Browse the WBW Podcast
Browse the WBW Podcast

A brand new Doctor, show runner and aesthetic, no TARDIS, different music. Oh, and new troops. No, not troops. Team. Gang. Fam? Either way, it’s a solid start for the Thirteenth Doctor.

Dyspraxic wannabe mechanic Ryan Sinclair crosses paths with one of his old schoolmates, underused probationary copper Yasmin Khan, after he high-fives the wrong electronic consent form crackling threateningly away underneath his local bike-eating tree in the Peak District.

Meanwhile, Ryan’s ex-nurse nan Grace and ex-bus driver but still cheeky geezer not granddad Graham have their TMI PDA train ride interrupted by a technologized version of the scribble from Fear Her, which implants DNA bombs in everyone’s neck. Should have read the Ts & Cs, Ryan.

One such neck belongs to the Thirteenth Doctor, no longer a white-haired Scot but a kick-ass Yorkshire lass who can’t remember what a tongue is but knows she always helps those in bother. Now this embryonic fam must unite to foil Tim Shaw, knobbly-headed Stenza knobhead.

By the way, did you know that we’ve reviewed this episode once before on Who Back When? Well, we have! Check out our (at the time) instant reaction review in our bonus episode: B049 The Jodie Whittaker Debut

Here's what we think of N145 The Woman Who Fell To Earth

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Here's what we think of N145 The Woman Who Fell To Earth

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Here's what you think 8 Responses to “N145 The Woman Who Fell To Earth”
  1. Jim The Fish

    The first episode was different (which is good) but it didn’t really feel like Doctor Who. None of the elements that I always associate with the show (intro/theme, tardis, classic callbacks, etc.) were there. And stuff that was included (the sonic and Doctor) were so different that it was hard to get that “WHO” feeling.

    Also, I don’t see why people are saying The Doctor is so different this time. Aside from her being female, all I see are things that other Doctors did too.
    “She’s outgoing and fun!”
    – Yeah, so were Tennant and Smith.
    “She jumped off a crane to save someone!”
    – 10 jumped out of a spaceship.
    “She’s so smart: she built her own Sonic!”
    – I know 12 other Doctors that built things from nothing.
    – Yes, yes she is.

    Look, I’m not saying she’s awful. I just think people are over-hyping her character because:
    A) If they say they don’t like her they’ll be called sexist.
    B) The hype for the show has convinced them that she’s great.
    C) A majority of the people who like her are new and haven’t seen the show before.

    I know that it was only her first episode, and things could improve over time. But even the other Doctors had great introductions. And hers was, well, bland.


  2. Tracey from America | @yecartniatnouf

    Hey guys, how have you been? Are you ready? I couldn’t hear you over the time distortion so I hope you said yes.
    Let’s strap in!
    Ok the episode shows lots of promise, loads of mystery. What is the spider snake ball? What is the giant Hershey kiss and why does that guy want to stare at it and shout about his sister?
    For special effects the episode plays with light a lot, but in a way that manages to be both understated and effective.
    Talking about regeneration then crafting herself a sonic is very very the-Doctor-has-arrived.
    Ok, I think the pacing works in this one. Unfortunately it does so at Grace’s expense. Grace’s death lends just the right amount of gravitas to round out the episode. Because the Tim Shaw stuff sorta fizzles.

    Is it wrong to be enjoying this?
    Yeah if the writers kill off the best companion right away.

  3. Andy Parkinson | @caffreys71

    Hi Gang!

    So here we are the start of the Jodie era – and what an opener!

    Jodie gives a manic, breathless performance and reminds me very much of Peter Davison’s Doctor.

    Tosin Cole is ok as Ryan, but I won’t warm to his character for a few stories yet.

    Mandip Gill is wonderful as Yaz, she’s my favourite companion of the era and she gets a great start here.

    Sharon D Clarke is wonderful as Grace, she is so warm and lovely and it makes the tragedy of her death all the more heart-breaking. Is she the actual Woman Who Fell to Earth the story is named after?

    The biggest surprise for me was Bradley Walsh – when I heard he was going to be in it I thought it would be a bad bit of stunt casting. How wrong was I? I instantly believed he was Graham and at no point in his run on the show does that change.


    • The show looks great! Wonderful cinematography and impressive effects. I particularly like the electric space octopus thing.
    • The music is impressive. Sympathetic and never intrusive.
    • The dialogue when The Doctor recalls her family – very similar to the Doctor’s conversation with Victoria.
    • The Doctor mis-pronouncing Tzim-Sha’s name – made me LOL


    • The Doctor makes her new sonic in the garage. I know The Doctor is very clever, but no, just NO!

    Overall, it’s a cracking start to Jodie’s era. The story is basically a Predator clone, but it’s done well. The new companions are all pretty good and Grace’s death is heart-breaking. With some good dialogue and funny lines, it’s a brilliant start.

    I award this story 4.0 self help apps out of 5

    Andy Parkinson

  4. Justforwhoo

    Hello! So I don’t have Twitter but I’ve been so excited for WBW to get up to Jodie Whittaker’s era !! I’ve been dying to hear your thoughts on it all, because upon rewatching, I’ve found it to be more and more enjoyable (unpopular I know) and would love to know how you feel!

    For me, the woman who fell to earth was an amazing season opener – it had everything that a doctor who season opener should have (except for a title sequence !?)

    Although I did find that there was an unnecessary amount of character deaths. Big blue teeth face man (oh Tim Shaw that’s his name) killed not one, not two, not three, but FOUR innocent people because… he’s a big baddie? What was his motive? Kill Karl (which he failed to do, thanks doc! – on the plus side, with that tooth collection he’d be a dentist’s dream).

    Aside from that, Jodie was brilliant. I felt she really FELL (wink wink) into the role immediately and took it as her own ! The relationships and interactions between the characters felt genuine and Grace’s death sets up a lovely season arc about the different dynamics of family life and love. It’s a shame Ryan never carried on with his YouTube channel, could’ve vlogged the universe before it all disappeared post-flux (or is that all fixed now? EXPLAIN CHIBBS)

    BEST BIT: Thirteen’s first scene
    WORST BIT: Tim Shaw’s tooth fetish

    I’d rate it 4.0/5.0

    Excited to hear what you all think !!

  5. So we have a new Doctor, new companions and new writers. Beginning of a new era. Should be exciting right? Oh dear…

    Some Thoughts:

    Is this the first episode without a title sequence?

    Did the doctor literally fall to earth from space, without any injuries – are we letting that pass? And build a sonic screwdriver with um, er things. In just a couple of minutes…

    I liked the scene on the train when she finds out she’s a woman, ‘Why are you calling me madame?’

    The ball of string creature brought back unwanted memories of the scribble monster in Fear Her. Shudder.

    The teeth in the face was probably a good idea – on paper. Tim Shaw is a really underwhelming villain, more suited to Red Dwarf than Doctor Who. Thankfully it’s a one-off appearance, definitely not one we’d want to see again, especially not in a season finale…

    ‘Fam’. Enough already.

    A proper soundtrack has been abandoned in favour of a ‘relaxing sounds for concentration’ playlist which undercuts any tension. Come back Murray Gold, all is forgiven.

    Graham aside, the characters are uninteresting, and the new companions are surely the blandest ever.

    Moralising lecture count: 1

    Rating: Aside from a few nice lines, this is generally pretty poor, lacking in excitement or invention. The Doctor is the best thing in it but it just doesn’t feel like Dr Who; It could easily be a sci-fi heavy episode of Holby City or some other BBC Sunday night drama. 1.8/5.


  6. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    Past Kieren: Hey Kieren, remember to rewatch this ep in good time so you don’t have to rush to watch and review it in time before the gang do their ep on it.

    Current Kieren at 9pm the day before the advertised recording date and with a busy day in the lab the next day: Ah fuck…

    Anyway, to the ep in hand. So I seem to remember liking this on transmission (3 and a half years ago ?!?!?). And now…yeah still do.

    So we meet our soon-to-be tardis crew fairly quickly and get a decent bit of characterisation (if I’m being mean, probably most we get out of them). And lol at Yaz trying to pull rank on Doctor. It’s not going to work…

    I kinda dig Jodie in Capaldi’s clothes more than her clothes at the end. And the idea of the Doctor making a sonic screwdriver from scratch is nice even if I’m not so keen on the final design. (Also the design of gas cylinder she’s using is all wrong, she opens it on the top but it clearly has a spindle valve on the side)

    Ah, and we have our evil demonic Tooth Fairy trying to be the Predator. He’s quite fun as a one-off villain (What? Oh…)

    As openers go, it’s a fairly strong one for me, nothing really wrong for me. Not having an opening title sequence is a little strange though, and maybe the last 10 mins could have been condensed. 3.8/5 teeth trophies. Cool cliffhanger.



  7. Maxwell Rayner


    This is my first WhoBackWhen review, so hang tight.

    Oh boy was this episode chaotic. I mean an episode with no tardis and no intro theme. The sonic made from spoons, The smile she had though when looking at the spoon. And the nose thing with the fainting. TIM SHAW, TIM SHAW, TIM SHAW. That is what annoyed me the most. Them climbing the crane seemed to remind me of Clara and the 11th doctor on the roof in the snowmen.

    And then finally she says “I’m the Doctor” freakin 50min into the episode. I can just imagine Nardole saying Ay we got there. Casual Death. And Then Youtube part 2. Outfit Reveal. Space floating Cliffhanger ending. And then all the guest stars reveal. This Episode was a banger. And with that I give this episode a 2.9 out of 5 bicycle riding attempts that they will never return to in the future. TIM SHAW! Hope to be back with N146 The Ghost Monument.

  8. Tanz Sixfingers | @tanzsixfingers

    Hello Leon and Who Back When Fam!

    So we are introduced to a new Doctor, and three (!) new companions and a new showrunner to boot. I wonder if they can pull it off as well as Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan did.

    Being American, I didn’t recognize any of the new companions, although I should have remembered Bradley Walsh from Law and Order: UK. (I had to go back and watch a few episodes to refresh my memory.) I knew Whitaker from watching Broadchurch.


    her dismissing changing gender as not pertinent to the immediate crisis

    her making a new sonic screwdriver, (and then trying to explain it)

    the DNA bombs

    the look of the aliens (CGI)

    the cliffhanger ending


    her new outfit. (I had really hoped she would have something more feminine, with accessories. Even the seventh Doctor had his brolly. Was even hoping for a Mary Poppins vibe, but alas, no.)

    Aliens came past 5000 galaxies to have a grudge match on Earth. Really? When there are more than a billion stars in an average galaxy. Give me a good reason for this.

    My rating is 4.0 out of 5

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