Who are the most influential people in the world of Doctor Who in 2018? This is who we at BlogtorWho have come up with…
Jodie Whittaker is The Doctor. The first female incarnation of the Time Lord has fully immersed herself into the role and its various responsibilities. Her recent appearance at San Diego Comic-Con epitomised Jodie as the face of the brand. As we approach broadcast of Series 11 Jodie will no doubt be promoting the show everywhere. She has embraced fandom from the outset, happily posing for photos. As the public face of the show, it will be her more than any other who will be the most influential to the ongoing success of Doctor Who.
The showrunner and head honcho for a new era. Decisions made by Chibnall dictate the direction of the show and nothing has come bigger than casting the first female lead. In Cardiff he is ‘the face that runs the place’. If this list was purely based on Doctor Who as a television production, Chibnall would be top. As Steven Moffat once described, the Head Writer is responsible for the ‘fictional side of the show’. It does not get much more influential than that.
The oldest surviving actor to play the lead role in the series. When Tom talks everyone listens. The recent release of Tom’s debut season as The Doctor saw the box set rise to number 2 in the new release charts. More than any other actor to play the enigmatic Time Lord, Tom Baker epitomises his portrayal to this day. He is often also credited as being the first individual to suggest that a woman could take on the role of The Doctor. It might have taken over the 3 decades to get there but clearly his comments still carry weight.
An employee of BBC Studios, Christel represents modern Doctor Who fans. She embraces cosplay and epitomises the inclusive nature of fandom. First coming to people’s attention through YouTube, she became one of the hosts of the official Doctor Who Fan Show. Christel has since expanded her work to include regular contributions for Doctor Who Magazine, also becoming a member of their Time Team. September also sees the release of a book she has co-authored with Simon Guerrier. Some have taken exception to some comments Christel has made, such as watching Classic Who on 1.5 speed, but her influence is unquestionable, both officially with BBC Studios and in other media.
Big Finish Productions
What began as a way of creating new adventures for Doctor Who in the Wilderness Years has since grown into a vehicle to build the legends created on the television series. As a company, they have managed to change opinions and perceptions. Incarnations such as the Sixth and Eighth have received much greater opportunity to develop than was allowed on television. In addition, they’ve further developed characters seen only briefly on television. Their ability to attract actors such as John Hurt, Derek Jacobi and Billie Piper to the recording studios is a testament to their influence not just in Doctor Who but also in the wider world.
Although having stepped firmly away from the show, concepts from Mr Moffat continue to influence the show long after he moved out of the production office. For example, his decision to establish that Time Lords could regenerate and change gender has helped pave the way for Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor. References in scripts and the casting of Michelle Gomez for instance, have shaped Doctor Who in 2018. His way around the 12 regeneration problem has also extended the life of the show. Perhaps most importantly his casting of Matt Smith and that 2010 series helped expand the show’s global reach. This was epitomised by the global broadcast of the 50th Anniversary Special. The show is now a major hit in America, getting recognition on publications including Entertainment Weekly, and Worldwide thanks in no small part to Steven Moffat’s influence.
As the editor of Doctor Who Magazine, Hearn is responsible for the material published for the officially licensed monthly publication. Whilst some have debated if the magazine remains neutral or functioning as a mouthpiece for BBC Studios, DWM continues to be one of the most frequent communication vehicles for Doctor Who and it’s fans away from social media. Consequently, Hearn is without doubt an influential voice in Doctor Who. Decisions on the articles and features published therefore demonstrate the areas of interest for Doctor Who fans in 2018.
Originally introduced to the world of Doctor Who as an actor, buried beneath fun fur for Karra in ‘Survival’, Lisa Bowerman has established herself as a commendable director for Big Finish. She has an impressive list of credits not just in her role as Bernice Summerfield but as a Director in a variety of ranges. Without a doubt Lisa is an influential force within Big Finish and long may it continue.
Although Peter Capaldi has handed over the TARDIS key, his experience in television and film is hugely significant. In addition to his status as a recognisable actor, he is a writer, director and winner of an Academy Award. His opinions as a former Doctor and experienced writer/director will forever be valued and respected, making for another influential voice on the subject of Doctor Who.
The Casual Fan
Doctor Who has always had a very loyal fanbase. Even at the lowest point of the show’s history viewing figures never dropped below 3 million people. Although the television landscape of 1989 is very different to 2018 the darling of social media ITV2’s Love Island hit a record 3.6million viewers for the final. That’s the same as watch Part Three of Battlefield. What is instead crucial to Doctor Who ratings is attracting the casual fan. Debate about declining viewing figures can be negated by attracting casual fans and lots of them. Media outlets will no doubt analyse the viewing figures for Jodie Whittaker’s first series meticulously. Ultimately, the perceived success or failure of Series 11 will boil down to casual viewers embracing the show, making them hugely influential.