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Regenerating Interest: How Ncuti Gatwa's 15th Doctor Revitalized Doctor Who

Rating: 8/10 ⭐️

I started watching Doctor Who in its revival era. For me, it started as a fun show about quirky aliens and the Doctor in a police box, saving the day. For me, the series truly hit its stride with David Tennant's 10th Doctor (My Favourite). Tennant embodied the quintessential Time Lord - brilliant, charismatic, and capable of outsmarting any adversary. His portrayal left an indelible mark on the series, culminating in that heart-wrenching farewell: "I don't want to go."

The torch was then passed to Matt Smith's 11th Doctor, who quickly became my second favourite. Smith brought a youthful exuberance and an air of unpredictability to the role. His era was defined by epic storytelling, with overarching narratives that gave each season a cohesive feel. The swelling musical scores perfectly complemented the Doctor's grand entrances and heroic moments, creating an atmosphere of excitement and wonder.

Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor marked a shift in tone. While Capaldi delivered a solid performance, his tenure didn't quite reach the heights of his predecessors for me. There were undoubtedly standout moments, but they didn't resonate as strongly as those from the Tennant and Smith eras.

The show's trajectory took a downturn for me with Jodie Whittaker's 13th Doctor. Despite my initial enthusiasm, I found myself disengaging from the series by the end of her second season. The magic that had captivated me in earlier seasons seemed to have waned.

Just when I thought my journey with Doctor Who might be over, the unexpected return of David Tennant as the 14th Doctor reignited my interest. The specials featuring Tennant were a delightful throwback, reminding me why I fell in love with the show in the first place.

I approached Ncuti Gatwa's debut as the 15th Doctor with some reservations, especially after the first two episodes left me underwhelmed. However, the third episode, "Boom," and the excellent "73 Yards" completely changed my perspective. Gatwa's Doctor is a refreshing departure from his predecessors - he's not omniscient or invincible, but rather vulnerable and often out of his depth. This new take on the character feels like an intriguing reset for the series.

The latest season has been a pleasant surprise, with engaging episodes and an interesting overarching storyline. While the finale didn't quite stick the landing for me (the inconsistencies with Ruby's backstory were a bit jarring), there's undeniable promise for the future.

Gatwa's portrayal of the Doctor, combined with the show's renewed energy, has rekindled my enthusiasm for Doctor Who. It's exciting to see the series take risks and explore new dimensions of the Doctor's character. While it may not have reached the heights of the Tennant/Smith era yet, there's a palpable sense of potential that has me eagerly anticipating what's to come.

Overall, I'd rate this season an 8/10. It's a strong return to form for Doctor Who, blending the familiar with the new in exciting ways. As a long-time fan, I'm thrilled to find myself once again looking forward to each new adventure through time and space.

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