Doctor Who Season 14 Review: Ncuti Gatwa Has Confident, Joyous Take On Iconic British Time-Traveller

The British series enters a new era with the return of filmmaker Russell T Davies and Gatwa stepping up as the Time Lord. Read our review of the first three episodes of the sci-fi series now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

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Doctor Who Season 14

Critic's Ratings

starstarstarstarstar

3.5

Sci-Fi,Adventure,Drama

Release Date

May 11, 2024
Doctor Who Season 14 Review Ncuti Gatwa Has Confident Joyous Take On Iconic British Time-Traveller
Doctor Who Season 14 Review: Ncuti Gatwa Has Confident, Joyous Take On Iconic British Time-Traveller

About Doctor Who Season 14

With Ncuti Gatwa taking over as the new Doctor, the iconic British series really feels like it's stepping into the modern era, despite all the time-travelling. Gatwa brings his unique take to the classic series which was first launched in 1963. With a young Doctor and even younger Companion, the series Doctor Who is out to woo an international audience outside of the UK. The first three episodes of this new season 14 have a lighter but merry approach to circumstances in life. It might be a bit cliché, but it's safe to say that the next generation of the series is in safe hands once again.

Doctor Who Season 14: Plot

Gatwa's Doctor meets Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson), an orphan just like him. The first episode of the show on Disney+ Hotstar is all about Christmas. In the UK, it was aired as a Christmas special. But the show sets up the instant connection between the Doctor and Ruby as they go off on their own adventures this season, zooming off in time and space to check out everything from dinosaurs to The Beatles. But the heart of the show remains emotional, funny and a bit scary at times. It's what the British show is known best for.

Doctor Who Season 14: Writing and Direction

Russell T Davies already made sure to pass the baton from the Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant) to the Fifteenth (Gatwa) in 2023 with a bunch of Doctor Who specials. With the new season, the Fifteenth Doctor is claiming his own identity. There are themes of family, oneness and more woven into these early episodes. The second episode features a ship of abandoned babies, while the third explores a horrific world in which music doesn't exist. While the storylines are too taxing for newcomers to the franchise, longtime viewers of the series will appreciate all the little touches and nods to the past. Director Julie Anne Robinson gives the episode 2 (Space Babies) a campy vibe, while Ben Chessell raises the doom for episode 3 (The Devil's Chord).

Doctor Who Season 14: Performances

The star of the show is definitely Gatwa who is a charismatic and inspired choice for the lead role. The Sex Education star has a buoyant energy that was missing from the previous Time Lords. Furthermore, he gels well with the youthful Ruby, played by Gibson. One of the fun highlights of the season was watching the two dance on Abbey Road in 1963 as they go off to watch The Beatles perform in the studio. Amongst the promising guest stars are Queen Charlotte's Golda Rosheuvel as a concerned space nanny and Jinkx Monsoon as the menacing villain Maestro, who has a surprising connection to the Doctor's past.

Doctor Who Season 14: Critique

New worlds and crazier adventures, that's what we are being promised with this new reboot so to say. This direction of season 14 is both whimsical and promising, and we can't wait to see where the Doctor and Ruby go next. Plus, there's the lingering mystery of Ruby's parentage. It's going to be so much fun. The eight-part season of Doctor Who will end of June 22 on Disney+ Hotstar.
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