While we eagerly await for the specials to arrive in November with the return of David Tennant, we’ve all been wondering what the BBC have been planning to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who this year. We know we’ll see the debut of Ncuti Gatwa at the end of the year, but very little has been revealed of the BBC’s plans. Until now, that is. Doom’s Day was revealed in a trailer on the official Doctor Who YouTube channel earlier today and has caused something of a stir amongst fans…
What Is Doom’s Day
Following on from an early attempt at a similar concept with Time Lord Victorious in 2020/2021, Doom’s Day is intended to be a cross-platform story spanning a range of media from comics to audio novels, books to digital media, video games to web stories centred on a brand new character but featuring some familar faces along the way. The story seems to be covering so many platforms and media that the only are that doesn’t seem to be represented for Doom’s Day are slot games at online casinos!
Taking some inspiration from the crime series 24, it centres around the lead character of Doom, the self-proclaimed “Universe’s greatest assassin”. Being pursued by Death, she has 24 hours to live and her only hope of survival is to find the Doctor. Using a vortex manipulator, she travels through time, tracking the Doctor before time runs out…
The story for Doom’s Day is being split over 24 chapters, each representing a single hour of the time Doom has left. They will take place in different forms of media and while each can be enjoyed individually, they will form a complete story arc together.
The lead is being played by comedian Sooz Kempner, who has seemed quite enthusiastic over her involvement in the role, saying: “To be part of the Doctor Who universe, a British institution up there with cups of tea and James Bond, is surreal and amazing! I love everything about Doom and can’t believe I get to travel across time and space with her.”
The problem many are having so far, despite only seeing the trailer for Doom’s Day above, is the production values. We have been promised a new era for Doctor Who under the guidance of Russell T Davies. Higher budgets for the show, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. The trailer seen over Christmas for the David Tennant specials looked absolutely phenomenal. So why did this trailer for Doom’s Day look like something any of us could put together at home in front of a green screen?
And while I don’t wish to pre-judge Doom’s Day without seeing any of it, it’s hard to take Sooz Kempner seriously as being the Universe’s most deadly assassin. And this is from the series that brought us the likes of the Kandyman in the Sylvester McCoy era. There’s no menace or sense of dread in her performance. The costume doesn’t help to be honest and her character comes across more as a cosplaying fan who would want to show off their collection than be a feared hired killer.
Two Steps Forward…
Jodie Whittaker’s time as the Doctor left fans split. Some loved her time in the TARDIS while others were relieved to see her final scenes in Power Of The Doctor. But the excitement surrounding David Tennant and Ncuti Gatwa had fans riding on a high right from the start for 2023. It seemed as if the production team and the BBC could do no wrong with the series.
But after this trailer, it’s introduced an element of doubt and many will look at future updates and announcements with trepidation rather than blind excitement going forward.