere, which will then be followed by nine 50-minute episodes. Major updates are expected for the TARDIS, but no details about the regeneration were revealed in this sneak peak. It's clear that the creators intend to do a full remake of the long-running series, and fans offered their excitement on Twitter:
Many fans are especially looking forward to Whittaker's debut, as the actor will make history as the first woman to portray the Doctor. The landmark casting feels overdue for many fans, as all twelve generations of the character have been portrayed by white men. After Peter Capaldi announced his departure from the role and show, many called for a more inclusive replacement.
In a recent interview with EW, Chibnall revealed that he'd had Whittaker in mind from the start. "In a way, it was a no-brainer. The fact that we were casting a female Doctor disappeared really quickly from our minds. We were just casting the Doctor and she felt like our Doctor," he told the publication. He also said the casting “was the easiest decision I made in my whole career."
This first peak into the new series was brief, but a full trailer could premiere at San Diego Comic Con next week. The Doctor Who panel is one of the most highly anticipated events of the convention, and attendees will have the opportunity to get acquainted with both the new Doctor and her companions.