The New Doctor

I caught the debut of Matt Smith (the new Doctor on Doctor Who) on On Demand yesterday.  (I love On Demand, BTW.  I do wonder, though, why every On Demand program I’ve used has an outright user-hostile interface, but I imagine within a few years some entrepeneurial lass or lad will correct that and do quite well for themselves.  In the meantime I puzzle over mysteries such as why some Doctor Who episodes show up under “Primetime on Demand” and others under “BBC America On Demand.”)

But I digress.  The eleventh Doctor.  I think I’m quite fond of him.  More importantly, I’m quite fond of Doctor Who under Steven Moffat’s leadership.  After only one episode, I already feel more confidence in the writing.  It has that slightly hokey feel that Doctor Who should have, but manages to never cross into severe eye-rolling territory, as Russell T. Davies was known to do now and again.  The regeneration was well-done, and there was a lovely dash of Moffat horror thrown in throughout.  It also seems like Moffat is going to play around more with the time-travelling complexities, which strikes me as a fun way to explore the character.  “Oh, I said 5 minutes and it turned out to be 12 years?  Oops!” Vintage Doctor.

As for young Mr. Smith, I enjoyed his performance quite a lot, which is impressive considering my recently developed but still emotionally significant secret crush on David Tennant.  Smith is drawing a bit on Tennant but he’s doing his own thing, too.  He has just the right mix of cockiness, world-weary wisdom, adventurousness, and just-barely-beneath-the-surface timelord-y angst.  And I believed he was the Doctor pretty much from his first moment on screen, which, as Moffat said, is ultimately the only test that counts.  There were a few moments now and then where his youth came through in a way that felt like it was due more to Smith’s own youthful uncertainty than to the Doctor’s timeless exuberance, but they really were only a few moments, and I’m sure Smith is only going to get better as he grows into the role.   Also, love the outfit.  Bowties and suspenders are definitely due for a comeback.

And Amy Pond seems promising as a new companion.  Proactive and sharp and a bit different from the ones we’ve seen before.  Looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season has in store for us…

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2 thoughts on “The New Doctor

  1. A big ball of timey-wimey ditto. It was actually the first episode in a long time I’ve wanted to watch again, just to glee over little moments (“Must be a hell of a scary crack in your wall.”).

  2. The space-time crack in the wall was great, as was the scary stuff you could only see in the corner of your eye. Definitely an episode of timey-wimey goodness. 🙂

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