Monday, April 05, 2010

Who Knew New Who would be so brilliant?

40 hours on and I've barely recovered from the assault on my emotions that was Matt Smith's debut as the Doctor. I think it's all going to be all right after all. I'd wondered how the programme would adapt to the departure of both Russell T Davies and David Tennant and whether Stephen Moffat show he could do comedy as well as creepy.

He can. Oh yes. He can.

I'll start with the only thing I didn't like - the first part of the theme music. It's monotonous and doesn't sound as if it's really going anywhere. Then it bursts into the familiar and comforting boing boing boing woo hooo thing that's part of all Who fans' DNA. The opening graphics which accompany it are brilliant too - a grown up 21st century version of what we all grew up with.

From a senstional, scary flying cross London before crashing in a sleepy village scene, to the unveiling of the new reborn TARDIS, there wasn't one single moment when you were aware of breathing.

My heart broke for the little girl left on her own, looked after by an unseen and by implication unloving aunt, so desperate at the chance of a new and exciting life that she excitedly packed her suitcase with her teddy bear and toothbrush to go off with the mad stranger in the blue box. Anna has been told that if ever a man in a blue box lands in our garden and asks to take her away, she's to come and get her Mummy first:-).

Her childhood was overshadowed by the "Raggedy Doctor" who promised to be back in 5 minutes and who never returned - or at least not until 12 years later. A child can sink or swim in that position - and Amelia Pond decided to swim, growing up to be a feisty young woman. When the Doctor did return, she completely owned him on several occasions, first with the help of a cricket bat and some handcuffs and then by trapping him in a car door with his tie - or that would still be David Tennant's tie to be accurate.

The grown up Amy Pond, played by Inverness's Karen Gillan, has all the potential to be one of the best assistants ever - and we've seen some good ones. The Doctor is not going to have things all his way.

I don't want to spoil the story for those who haven't seen it but there is some superb comedy. Only a Scottish Executive Producer would get away with allowing dialogue like "You're Scottish, fry something". There's a cool moment as well as Matt Smith establishes himself to the aliens as the same Doctor they've heard of and we see the faces of his predecessors.

At the end of the episode we see the new TARDIS. The Doctor said he'd be back for Amy in 20 minutes, but it was in fact 2 years, on the eve of her wedding, that he reappeared and they went off together. She didn't say "It's bigger on the inside" but she looked on in wonder at what looks like a combination between art deco space ship and shambling professors' study, complete with an old manual typewriter. I love the uppy downy thing in the middle of the console. Somebody suggested to me that it looked like something very naughty indeed..... You learn something new every day.

I'm looking forward to next week's episode. I expected that I'd have to endure rather than enjoy Matt Smith's debut. Just shows how wrong you can be.

Russell T Davies brought back an updated verion of the Doctor to enchant a new generation. Stephen Moffat may well be bringing back the Doctor we all knew growing up but with a decent sized budget. I was determined to give Matt Smith a chance and not lose out on him the way I lost out on Peter Davison whose only crime was not being Tom Baker. Well, this start has got me hooked. Let's hope it continues as well. I don't see how it can't though, with weeping angels, the Daleks, Cybermen and River Song to come.....


Liberal Neil said...

I thought it was excellent too.

I thought Amy's resistance to the Doctor's attempt to make the 'bigger on the inside' comment was nicely done.

Overall i thought it was a great combination of all that is good about the old Who added to all that is great about new Who.

Keith Legg said...

Managed to catch it from about 20 mins in (blame Mr Rennie's leaflets!) and was impressed. I liked the Doctor's line to Amy about why she should go with him - "That accent's never changed. You're a Scottish girl growing up in an English village - I know what that's like."

Of course, my Amy - red hair, Scottish - thinks the Doctor's Amy is brilliant.


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