Doctor Who Series 5 Episode 1 review: The Eleventh Hour

Posted: 3 April 2010 in television
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What have you got for me this time?

Doctor Who - The Eleventh Hour

It’s a given that every Doctor will be ridiculed (…”he’s too young”…”what’s he wearing?”…”he’ll never be as good as David Tennant”…) in the run up to the beginning of his era and then within the first few minutes of the new Time Lord’s first episode previous Doctors will be forgotten and the man on the screen IS the Doctor. So was the case with Matt Smith and his debut as the 11th incarnation of our favourite time traveller.

Questionable elements are the new opening credits and the remixed theme music. It’ll settle down after a couple of viewings I’m sure. Once again the TARDIS interior hints at rooms and areas beyond the console room. Anyone only aware of Doctor Who thanks the Eccleston and Tennant eras would have presumed that the TARDIS interior was that one room. An adventure exploring the wonderful time ship perhaps?

The moment Matt Smith truly became the Doctor took place when the hologram of the previous 10 incarnations was shown and the 11th Doctor walked through the image of the 10th. A reminder that, as Steven Moffat said, there’s only one Doctor, it’s just that he’s had 11 faces. This Doctor is the same one that fought giant rats in the sewers of Victorian London, Cybermen in their frozen tombs, Daleks in 1963 Shoreditch, the Master on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco, and so many other epic battles.

Looks like the idiotic gay agenda of the last few years has disappeared. Once again there is “something for the dads” as they was with Classic Doctor Who. Giving the series the first proper companion since June 2008 Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond is drop-dead gorgeous and a million years away from the gurning companion that Catherine Tate bought to the series. She can act as well which is always an advantage.

So by the end of the bumper 65 minute “The Eleventh Hour” it was “David who?” as Matt Smith made the role of the Doctor his own and bought us the most eccentric interpretation of the role since Tom Baker. The last proper season opener was “Partners in Crime” back in 2008 and that was one of the worst self-indulgent supposedly comic romps ever foisted upon the loyal viewer. Fat on legs as an enemy? What a crock of shit that was. The new show runner Steven Moffat replaces Russell T Davies’ first draft let’s pad out 10 minutes with an extravagant set piece and another 5 minutes with gay references writing with a dark fairytale of time errors, cracks in the wall being the new horror for children, and an ominous foreshadowing of the next 12 episodes with a prophecy that “silence will fall” as cracks in the universe appear.

Has the Doctor only taken Amy aboard the TARDIS because of her connection to the mysterious fracture in time and space? He didn’t want her to see the image of it on the monitor screen.

Here’s to the coming weeks with the Smilers aboard Starship UK, Daleks and Churchill, River Song and Weeping Angels, Vampires and Venice, Silurians and Humans, Van Gogh and Monsters, Stairs to Nowhere and Football, Stonehenge and River Song…and for 2011 the mighty Neil Gaiman will take his turn to scare the shit out of us all…


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