Monday, March 28, 2011

Doctor Who - The Eleventh Hour

When do I ever write about Doctor Who?  Not nearly enough times is always the correct answer to that question.  Over the weekend I finally watched the first episode of the Eleventh Doctor (also known as Matt Smith, the 26-year-old wonder child), appropriately titled The Eleventh Hour

I think I am what you might call a "casual" Doctor Who fan, in that I really like the show, but haven't thus far gone out of my way to make sure I've seen every episode.

I've really wanted for a long time to watch all of the David Tennant Who shows, but never got around it.  Thankfully, Mark Watches went and did that for me, and gave me a general gist of what went on over four seasons in marvelous style.  So now, while I don't have an exact history of what went on during the 10th Doctor's run, I have a brief history.

Before I continue, please allow me this brief digression concerning "my" doctor.  Fans of Doctor Who will often tell you who "their" Doctor is - that is, the Doctor they identify with the most and like the best (which is the really cool thing about different actors bringing in different angles to the same character).  For a long time, I always thought I liked Christopher Eccleston the best; he was my first introduction to the character.  And then I got to know David Tennant's Doctor, but I still preferred Eccleston.  I guess you could say, Eccleston was MY Doctor.

I'll just say that after seeing only ONE episode with Matt Smith, I can say with certainty that he is my Doctor now.  There's more to it than just his personality - the production values on his run are through the roof.  I like high production quality.  A lot.  But it really does say a lot about the actor and the team behind the show when one episode wins me over.

Either that, or it says I'm really fickle about my Who actors.  Either answer is probably true in a way.

Back to The Eleventh Hour.  I really liked this episode on a number of levels; mainly though, I appreciated how it acted as an introduction to new viewers, while at the same time giving a nod to existing fans that have been following the show for years.  It establishes rather quickly that this is a Brand New Doctor, and things are going to be a ltitle different.  It says, "Sure, you loved David Tennant.  But you're really gonna love Matt Smith.  Just look at his bowtie.  C'mon, look at it and tell me you don't love it."

You know what else I loved?  It showcased the Doctor's ability to think on his feet and solve a problem without his trusted tools (namely, the TARDIS and his sonic screwdriver).  Without spoiling anything, he had twenty minutes to save the world even though he was still adjusting to a new body.  Fantastic fast-paced action in this one.  In fact, the 'Prisoner Zero' plot wasn't even the central focus - that was just a nice McGuffin.  It was all about introducing us to the New Doctor and his new companion.

Anyway, I will very likely end up waiting until this season is on DVD before watching more, but this season looks extremely promising.


  1. oh man steve I just started watching series 5 too
    I felt the same way about Eccleston and it took me literally years to get into Tennant. Eccleston was just so much more 'Doctor' than Tennant was imo.

    But, at the word of tabb's rpenguin, i marathoned through series 3 and 4 last week.

    Series 3 is awful but you should definitely watch the Family of Blood story and the following story, Blink. Blink is one of the best episodes I've ever seen. It is no coincidence that it is a Doctor-Lite and Martha barely exists in it.

    Series 4 is awesome. Donna Noble is easily my favorite companion and Bernard Cribbins is ownage. The Silent Library story is the best one in that series and is pretty essential for full Series 5 enjoyment apparently. And the Planet of the Ood is also really good, if you want to go back and catch some Quality Tennant. The post-series 4 specials are way spottier than the series itself but they make all the reasons i hated the 10th doctor way obvious. He's arrogant, self-absorbed, "i'm the best version of me," the lonely god, etc, and he gives into it in a cool way but god am I glad he's gone.

    i've been loving Series 5 so far, as I watched the first disc of the DVD boxset (it is already out, at least via netflix) this weekend. Matt Smith is amazing as the doctor, his companion is probably better than Donna Noble, and Steven Moffat is a genius, as evidenced in The Quiet Child, Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, and Silent Library episodes as well in as this series.

    Doctor Who owns. Matt Smith owns. Disc 2 comes tomorrow for me so I'm really stoked for the next two episodes!

  2. Some extra thoughts in response...

    I like the enthusiasm David Tennant puts into the role, but yeah, I feel like his stories (the ones I've seen and read about) are a little melodramatic. I never got the feeling that other species absolutely feared the Doctor in his Tennant form, though with Eccleston he had that playful personality but you could see his dangerous side too. Tennant sort of just makes funny faces/noises.

    I saw some of the Donna Noble episodes and I liked them. She's a far better companion than Rose. They had a really good chemistry! I think I'll see if I can get series 4 from the library, since I understand that there is a character introduced near the end that comes up in series 5?

  3. ALLONS-Y!!!!!! (. ) (. )
    Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead are the episodes with River Song who is in Series 5. They also introduce the second best monster in Dr. Who imo.

  4. Also this is the Dr. Who themed episode of Nevermind the Buzzcocks featuring Bernard Cribbins, Catherine Tate, and David Tennant. It's pretty funny.

  5. Yes, River Song was the name, I just couldn't remember it. Also: love Buzzcocks, can't wait to watch the videos :]

  6. Man I never knew David Tennant was so Scottish. Almost wish he'd do the Doctor with his normal accent, you know?