Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I gushed about the movie Red, White, and Royal Blue.
My access to Doctor Who, the British TV series that began in 1963 and rebooted in 2005, changes over time, so I binge several seasons when the opportunity arises. My most recent binge, on Amazon Prime, was of the three seasons (Series 11, 12, and 13) that feature the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch, Attack the Block), the first woman to play the role.
I loved watching Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor and I loved the kind of plots that they gave her.
A favorite storyline, “Spyfall” (Series 12, episode 2, part 2), featured two of my favorite historical figures, Ada Lovelace, the 19th century woman mathematician, and Noor Inayat Khan, the woman spy radio operator in WWII. I love geeky women heroes!
My October blog posts will be inspired by episode 8 of Series 12, “The Haunting of Villa Diodati.” Villa Diodati was the house in Lake Geneva where Lord Byron visited in 1816 and was joined by Percy Bysshe Shelley and his soon-to-be wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin.
Mary Shelley was inspired by that trip to write Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. During the episode, the Doctor remembers that 1816 was the Year Without a Summer. I got curious about that and learned that it happened when volcanic eruptions caused an unusually rainy and cool summer with devastating impacts around the world. That led me to more stories that I’ll write about in my other October posts.
The first episode of Series 13, “The Halloween Apocalypse,” was broadcast by the BBC on Halloween 2021, making it an excellent choice for October. This episode, and the rest of season 13, feature many of the classic Doctor Who monsters, including Darleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, and the Sontaran.
The Thirteenth Doctor’s time ended with three specials that aired in 2022. At the end, we see her regeneration. Surprise! The new Doctor has the same body as the Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant. We expect this Fourteenth Doctor to be featured in three episodes to air in November, celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who. The Fifteenth Doctor will be played by Ncuti Gatwa who I loved in Sex Education. He will be the first black Doctor and I look forward to his stories.
American viewers can expect to see the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Doctors on Disney+. That will be enough to get me to revitalize the subscription that I allowed to lapse a year or so ago. I may do it now, because I enjoy watching Frozen 2 in October.