It’s less than a week before Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor appears on our screens, so expect lots of attention grabbing posts like this one on all your favourite blogs! My premiss is simple: if we are on a new cycle of incarnations for the Doctor, and if Peter Capaldi was an echo for William Hartnell, could Jodie Whittaker be an echo for Patrick Troughton?
Does Capaldi echo Hartnell?
I think this is easy to suggest. There’s a superficial similarity in look (older white male with white hair) and to some extent a sense of dress, though not overdone. It’s how he ends that make the point for me. Both incarnations met the Cybermen in their last adventures (yes, I know Twice Upon a Time…) and both met in the ice in the Christmas special Twice Upon a Time (I told you I knew), and both were unsure about carrying on. This might be a retconning of Hartnell’s era, but the point is made. In both cases, cue a new, younger and rather different Doctor…
Enter the Second Doctor / Thirteenth Doctor
I’ve seen elsewhere (eg Doctor Who Costume: The Vogue Verdict) studies about how various Doctors’ outfits, including Troughton’s, have influenced Jodie Whittaker’s. Let’s take this further and look for more similarities and differences.
When Troughton arrived, continuity was key, and we had Ben and Polly to argue the case for identity (as Rose would do much later when Tennant arrived). This time it’s a blank sheet.
The Second Doctor kicked off with Daleks, (Power) and ended with Daleks (Evil). All very much keeping the story going, with a Cybermen story for good luck as well. Chris Chibnall has done the opposite with no need to establish continuity he is carving his own path.
Whatever this series 11 brings us, I’m minded to recall the second Troughton series, series 5. It kicked off with another Cybermen story (Tomb being a personal favourite) then a huge wave of creativity gave us Yeti twice, Ice Warriors, an evil look-alike for the Doctor and ended with Cybermen again, introducing Zoe as it did. If Jodie’s second season is half as strong, we are in for a treat!