For a while Doctor Who was one of those show I’ve wanted to get into, but I had no resources.
I didn’t buy the DVDs nor did I download the torrents. BUT all my friends saw it and loved it.
It was like that for the first 4 series of the RTD years (aka The Russel T. Davies years).
Finally last August I bugged one of my friends to let me borrow a box set.
Thanks to all the talkings I’ve had with my friends about the show, and the few episodes I did see (and really enjoyed) I knew I can just jump into any series.
So I watched Series 4, with Donna Noble as his Companion.
As the last shot of “Journey’s End” rolled (the series 4 finale) I was convinced…I’m a fan. A BIG fan. One that can’t stop talking about it with other fans. It was such a joy to find a new fun genre show that I can look forward to. I haven’t loved a show this much since Buffy, Angel and Firefly, and if you know me that’s a BIG complement.
So I’ve done my best to play catch up watching the older episodes and most exciting, looking forward to the future of the series.
Now I’ve had my concerns. I too fell so in love with David Tennant’s Doctor, while I knew it was the history of the show, I was starting to wonder if I can accept a new Doctor.
And was I putting too much pressure on Stephen Moffat, the shows new head writer? Moffat wrote all my favorite “Who” episodes, but can he put as much imagination and depth in a full series or is he only capable of doing it in small doses?
Within 10 minutes of Stephen Moffat’s first episode, “The Eleventh Hour”, I knew the show was going to be fine.
By the end of the episode, I think I fell more in love with the series then I did before.
Matt Smith’s Doctor is bloody brilliant. The fact that I forgot about Tennant should be enough to say, but let me elaborate on Smith. Theres a confidence to his performance that I was not expecting. An oddness that was appealing, a charm and exuberant energy that’s infectious and most important, a performance that felt familiar. Like he is the same man that we’ve been following for years.
Theres a moment near the end of the episode that has Matt straight up declaring he is the shows new lead, and at that point, I couldn’t agree more.
Now no good Doctor is complete without having a companion.
Amy Pond, without giving too much away, has one of the best backstories of any of the recent series companions. Her character is given so much history and reasoning, when she decides to join the Doctor at the end of the episode you understand exactly why she is doing it.
Karen Gillan gives a great grounded reality to the proceedings. She brings a real feisty attitude and independence without sounding like a nag. She is also damn funny, her reaction to one of the monsters with a priceless “What?” delivery. Her chemistry with Matt is also spot on and just fun to watch.
And yeah…uh…she ain’t bad on the eyes either. 😉
The story itself is classic Moffat. Elements of time travel, fairy tales and the fear of things that go bump in the night are all here. The entire episode felt like this great big adventure film, with some Spielberg like elements(normal people in big situations, adventure in a small town..etc). The dialogue is cleaver, funny and quotable (“Your Scottish, fry something”…”I’m the Doctor, I’m worst then everybodys aunt.”)
While the plot is actually kind of light, it served it’s purpose as a showcase for the new Doctor and Companion. In one episode Stephen Moffat was able to make a show that feels like classic who but feel like a fun new direction at the same time.
Special note should also be given to Adam Smith’s directing and Murray Golds music. Smiths brings some flashy visuals and some neat ideas(the way we get to see how the Doctors mind works was quite cool). Yeah the special effects for the aliens are a bit dodgy, but isn’t that what you expect from Doctor Who?
Murray Gold is the only real returning element from the RTD days, and brings both good and…well, curious choices to the score.
The new Doctors action theme (in the RTD days it was the music cue “All the strange, strange creatures”) is excellent, and has become one of my favorite (if not my flat-out favorite) cue from the show. His music is a nice comfort and also helps with the transition from the RTD days into the Moffat era.
The new theme song on the other hand is… interesting. While I actually love the visuals of the opening credits ( the cloud vortex, the way the letters appear) the new version of the theme is something I got to get used to. The theme in the RTD days just blasted on to the screen, and this new one is a slow burn. It will take some time for it to grow on me.
Gosh, I think I did enough fanboy glowing for this episode already, and the trailer that they showed at the end (WWI planes in space! River Song! Dalek with a Union Jack Symbol on it! The Weeping Angels! Bill Nighy!) only makes me more impatient for the next episode.
So Moffat, lets see what else you have for us.