Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole), a troubled teen, calls the police when he causes a blue pod to appear. He shows the pod to his old friend policewoman Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill), and then he is called by his grandmother Grace O’Brien (Sharon D. Clarke), who is trapped on a train by a floating orb of electric tentacles with her husband Graham (Bradley Walsh) and a crane operator named Karl (Johnny Dixon). Ryan and Yasmin arrive at the train just as the Doctor (Jody Whittaker) falls through the coach ceiling. The orb zaps the group with an energy bolt and then departs. Karl leaves for work but the others stay with the Doctor, who is suffering from post-regeneration amnesia. But it seems they have all been implanted with DNA-destruction devices.
They search for the orb and enter a warehouse whose owner has the pod, which he links to his sister’s recent disappearance. But he is killed by the alien in the pod just before they arrive. The Doctor thinks the two aliens are enemies. She tinkers with the pod and builds a sonic screwdriver from spare parts. The group subdues the orb and finds it a mass of bio-data about Karl. The second alien appears, calling himself Tzim-Sha of the Stenza, here to battle on Earth for leadership back home. The Doctor calls him Tim Shaw and is furious, telling him to leave Earth alone, but he teleports to Karl’s location atop a crane in a construction yard.
The group is unable to prevent Tzim-Sha from capturing Karl, but the Doctor recalls her full identity and confronts him. She orders him to release the human or she will destroy his device and leave him stranded on Earth. He detonates the DNA-bombs, but it seems the Doctor has transferred them back to the coils they came from. The Doctor throws the device at Tzim-Sha and returns him to his planet, but Grace, who is Graham’s wife and Ryan’s grandmother, has been killed. After the funeral, the Doctor builds a teleporter to reach the TARDIS, but it seems she has brought Graham, Yasmin, and Ryan with her.
The episode was written and produced by Chris Chibnall and directed by Jamie Childs. From 2005 to 2010, the showrunner was Russel T. Davis, from 2010 to 2017 it was Steven Moffat, and 2017 is the beginning of Chibnall’s reign. The music was by Segun Akinola of the Royal Birmingham Conservatory. There was no opening sequence or credits. It received positive reviews from critics and a favorable response from viewers. When the 13th Doctor first appears, a few notes of the Doctor Who theme are played on an electric guitar. The title refers to The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) with David Bowie. Jodie Whittaker is 5-foot-5, the shortest Doctor. Because the Doctor built her sonic screwdriver out of odds and ends, including a spoon, there is a Sheffield steel mark on it. She is not injured after falling from the sky because the regeneration process was still going on.
The 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi, was thoughtful and deep, though a bit weird, but this Doctor is positive and energetic in the extreme and everything moves along quickly, though the death of a relative of the companions casts a bit of a pall over the beginning. The Doctor and Graham can be pretty funny. The pace is fast and everybody ends up taking off in the TARDIS pretty quickly. At first, because I liked Peter Capaldi so much, I thought Jodie Whittaker was a bit lightweight, and her stories too, as if they couldn’t quite figure out what to do with a female doctor once they finally had one. But now I see her as refreshingly charming and self-deprecating, a bit crazy as all Doctors are, but without the moodiness that is also common among them. Peter Capaldi reminded me of David Tennant, and Jodi Whittaker of Matt Smith.