Doctor Who Logo: The Balance of Old and New

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13th doctor who logo
Photo by EG Mum with screen image provided by BBC

This morning, I received a press release for the new logo and insignia for the Thirteenth Doctor. *SQUEEEE* Once again, I was all excited about a new Doctor Who adventure starting soon… until I remembered we still have to wait until around October before we see any episodes.

I mean, take a look at this shot. A gorgeous sunrise, beckoning the 13th Doctor (and fans) to return to the TARDIS. *sigh* On the official Doctor Who Twitter account, it is captioned: “A new era is dawning.”

The New Doctor Who Logo

13th doctor who logo
Image provided by BBC Worldwide

Every regeneration brings a sense of anticipation, as we all wait to see what THEY are like. I still remember watching MY doctor regenerate, thinking no-one could replace him. No amount of jelly beans could sweeten these tears. Since then, I have come to watch a few more regenerations and felt the same butterflies in my belly with each new face. I clearly hate goodbyes as much as The Doctor.

In fact, I was ready to commiserate with my young Whovians during Capaldi’s farewell; I had chips and fish fingers and cups of tea and scarves… But they didn’t need it. I mean, they were sad to say goodbye to the 12th Doctor. Who here doesn’t remember the feels from the Christmas Special? Well, go look it up on YouTube or something. I am NOT ready to re-live.

Instead, the kids were already excited about what will be new in the next season, and what will be kept the same. They love the ‘Easter Eggs’ and referencing in other episodes, pointing out things they recognise or laughing when EG Dad and I gasp with geeky-joy. Here’s a list of what they have so far. What would you add?

Some Things Change

  • New gender: Yes, yes, yes. We know. The Doctor is now female. We have already discussed this in great depth and with much passion. The greatest challenge I see here is how they develop confidence in the new Doctor. Previously, the quirky arrogance has been enough to engage companions (and others) to follow The Doctor, even in the earliest episodes. However, let’s be honest. It’s not that simple as a female. The only people we seem to gain immediate confidence with are children; and even then my kids only listen to me half the time. I am curious to see if this is addressed in the first episode. Perhaps The Doctor realises she can’t just bluster in and boss people around anymore. Maybe later on she can, but even in our modern society, that’s not going to work.
  • New TARDIS: My personal sense of interior design is “organised chaos”. Yet I am so eager to see the new TARDIS design, even my Whovian children are a little embarrassed. Will we still have the ‘round thingies’? Will it have a swimming pool again? Will I like it?
  • New companions: We have word of a primary male companion along with two others. Awesome. But right now, all I want is a promise there will be NO sexual tension or lovey-dovey-puppy-dog eyes. Look, I loved David Tennant as much as the next modern-Whovian but ever since Ten+Rose, it just feels like a never-ending “look how sexy we can make the geeks” session. I liked River Song but now that’s done, can we please have some genuine Doctor-centric adventures with science and history?
  • New Villain: There’s been a bit of chatter amongst the Whovian message-boards about the next Big Villain being… The Valeyard. And while the idea makes me smile, the timing for it would be very very wrong. Quick summary: The Valeyard is essentially all the evil of The Doctor from all of the previous versions rolled into one pretty little and very arrogant package. The Valeyard IS The Doctor. BUT… If we were to bring in an evil male Doctor to counter the new female Doctor, I think it would be pushing the gender divide a little too hard. Changing The Doctor’s gender is a ground-breaking, culture-shifting event. Setting her up against the evil male version is reducing the series to a “Battle of the Sexes” scenario. We have already skimmed the surface of this with the early days of Missy. I think we’re better with something new.

Some Things Stay The Same

  • We still have the scarf-pattern… It matters to me 😛
  • We still have companions: It doesn’t matter how new they are, as long as she is not alone. The Doctor does not do ‘alone’ very well (read: at all)
  • We still have The TARDIS: … do we? Last we saw, The Doctor was plummeting to Earth, with the TARDIS undergoing yet another Extreme Makeover. I mean, I know we will have the TARDIS again at some point but are we revisiting the ‘stuck on Earth’ arc from Jon Pertwee’s era?
  • We still have running shoes: Given they are boots (are they Docs?), they are still suitable for running. Because what is a Doctor Who episode without some amount of running?

doctor who Genny Jenny

For me, the perfect Doctor Who is a balance of both lists. We have the excitement of the new and the nostalgia of the old. That’s what Doctor Who has always been about. Every new regeneration still carries a bit of the old with them; a bit like how a mom carries a little bit of her kids DNA with her after pregnancy… maybe that could be an episode story?

And for anyone whining “But she’ll never be MY doctor” then I have news for you. It’s not all about YOU. Okay, some of it is for the old fans. But some of it is for the next generation of fans as well. Fellow GeekDad Joey Mills said something recently at Planet Comicon about Jurassic Park:

Jurassic World isn’t for the adults who were blown away the first time they saw a dinosaur on-screen in Jurassic Park, but for the kids seeing dinosaurs at the theater for the first time now.”

Same applies to Doctor Who. Every new season, new story arc, new regeneration, is about creating a world to share with new fans. Our 11-year-old and eight-year-old sons are just as excited for the new Doctor as our four-year-old daughter. She sees it as something new, now she is old enough to have her own interest in the series. The older boys see it as an extension of what they love, with a plethora of episodes to rewatch. To me, it brings together the best of both worlds. A lot like the new logo and insignia: bringing together something new with references to some of the old.

new 13th doctor who logo
Image provided by BBC Worldwide

Jodie Whittaker sums it up the best:

“It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait”

Neither can I.

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