Doctor Who: The Eleventh Hour

I am aware that I'm way behind in actually writing up my impressions of Series 5 of Doctor Who. But let's have a go at catching up, then! Spoilers follow.

The Eleventh Hour was Matt Smith's first real outing as the Doctor; we got a few seconds of him at the end of The End of Time, but that doesn't really count. The first thing to note, I suppose, is that he had me convinced he was the Doctor within minutes. That's considerably faster than Tennant did, way back in the beginning of Series 2.

The second thing is that Amelia Pond, Junior, is excellent. This is the first time, I think, that the Doctor has acquired a long-term companion not by wandering in and going, "So, how about it?" but by actually having a history with them. You could except Susan from that, of course, and I'm not all that well up on the other companions from the old series, but it's certainly true of New Who. I like this approach better.

The third major thing to note is that the Doctor's control of the Tardis is even worse than usual. We know of old that his aim, with regard to both time and space, is only approximate, but this is pretty terrible, even for him.

As for the rest of the episode, it was a good, solid season opener. I liked most parts of it, particularly the way in which the Doctor has to get on with things with no Tardis and no screwdriver. I didn't much like the eyeball/snowflake aliens, whose name I have already forgotten - they really did look like bad CGI throughout. I did like - very much like - the bit where we saw brief glimpse of the Doctor's previous faces.

The closing bit, with the wedding dress hanging on the door, made me think of Donna, of course. I'm pretty sure that's why it's in there, and if this is the kind of subtle back-reference we can expect from the new series, I'm very pleased with that.

Posted by Drew Shiel at May 1, 2010 8:43 PM

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