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Doctor Who, Series 5

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Description

Matt Smith sets out as the Eleventh Doctor with a brand new TARDIS and a feisty new companion in Amy Pond. But there's barely time for the Doctor to recover from his regeneration before the whole world is under threat once more. His enemies are never far behind him, including old nemeses the Daleks and Weeping Angels, plus new monsters such as alien vampires, humanoid reptiles and a dangerous silent menace that follows the Doctor and Amy wherever they go. Their adventures through time and space take them to sixteenth century Venice, France in the 1890s, and Britain in the far future, now an entire nation floating in orbit. Sci-fi drama starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.

Customer Reviews

Just what the Doctor ordered

Matt Smith, a relativley unknown actor, has so far proved himself more than adequate as the 11th Doctor. He brings his own unique take on the role whilst maintaining the eccentricity, and intellectual sharpness of the character, which has made the Doctor such an endearing and popular figure. There is something quintesenntially british about The Doctor, his manners, wit and inventiveness, civility and refusal to use violence and the omnipresent guns so common in much of todays TV.
There is nothing else quite like it, and long may it continue.

Wow, Wow, Wow

This new Doctor looks set to be one of the best ones yet and so does the new series, with a new writer, new Doctor and brand new companion the new series is refreshed and ready to go. The acting is amazing and so is the storyline, hopefully this will continue :) Also, the new Doctor looks amazing, loving the hair :)

A promising start for a less motormouthed Doctor

The hype of Who keeps building, and inevitably, there will be episodes that match it, and episodes that don't. It's probably wise to compare The Eleventh Hour not with the high-spots of the Eccleston and Tennant years, but with 'first stories' of each of the Doctors. On that scale it scores pretty highly - although it probably only sits comfortably alongside the first stories of the first four Doctors, in its cohesion, pace, writing and characterisation, it beats the pants off Castrovalva, The Twin Dilemma, Time and The Rani, the TV Movie starring Paul McGann and, perhaps controversially, Rose - meaning with the exception of Tennant's opening foray in the role, it's a better first episode than we've had since the mid-70s.

Steven Moffat is of course the dream writer to take over from fellow fanboy Russell T Davies in the big chair, and if the new Doctor has yet to blow the doors off the place and convince the world that he was the only real choice for the role, then at least he turns in a credibly barmy, interestingly layered post-regenerative performance. The ostensible villain, Prisoner Zero, is a good-enough piece of creepy CGI, and the the idea of seeing it 'from the corner of your eye' is classic Moffat, aiming to get the kids squinting sideways in the playground in the week after transmission. It also has a nice line in scares when it copies human beings - the thing with the voice is rewardingly bizarre - but at no point does it ever seem like a particular threat, because at no point is there a line slipped in explaining what it actually DID to get imprisoned in the first place - unless the big-bully Atraxi will imprison you for looking like the unfortunate offspring of an adder and an umbilical cord...

Special mention should be made of Karen Gillan's star-making turn as Amy Pond - the word 'feisty' is over-used of companions these days, but she can evidently pitch her archness just right, making even 'It's a duckpond' both funny and spirited. Her character and portrayal promise great things for future episodes.

The episode's by no means perfect of course - the way in which the Doctor eventually scares off the Atraxi is not only fairly lame but also a direct recycle from Moffat's own Forest of the Dead episode. That's a shame, because it was the worst thing in the former episode, and does equally poor service here. The idea that aliens can be dispatched simply by fear of the Doctor rather lessens the necessity for him actually being there, and is already in danger of becoming as tired as the Deus ex machina solutions frequently McGuffined into existence by RTD.

What's more the Doctor's moment of 'becoming' the Doctor once he was costumed and ready to face the Atraxi feels like a direct, but watered-down, version of David Tennant's first twenty minutes, once he woke up properly from his regeneration. But whereas Tennant then went on to fight a duel for the sake of the planet, it's difficult to see how Smith's 'Basically...run' measures up into the same kind of triumphant rite of passage, and we're left feeling that this new Doctor hasn't really earned the right to claim the Earth 'is protected' by him, as Tennant's unquestionably did in his first outing as the Timelord.

Add to that a Tardis that is unquestionably pretty but perhaps a little gimmick-rich, with its typewriter and bell, and a title sequence that is visually underwhelming and appears to change or overwrite some of the key audio hooks of the most famous sci-fi theme tune in history, and we're left wondering if The Eleventh Hour isn't a job that has been only almost completely done.

But all of this revolves around the very first episode. Moffat's both an extraordinary writer and a huge Who fan. Personally I had more misgivings after Rose was broadcast than I do after The Eleventh Hour, and I've learned since then to have a little faith in people who love the show so much they work appallingly hard to bring it to people. If you can get past the dishwater-version of the theme, I think this series is going to evolve in some fascinating and rewardingly exciting ways. Hold tight everybody - Geronimo!

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