’73 Yards’ marks the biggest change for Doctor Who in years

Jessica Cullen
Millie Gibson as Ruby in 73 Yards

While Doctor Who is known for sci-fi and space monsters, the newest episode of Season 14 has reminded everyone that the show is heading in a new direction.

For years, the show has been known for pitting the Doctor and his companions against aliens, robots, and other such Doctor Who villains in a battle for Earth’s survival. However, Doctor Who Season 14 has put a twist on this concept, focusing on the supernatural and unexplainable instead.

So far, the new season has seen the likes of space wars and futuristic baby farms — but it’s also had more mythological obstacles, too. From a music-stealing demon summoned by the Devil’s Chord to a childhood monster come to life, Doctor Who seems to have ditched the alien angle for something a little more spooky and enigmatic. And no episode has emphasized this more than the most recent, ’73 Yards’.

In it, a mysterious figure stalks Ruby Sunday, always remaining 73 yards away. It’s frightening, closer to a horror than sci-fi, and raises questions that never get answered. Overall, the sci-fi element is buried under everything else going on.

It’s a shift that fans have noticed, but not one they’re mad about. In fact, the majority of viewers seem to be enjoying this new approach. They believe that it ups the stakes, and puts the Doctor in a position where he’s at a disadvantage, switching up his past dynamic.

As one user on the Doctor Who subreddit wrote: “With the Toymaker, goblins, Maestro, and now Kate saying things have been leaning towards the supernatural as of late, I think it’s clear that fantasy and mythology are at the forefront of this season, and the storytelling will reflect it. I love it, personally.”

Another added: “It was either that or using Daleks and Cybermen again… I’m sooo glad Russell is aiming for a universe which has been altered by superstition that The Doctor understands just as much as the audience watching.”

“I have always wanted to see the Doctor dealing with the supernatural, things he can’t deal with just with logic. I’ve been loving this season so far,” said a third.

“I thought that’s already very clear in the Maestro‘s episode that this whole season will focus on supernatural/things from beyond. Also love seeing this direction as it made the doctor much less powerful than usual,” wrote another.

For more, check out our guide to all the biggest Doctor Who Season 14 theories. You can also check out our guide to the explainable Susan Twist, or check out our ’73 Yards’ review to see what we thought of the latest episode.

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