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New Doctor

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.


Tor,  04.04.10 23:06

I count three occurrences of Cybermen, and two of Daleks, which I think is quite respectable.

But I agree with you about the bananas. When he tasted all the different food, I kept expecting to see bananas next, but alas. Fishfingers and custard. Who would have thought?

Also, I am now officially a fan of the new Doctor.

Camilla,  04.04.10 23:17

Når jeg nå har sett teaseren om igjen skjønner jeg ikke hvordan jeg kan ha oversett dem. Jeg må ha blunket veldig. Jaja. Jeg håper de i alle fall ikke dukker opp i finalen.

Silje,  06.04.10 19:40

Jeg likte "The Eleventh Hour" kjempegodt! Faktisk er jeg litt sjokkert over hvor godt jeg likte den, tatt i betraktning at jeg også var særdeles skeptisk til Matt Smith da det først ble offentliggjort at han skullle ta over etter Tennant, og at jeg aldri har vært spesielt begeistret for Moffats episoder. Elleve/Eleven hadde definitivt en del av de samme faktene og væremåtene som Ti/Ten i begynnelsen av episoden, men jeg synes faktisk han ble mindre lik Ten etterhvert som episoden utviklet seg, og da han tok skrittet ut av montasjen med de ti foregående doktorene var i alle fall jeg klar til å akseptere ham som the Doctor. Fremdeles er jeg usikker på om han vil klare å tilføre rollen nok "pondus" som Time Lord når det trengs, men jeg synes denne første episoden var lovende og jeg er spent på hvordan de vil utvikle Elevens personlighet videre.

Amy var super! Jeg likte henne kjempegodt, men jeg er helt uenig i at Russel T. Davies gjorde en dårligere jobb i å introdusere sine companions i deres første episoder. Etter min mening er Davies langt bedre enn Moffat på å tilføre sine karakterer og sine historier emosjonell dybde, så jeg ble positivt overrasket over Amy fordi jeg ikke hadde forventet at Moffat skulle gjøre en såpass god jobb med å skape en interessant og likandes companion.

Episoden var spennende, og plottet var typisk Moffat. Nesten bekymringsfullty typisk. Som i nesten alle tidligere Moffat-episoder var selve tidsreisen, forflytninger i tid og tiden som går et sentralt aspekt ved plottet, og "out of the corner of your eye" fikk meg til å tenke på både "Blink" og "Silence in the Library". Amy hadde dessuten en del fellestrekk med Reinette. Jeg håper dette bare var Moffats måte å knytte an til tidligere episoder på, og ikke et tegn på at han vil begynne å gjenta seg selv, slik Davies hadde en tendes til å gjøre mot slutten av sin periode.

Jeg er ikke spesielt begeistret over at River Song kommer tilbake, ettersom jeg ikke kan fordra henne, men resten av teaseren for kommende episoder så lovende ut. Alt i alt gleder jeg meg stort til neste episode, og var strålende fornøyd med den første. Den var mye bedre enn jeg hadde fryktet.

Jøsses! Jeg har faktisk skrevet en kommentar!

Camilla,  10.04.10 09:57

En kjempelang kommentar, faktisk! Det er tydelig at jeg må skrive om Doctor Who oftere.

Jeg tror vi må erkjenne at vi aldri kommer til å bli enige om Moffat v Davies. Men jeg skjønner hva du mener når du sier at det føltes som en Moffat-episode (selv om jeg sa at det ikke gjorde det). Det har aspekter av Moffat, men den var ikke faktisk skummel (jeg blir virkelig skremt av Moffats episoder, vanligvis), og den store "this planet is protected"-scenen var veldig Davies-stil (om enn en jeg ikke har så mye imot hvis gjort med måte). Det var i det hele tatt en nedtonet Moffat-episode, som kanskje er grunnen til at du likte den og jeg ikke likte den så godt som jeg hadde håpet. Hmmm.

Jeg håper også at han klarer å styre unna gjentakelsesfellen. Jeg ser at Weeping Angels later til å komme tilbake denne sesongen. Det er litt tidlig, men det kommer vel litt an på hva han gjør utav dem. Den som lever får se.

River Song blir vi nok heller aldri enige om. Jeg synes hun er strålende!

Jørgen,  19.04.10 13:45

Jeg hater hvordan Matt Smith glemmer å spille doktoren, og heller spiller Tennant. Men jeg har likevel troa på jyplingen, og det kommer nok til å bli bra om en halv sesong eller noe slikt, når han har kommet skikkelig inn i rollen (eller jeg glemmer å irritere meg over det). Dessuten kommer mine favoritter tilbake: The Wheeping Angels. Og det alt i neste episode. Huzzah!


Camilla,  04.04.15 17:28

Det er litt trist å se tilbake på all den troen jeg hadde på Moffat i de dager.