Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker is reprising her role as the Thirteenth Doctor in the upcoming spinoff audio-drama, Doctor Who: Redacted.
The BBC is launching a new Doctor Who audio-drama spinoff featuring Jodie Whittaker herself as the Thirteenth Doctor. Doctor Who has always embraced the potential of transmedia; there was a time when the popular Target novelizations were the only way viewers could relive classic adventures. The TV series now stands at the heart of an expanding transmedia empire, with the Doctor’s adventures continuing in novels, comics, and audio-books. This culminated in the “Time Lord Victorious” transmedia epic that ran through 2020 and 2021, drawing so many different mediums together into a single overarching narrative.
Jodie Whittaker’s tenure as the Thirteenth Doctor is coming to an end, with the actress set to appear in only two more specials this year. Production of Doctor Who season 13 was severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, leading to its being cut down to just six episodes; and her story de ella is wrapping up in standalone specials, meaning there sadly is n’t much room for the various plot threads to be tied together. Doctor Who appears to be using other mediums to fill the gap, with an upcoming Doctor Who Origins comic exploring major rewrites to the show’s lore that have been brought in during the Thirteenth Doctor era. Now it seems Doctor Who is embracing transmedia in yet another way going forward.
The BBC has announced a new ten-episode spinoff audio-drama, Doctor Who: Redacted, that will launch on BBC Sounds alongside the upcoming Spring Special. Written by experienced Doctor Who novelist Juno Dawson, it will star Charlie Craggs, Lois Chimimba (vigilant, The One) and Holly Quin-Ankrah (Coronation Street, Grange Hill); they’ll be playing three broke university dropouts who have become obsessed with a conspiracy theory revolving around a mysterious “blue box“that appears throughout history. Unfortunately they soon learn everyone who has ever known the Doctor is being erased from time. As they learn the truth, they’ll encounter a number of key figures from Doctor Who lore; the Doctor herself, her de ella old Silurian ally Madame Vastra, and UNIT boss Kate Stewart.
the timing of Doctor Who: Redacted is particularly interesting, launching alongside the Spring Special; it raises the possibility this story is designed to lead from that story to the upcoming Centenary Special, in which Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate. Current showrunner Chris Chibnall’s plans were undoubtedly cut short due to the disruption caused by coronavirus, and this would be a smart way of filling out essential story details. It’s important to note that, in the past, Doctor Who‘s full embrace of transmedia had been limited by the BBC license, which mandated that further purchases should not be necessary to understand the public service broadcaster’s story; this was why the Doctor Who TV series sat out “Time Lord Victorious,” for example. A free audio-book airing on BBC Sounds would certainly get around that problem.
hopefully Doctor Who: Redacted sets a major precedent for the future – not just in terms of transmedia content, but also with the plot itself. According to the BBC, the audio-book will delve deep into the lives of its original characters, exploring controlling boyfriends, romance, and the trans experience. This should make it a truly worthy addition to Doctor Who lore, and essential listening for fans.
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