The long-awaited new full series of Doctor Who arrived yesterday with “The Eleventh Hour.” The episode ushered in the next era of the long-running series with a new Doctor (Matt Smith), new companion (Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan), and new head writer (Steven Moffat, who has penned various terror-inducing scripts for Nine and Ten). Unfortunately, there is also a new mix of the theme song, which is decidedly more low-key than its previous incarnation and does not make me feel as if I could single-handedly conquer genocide.
As for the new Doctor, he’s certainly up to his typical alien antics. Unsure of his new form, one of the first scenes features the freshly-regenerated Time Lord plowing through a kitchen as he determines the likes and dislikes of his new taste buds. (In a break from the traditional bananas and tea, fish fingers and custard become his snack of choice.) Smith retains the manic mannerisms of the previous Doctor, David Tennant, but with a more contained physical presence. He also exhibits more pretty-boy arrogance than someone who looks so much like a foot ought to, but Eleven hasn’t had time to look in a mirror yet, and the new companion doesn’t seem to mind much.
Now, I really wanted to like Amy Pond, and I still want to like her. However, what is presented in this episode is essentially Rose Tyler 2.0, minus the heavy-handed eye makeup. Similarly to Rose, Amy Pond is already in a relationship when she meets the Doctor. Similarly to Mickey, Rory Williams is a sharp young man who seems fully capable of being more than the tin dog. While there is certainly something innately charismatic about the character of the Doctor, that’s no excuse for Amy making sure she gets an eyeful whilst Eleven changes out of Ten’s old suit–especially when Rory is standing next to her. When Amy boards the TARDIS, it is the night before her wedding. While she says that she needs to return in time for the ceremony, it seems apparent that there are no guarantees as to whether or not she will actually go through with the marriage once she has spent more time with the Doctor. Moffat has a history of writing romances for the Doctor, and this seems to be no exception. However, this is still only the first episode–there’s plenty of time to see what the little blue box brings.