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'Doctor Who' - 'The Eleventh Hour' Recap (Season Premiere)

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 17th 2010 11:29PM
Doctor Who(S05E01) You've read the interview, and now we have the review of the new 'Who.'

Eleventh Hour. Eleventh Doctor. Ha ha. We get it.

Matt Smith comes out of the gate running. Literally. In his new regeneration, the Doctor doesn't even get time to catch his breath since he's dealing with his new companion Amy Pond as well as yet another alien that wants to destroy the Earth.

This was one of the best introductions to the Doctor ever and a strong start for the newest version of the program. I liked how Steven Moffat didn't use the old trope of post-regenerative trauma (which was used in the last regeneration to David Tennant) and simply presented Matt Smith's Doctor as a bit of a scatterbrain.

The monster was legitimately frightening, an ability that Steven Moffat excels at. He's good at finding imagery that can scare both children and adults (the Vashta Narada still give me nightmares). Amy Pond herself seems like a far more interesting companion that the others we have met traveling with the Doctor. The impending marriage (presumably to Rory Williams, the guy that works at the hospital) adds an interesting twist to the relationship. The Doctor never gets people where they want to go on time.

We also get an idea of the storyline for the season involving those cracks in reality such as the one that brought Prisoner Zero to Earth. I've heard the theory that the TARDIS tends to find trouble spots in time and space because those are the moments that potentially radically change history and they shine like a beacon in the Vortex. The cracks are just another example of this.

Here's how nerdy I am for British television. The actress that Prisoner Zero disguised itself as near the end was Olivia Colman who plays Sophie in the series 'Peep Show.' It's another good series to watch if you can track it down. She's a pretty recognizable face in British television circles. Maybe she's the Big Bad of this season.

The entire meeting between the Doctor and Amy was very original. I'm sure there will be more to Amy as the season progresses. Knowing Moffat, she's the source of the crack in time and space. After all, we never meet anybody who was supposed to be taking care of her, such as her parents or her aunt). Perhaps she's not who she says she is.

For those who watch the show on British time, please keep in mind that BBC America is two weeks behind. No forthcoming spoilers in the comments, please.

I like the new outfit (reminiscent of Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor). I like the new TARDIS design (it's about time it had stairs going to other sections). I even like the new sonic screwdriver (which looks like it has a grappling hook at the end). The only negative I have about this new incarnation is the theme music, which seems too synthetic for my tastes.

In the end, 'Doctor Who' boils down to the writing and Matt Smith is lucky enough to have the best modern writer of the series running the show.

Welcome to the Whoniverse, Matt Smith. I'm looking forward to the ride.

What are your thoughts on the premiere?

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I quit watching when they keep changing the Doctor Who character. Liked the one when Rose was on. When quit watching. Really thought they took it off air.

April 25 2010 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My husband and I both enjoyed the new "Doctor Who"! And while David Tennant is the Doctor who reeled me into the show ("Smith and Jones" being the episode to blame -- lol!), I think I'm going to enjoy watching Matt Smith's portrayal as well. I like seeing what each actor and each writer brings to the show. Well done IMO!

April 19 2010 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No. This was awful. I'm done. Ole Steve has ruined the Doctor. I knew it would happen. Oh well. I thought I'd give it a chance, which I've done with every Doctor in my long time of fandom. This guy? No.

April 19 2010 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mj's comment

i agree completely!

April 20 2010 at 12:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm sorry, but did you watch the show??!! He was going through weird contortions etc. from the post-regenerative trauma...Granted he wasn't bedridden, but still...

April 19 2010 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've never seen more than a couple minutes of any Doctor Who in my life, but was at Chicago's C2E2 where they screened the first 2 episodes of the new series and I'm HOOKED.

I bought the new Sonic Screwdriver the next day at the con. :)

And I may be in the love with Karen Gillan, too.

April 18 2010 at 10:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Matt Smith as the new Doctor is great! When i started in 2005 with the new Doctor Who series, I loved david tennent and billie piper, i continue watching until billie piper left. I have started up again and i found that it takes both the doctor and his companion to really make a good doctor who series truly good. Since Piper left, doctor who ended for me. Now with the new doctor and the new companion Amy Pond (very, very cute ginger!), i feel that doctor who had accomplish a successful reboot of this franchise. The chemistry between the two is great!

April 18 2010 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved it! Unlike some others here, I enjoyed the new theme music. Can't wait to see what the rest of the season brings.

Like the new steampunk look of the TARDIS. Did anyone else think the reading on that one little indicator on the TARDIS looked like the crack on the wall? I'm thinking that's gonna be the overriding theme of this series.

I thought I recognized that woman. BBCA just started showing Peep Show and the new series of That Mitchell And Webb Look the other week - I'll have to check it out.

April 18 2010 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really liked the the RTD theme music. It's really too bad DT decided to leave, because it would have been great to see him in more Moffat stories. I hope they take away some of the cringe inducing moments that was normal in RTD era (which this ep did not have), it will be great.

April 18 2010 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, I came into this with low expectations and came away hopeful for this new season. "Eleventh Hours" turned out to be a good hour of television and while I haven't warmed up to the goofy-looking Matt Smith just yet I'm definitely interested to see what happens over the next 12 episodes.

Oh, and I agree with your opinion of the theme music. Easily the worst version of the theme to date. At least they didn't put Matt Smith goofy face in the middle of it like they hinted at.

April 18 2010 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved the season opener, I think they did a real nice job with this re-gen. And it looks like we're in for a real treat with the new story lines.

I'll eventually get used to Matt and his bow ties..lol

I also enjoyed the companion show The Ultimate Guide. It took you through all the Doctor Who's starting from the show's rebirth in 2005. It was pretty interesting with the new writer and producer walking you through it all.

April 18 2010 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to TR's comment

Have to disagree on "Ultimate Guide". It was a bunch of filler - could have been 30 mins, not an hour. I expected more of all the Docs, not just the last 2 and the current one. It also gave away the best parts of the first episode, so when it aired next I already knew what was happening and killed any surprises. One big infomercial, not an "ultimate guide".

That aside, Matt was better than I expected (the first part with "young Amy" was great) but the episode after awhile was a bit simplistic and slightly boring. I'll give it a pass being it was the first episode. The actors have great chemistry and looking forward to future episodes.

April 19 2010 at 10:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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