Tor and I have now had tea and watched the new Doctor Who
episode, ``The Eleventh Hour''. I have been very worried
about this particular event for quite some time, and I am still not entirely sure how I feel about it. Hence the possibly rambly nature of this blog post.
I have been enthusiastic about the inherent wonderfulness of having Moffat as lead writer, but while I tried to tell myself there was a possibility we might get a new Tom Baker or David Tennant, the possibility of a new Colin Baker hovered in the back of my mind. I am more at ease in that respect now, but I'll get back to that. First, let me say this: this is so far the first of the new companions I have actually liked
(maybe this will finally make Silje weigh in?). Her name is Amy Pond and she is Scottish, and if you haven't seen the episode yet, that is all you need to know for now. They managed the trick of fleshing her out in one episode, which impressed me quite a bit -- Davies used a whole season to get his companions to the point where this one is at the very beginning. I just hope they can keep this up. I must also say that so far I much prefer Amy's Rory to Rose's Mickey, who I never liked at all. He was excellently disgruntled in Little Dorrit
and I have high hopes.
I do not like the title sequence. The new logo, I have finally decided despite some apprehensiveness in the beginning, is much better than the old (but I am still not entirely happy with any acronymising of Doctor Who
(even writing "Dr. Who" gives me the shivers), let that be known); but the music. The music is wrong. Or at least takes some getting used to.
The plot. Well, it is classic Who, really. It is not one of those Moffat
episodes, but it fits in the series. With a new Doctor and a new companion to break in, the plot was going to have to follow a classic mould. It is a lot like ``The Christmas Invasion'', but with a lot more Doctor (always a plus). And like ``The Christmas Invasion'', I couldn't help feeling that the Doctor did not fit right. I have a theory that this is all down to clothes.
You see, the Doctor, in both these episodes, is still wearing Someone Else's Clothes
. This keeps their characters somewhat in limbo -- it is unclear what they are becoming (the clothes make the man?). This is underlined, of course, when both Doctors have their rather significant moment of choosing attire at a moment when it has become clear who they are. It may therefore be that I will warm to Matt Smith as I warmed to David Tennant once I see an episode of him fully formed, as it were.
I already like him, mostly. I swear he sometimes channels Tennant, as Tennant sometimes channelled Baker. That is all good. There are some scenes that I felt were incomplete or overdone, but I am fairly sure that will get better (although I believe this was not the first episode they filmed). There were some excellent moments in between, just as there were some that didn't quite fit (the scene by the car took much too long). Getting rid of the latter is all it takes, and I'll be happy. I had been worried he would not look the part, but it worked once he was in proper costume.
There was also some very innovative filming at one point. I am not sure it fit with the very conventional plot type, but I think I liked how it was done. I am referring to the glimpse into the Doctor's thought process. When I say I think
I liked it, I should perhaps explain. I liked the filming, and the technique used. What I am uncertain about is whether I want to know how the Doctor's mind works. Sometimes suggestion works better for me. I'll need to think more on that. It was funky, but I hope they don't make a habit of it.
There was also a very nice nod to the past, with the old Doctors being shown. I like that sort of thing a lot. I also noticed that Moffat had the Doctor re-use lines that he had used in earlier Moffat episodes. Again, I am torn. He might be doing that because he had not quite "become" yet (if the Doctor ever "becomes"), and in that case drawing on the past may make sense. I hope it won't happen too much, though. Some references work, but I disliked Davies' obsession with catch-phrases, and I really truly hope Moffat is not going down that road (or that if he does, it will be with something good). And yet I missed the banana reference which I have come to expect from him.
The teaser for the season looks really rather wonderful (I spot Alex Kingston (River Song, who I like, and while I have a problem with the time lines of the River/Doctor meetings, I hope Moffat will have noticed that and provided an explanation of sorts) and Bill Nighy, who is always perfect in everything and I can't wait to see who he'll play and won't it be great?), but it also looks like there will be no Cybermen (and only a little bit of Daleks?) and a host of new and scary monsters. And those are both Good Things. I am rather worried about the Doctor wielding a gun, though. Surely his personality has not changed that much?
All in all: Camilla is much less worried now, feels that things are in safe hands, and that (while we should all grieve for what we lost in David Tennant not working closely with Moffat, which, let's face it, would have been brilliant
) things might work out all right in the end.