Doctor Whoall existence was a metamorphosis. Partly because of the series’ ingrained rubrics of time travel and main character regeneration, it’s the kind of series that gets a new cast, and in some cases a new showrunner, every few years. The point is that the person playing the Time Lord changes, giving the character a new twist and giving fans a chance to fight over which actor is the best. But as Jodie Whittaker’s time in the TARDIS came to an end after this weekend’s feature-length episode of The Power of the Doctor , one thing became clear: it wasn’t just the lead that needed a revamp of the show.

That’s not to say that Whittaker wasn’t a compelling Doctor, just that in the nearly two decades since the show’s 2005 reboot, his techniques have aged. With ratings on the slide and internet buzz seemingly at an all-time low, it’s clear that the new generation of fans who discovered the show during its revival are sick of what was once fresh and exciting. Even as World Health Organization changed doctors and directors, it remained relatively static. New aliens may appear from time to time, but they depend on the same threats – the Daleks! Cybermen! Weeping angels! Master! Even more Daleks for some inexplicable reason! – made what should be an endless canvas seem staggeringly small.

Some upgrades can be done easily. The show’s next series — the 14th since the revival and 40th overall — is slated to see Russell T. Davies return as showrunner for the first time since 2010. .) This too lined up Sexual educationNkuti Gatwa will play the Time Lord (according to David Tennant returns to the role for a short time). But there are other things Doctor Who can not change so easily. Time travel is part of the show’s DNA, as is the idea that the Doctor will always stop to help those in need, no matter what; they will also do so by means of “companions” that metatextually serve important practical purposes. (Without them, who would the Doctor explain to?) As he prepares to celebrate his 60th birthday next year, it’s clear that there are very strong ideas about what is and what isn’t. Doctor Who history. So, despite ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​a, the show can be improbable due to its rebirth into something smoother and more exciting, it also remains inextricably linked to the tradition.

Apparently, the manufacturers already know this. The show’s final full season broke the mold a bit by featuring a single story arc told throughout the season, seemingly an acknowledgment that genre television had moved away from the threat-of-the-week narrative years ago. Despite this, the series felt just as burdened by its past and almost inaccessible to casual viewers. As the season progressed, one thing became clear: Doctor Who you need to overcome yourself.

Maybe that’s why Davis is back—he’s not afraid to break things. When he revived the series in 2005, he essentially threw out all of the past continuity before reintroducing elements very, very slowly. It worked then, and it will work now. In the last 17 years, the mythology of World Health Organization has become, if anything, even more enigmatic and far more self-referential and confusing. Given that there have been at least two “forgotten” versions of the Doctor who have appeared to rewrite history, perhaps a plot like this could be used to get World Health Organization from the current track.

Over the past few seasons, Doctor Who became a show that just about Doctor Who. It’s hard to tell if someone who hasn’t watched it for at least 10 seasons will like it. And honestly, real-time navel-gazing is what a reality TV show is for; it’s not that attractive in science fiction. If Doctor Who wants to engage people before his 70th birthday, people need to be reminded why they should care.