The new era of Doctor Who is fast approaching. Russell T. Davis, who previously directed Christopher Exelston and David Tennant, portraying the famous hero, returned to the leading creative role, trying to revive the series after a number of bad reviews and ratings. After all the excitement surrounding Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to headline the show and become the new Doctor, her time (through no fault of her own) seems to be running out with a whimper.
This new era is set to begin with the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate before the fourteenth Doctor takes over, although the details of the story are yet to be revealed. However, it is unclear how often Tennant will remain in his former role, as it is confirmed that actor Nkuti Gatwa will be coming to the show to take on the role of the Fourteenth Doctor. Given that both a new Doctor and a new showrunner will appear on the program, viewers can expect a lot of changes in the upcoming seasons of the show. To a certain extent, fans were curious whether Jodie Whittaker’s current companions would remain in this new era.
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Interestingly, at the time Whittaker was a Doctor, she played a somewhat smaller role (if she can be described that way) compared to some of her predecessors, and the companions were given a lot of work on the characters. There were also several companions, often together in groups traveling with the Doctor. This concept is very different from the classic Time Lord, the one human assistant that Russell T. Davis seemed to particularly like when he was in charge. Steven Moffat also supported this approach, usually having no more than two companions with the Doctor at the same time. The Eleventh Doctor had Amy Pond and Rory, and later Clara, while the Twelfth Doctor had the latter and several others, particularly towards the end of his spell. The concept of a team of companions was more common in the classic series, but less common in the modern iteration, up to the time of the Thirteenth Doctor.
All this suggests that, although the companions have always been an integral part of the Doctor Who series, perhaps they have never played such a prominent role as in the days of Jodie Whittaker. As her stint on the series comes to an end, it doesn’t seem at all like a new era is about to begin-perhaps because fans are more excited about the new era than the current one. Because of this, to some extent, it seems that Whittaker’s chapter has already come to an end. However, when it comes to companions, their arcs and storylines remain unresolved.
This suggests that there is a possibility that at least some of the companions will be transported to a new era. This has happened before, when Rose was there with the Ninth and Tenth Doctors, and Clara with Eleven and Twelve. However, especially because of the generally warm reviews of the Whittaker episodes, it seems that showrunner Davis might want to take a break from the last few years of Whoverse. Regardless of the reception, it will also match some previous regenerations; for example, it’s time for Matt Smith with a new logo, theme music, companions, and more. This was done to modernize the show and its appearance a bit, as well as give viewers a new starting point if they missed previous seasons.
This type of starting point is another reason that suggests the companions will stay with Whittaker rather than be moved. Over the past few years, the audience of the series has plummeted, despite the fact that Whittaker has done an excellent and truly underrated role in this role. Although the scripts are often messy, the English actress keeps the stories as best she can. This means that some fans may not be aware of what is going on and, therefore, are completely unfamiliar with the current assistants. This presents a problem for the new era, as it can alienate fans again if they don’t want to piece together the stories and characters they missed. It seems that the ultimate goal of the BBC now is to revive the popularity of Doctor Who. This may be more difficult if important aspects remain, such as related products, which will increase the entry barrier for new viewers or those who have not watched for a long time.
It’s unclear if the current companions will return after the upcoming final episode of Whittaker, but it would be nice to see them again. The emphasis on companions, although somewhat successful, is an interesting concept that refreshed the overall structure of the show and brought an element of uniqueness to the current passing era.