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Doctor Who Review: Just As Fun, Cheesy And Heartfelt As Ever – SlashFilm

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Ncuti Gatwa is not just the first openly queer actor to play the Doctor, but his version of the character is the most straightforwardly queer we’ve had yet. Unlike most previous Doctors, his outfits change significantly with each episode, and many of them go far outside the bounds of what the character has typically worn in their male, straight-presenting incarnations. Meanwhile, Ruby is casually bisexual and surrounded by queer friends and family members, and she and the Doctor are constantly playing around with gender norms and expectations. 

It’s a fun evolution of Davies’ original “Doctor Who” run, in which the LGTBQ+ themes and representation were largely forced to be channeled through innuendo and winks to the audience. As hard as it might be for some LGBTQ+ fans to imagine, there were plenty of Whovians who had no idea Captain Jack Harkness was pansexual until the adult-centric spinoff “Torchwood” made it explicit; the new “Doctor Who” leaves no such room for error. 

The other notable change is just how joyful Gatwa’s Doctor is. Although he is still haunted by the revelations of The Timeless Child arc, the time to heal that Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor was given really does seem to have helped Fifteen a ton. This Doctor is the most optimistic and lighthearted version of the character we’ve seen since at least the classic series; even if that’s unlikely to last, it’s still a massive breath of fresh air for now. In keeping with the series’ decision to rebrand itself as a new show, a fresh start from the revival series, this Doctor acts like a huge weight’s been lifted off his shoulders. Although just two episodes in, the new “Doctor Who” season has already proven itself to be a bold, lively, kindhearted show; it’s still cheesy and awkward at times, but that energy and excitement goes a long way. 

/Film rating: 7 out of 10.

“Doctor Who” premieres on Disney+ on May 10, 2024.

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