Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who--"The Eleventh Hour"

I have just seen the first episode of the Steven Moffat era of Doctor Who. The result is mixed emotions with a large dose of optimism for the future.

First things first. There was big concern in fandom about whether Karen Gillan asAmy Pond could attract young, male eyeballs aswell as Billie Piper did. Considering I have had 5,000+ visitors already today searching for photos, I am confident she got the job done. Who does not dig a hot redhead?

I have been looking forward to watching “The Eleventh Hour” since it was first announced Moffat would be taking over for Russell T. Davies. Moffat has been my favorite Wholigan writer. The episodes he has penned since the revival, like “The Girl in the Fireplace” and “Blink,” have risen above the typical fare. Granted, I do not expect that sort of thing every week--I did not get it with ‘The Eleventh Hour,” to be honest--but the change at the top has been a long time coming.

Looking back, I have not particularly enjoyed an episode of Who, save for last November‘s “The Waters of Mars,” sice the fourth season finale back in the summer of 2008. Davies was phoning it in throughout all but one of David Tennant’s last appearances as the Doctor. He fell into a repetitive rut.

While I am on the subject of smacking down the RTD era, I have to cofess to never having been a huge fan of David Tennant. Hopefully, all the fickle fan girls are too busy swooning over that Twilight drivel to burn me in effigy over the admission. I am one of the rare birds that preferred Christopher Eccleston. Regardless, the weepy,emo doctor, longing for Gallifrey has grown tiresome no matter who was playin the Doctor. Everything screamed for a change.

So how were the changes here? Like I said above, a mixed bag.

I am going tocut “The Eleventh Hour” some slack because of all it had to do. Episodes which introduce a new Doctor are generally not the best because a lot has to be established and neither the new actor, nor the writer, have a comfortable feel for what they should be doing. I was not a big fan of “Rose” or “The Christmas Invasion,” either.

“The Eleventh Hour” felt like an overlong introduction. I knew there were marks it hadto hit: the awkward regeeration, establish the Doctor’s new personality, an alien menace, introduce the companion, and make it all work in a relatively short period of time. There was a rushed feeling of getting all that out the way before morecreativeadventures could be had.

I say more creative adventures later because “The Eleventh Hour” did not feel so muh new as taen elements from the RTD era and spinning them into a new story. There are little things, like the Doctor having a penchant for apples instead of bananas and saying “Geronimo” instead of “Alonzi” as his catch phrase, but there were bigger examples, too. Amy Pond has a distinctive Rosevibe to her. She’s lonely, even with a Beta male boyfriend like Rory, who is not much different than Mickey Smith, underemployed, and dreams of the Doctor as a prince charming coming to take heraway. He did so the day before her wedding, so there was a Donna Noble touch there, too. The overall plot fet a lot like ’The Christmas Invasion,” though I suspect may will feel I am being harsh in saying that.

Nevertheless, it is obvious it will all work. Matt Smith’s Doctor is far less emo and more maic, charming, brilliant, and with a more subtle menace than tennant or Eccleston. I like that, because it promises to cast aside that whole ’lonely angel” vibe that has been going full blast for five years now. I am wary that Amy has the same schoolgirl crush rose annoyingly possessed for way too long before her, but I am going to assume Moffat will not travel the same road as RTD with it.

I thought the Prisoner Zero has escaped from an one-dimensional prison and his jailers are going to destroy the plaet to stop him was typical, but nothing special. Not good, not bad. Just standard who villains handled all in a day’s work. I need to see more of the dynamics of how the newest up works before I decde how much I like it. But since I am curious to see more, “The Eleventh Hour” did its job.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment