(Do not read if you are outside the UK and want to watch series five episode one as spoilers follow)
So the 11th incarnation of Dr Who finally got his first airing last night. Regular readers will know that I’ve really enjoyed the last few series, but wasn’t very optimistic about the casting of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor.
I suppose you could say that he (and therefore the programme itself) wasn’t as bad as I thought he/it was going to be. But the new Doctor is smugger, more arrogant and less emotive than David Tennant’s Doctor, in fact more like the out of control, Time-Lord-Victorious Doctor at the end of the Waters of Mars episode who quickly got his comeuppance. As Matt Smith himself puts it, “I think my Doctor is a bit more reckless; he’s a thrill-seeker and addicted to time travel. He is the mad buffoon genius who saves the world because he’s got a great heart, spirit and soul but he also doesn’t suffer fools”.
The Doctor’s new assistant, Amy Pond is a kissogram by trade, which seems to have been wedged in there purely to ensure she was wearing a) a sexy uniform and b) a very short skirt. Sigh.
Stephen Moffet has taken over from Russell T Davies as Showrunner and I suppose the most noticeable different (apart from a new skinny bloke in the Tardis) is that the rhythm of the show seems (at least for now) to have shifted from banter whilst battling aliens to (as my sister put it) “lots of talking but not actually battling anything”, in the case of episode one’s alien-of-the-week, “a thing with big teeth just stood around for a long time and didn’t really do anything”.
There are still some gems in the script though, like “20 minutes to save the world and all I’ve got a post office. And it’s shut”. The dialog also confirmed my suspicion that the Tardis contains an enormous wardrobe for Assistants – after all, we never saw Rose and Martha take suitcases with them. On the other hand, we are now led to believe that it also has a swimming pool…
I think when it comes down to it what I’m really moaning about is that the latest series is all-round Bigger. Bigger character, bigger Tardis inside, bigger hair (and you’d better fire whoever was responsible for continuity there, unless sonic screwdrivers now come with a ‘blow dry and style’ setting). Bigger isn’t always better. I’ll watch the new series, I just probably won’t bother to record it if I’m out.
Oh and that tweed jacket. My brother in law turned up for dinner last night wearing one. It’s the sartorial beginning of the end. If he starts wearing a bow tie and growing his hair I may have to ask my sister to initiate divorce proceedings.