The (New) Doctor Is In

Warning: This post contains spoilers.

Way back in January of last year, the BBC announced that the newest incarnation of the iconic sci-fi character The Doctor would also be the youngest. Matt Smith would be the youngest actor ever to play the ancient Time Lord.

Well, UK viewers were finally able to get a proper glimpse of Matt in action on Easter Saturday with the transmission of the new Doctor Who episode, The Eleventh Hour. So how did it go?

Ooh, new title sequence. I didn’t expect that for some reason – the visuals and theme tune have both been updated. The visuals are fantastic – not so sure about the theme tune but it’s not terrible. It’ll probably grow on me. Anyway, onward to the episode itself.

Regeneration stories are always a bit wierd. The audience is getting used to a new Doctor, and a new Doctor is getting used to the role. I thought Matt played the traditional confusion really well and it was an interesting angle to have his Doctor not really “arriving” until near the end of the episode. He was still recognisable, but kept making mistakes including blowing up his sonic screwdriver.

It will be good to see how Matt settles in as the series continues, and I’m keen to find out what his “normal” personality will be like. If we’re to believe his own words, it’ll be one of “a madman with a box”!

The episode is fast-paced and it looks like Matt is going to bring a whole bundle of energy to the role. His new companion, Amy Pond played by Karen Gillan, is nicely distrustful and not as willing to simply go along with what she’s told as some past ones. There already seems to be a nice relationship between Amy and The Doctor, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops too.

I will admit to being a bit confused to start with, because I was visiting my sister and we had the telly on in the background. So I couldn’t hear it properly and thought when Amy appeared she was wearing an awfully short skirt for a policewoman (not that I’m complaining, really). All becomes clear if you watch it with the volume up though :)

As well as a new Doctor this series introduces a new TARDIS. The exterior looks much cleaner than the previous one, but it’s the console room that’s had the most noticeable change. The organic coral look is toned down in favour of a more angular and technological style. The set is on several different levels reminiscent of the console room from the Peter Cushing movies. I really like the new look apart from the blown glass Time Rotor – it just doesn’t look right to me. But the rest of the room, and the multiple exits that suggest more of the TARDIS might appear on screen all look great.

My favourite moment was a nod to long-standing fans that runs through the face of every Doctor from William Hartnell up to David Tennant, and then Matt proclaims, “Hello, I’m The Doctor”. Favourite one-liner was definitely, “You’re Scottish – fry something!”

The Eleventh Hour was a decent start to the new season. It was enjoyable, but not mindblowingly spectacular. Still, it’s the first episode for a new Doctor, companion, and executive producer, and there’s plenty more to come!

Oh, and finally, the trailer afterwards showed… wait for it… Spitfires. In space. Firing lasers at Dalek Motherships. That’s like every childhood dream rolled into one! Can’t wait for that one!

Did you see The Eleventh Hour? What did you think? Does it look like you’re going to like this new series of Doctor Who? Let us know in the comments.

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