Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

Cometh the hour, cometh the man

As followers of my Twittering will already know, this has been a momentous weekend for TV drama. And it's nothing to do with any actual programmes: it's more that my telly broke down yesterday, causing me to miss Ashes to Ashes on first viewing and to wonder whether I'd be brutally torn away from New Who before it even started.

But never fear, viewers. If I had rousing theme music, it would have been playing as I took a taxi home from the planet of Argos with a new TV, which I managed to plug in and auto-tune just in time for the dawning of the Age of Moff. Phew.

So here are some thoughts about The Eleventh Hour:

  • Meet the new theme tune: sounds like a slightly disjointed remix of the old one. And the new title sequence looks like the TARDIS is being flushed down a drain, albeit one that's being doused with Mr Muscle Ultra-Foaming Unblocker and repeatedly struck by lightning.

  • Now, I'm not usually one to coo over small children, but mini!Amelia was such a sweetie with her frowny little face and her red wellies. And she had a red woolly hat too, making her a spiritual successor to the mighty Wilf.

  • "Thank you, Santa." - Well, a generation of kids who saw the BBC's Christmas trailers last year probably do think that Santa Claus was David Tennant and has now regenerated so I guess this counts as relevant real-world content.

  • "Never had cravings before." - Are you sure about this, Doctor? I've sure you've had a few yearnings in your time. For jelly babies, perhaps? Other people's pots of jam? Bits of aristocratic French skirt? The list could go on.

  • Now, children, please don't cook every item in your family's kitchen and then spit them up all over the place. It isn't big and it isn't clever. Steven Moffat may think otherwise, but then again, he's probably got a cleaner.

  • Giant eyeball alert! Although it does look suspiciously like the logo of Watch, the digital channel that regularly reruns a load of Who episodes, among other things. So I bet they're going to really LOVE repeating this one. I also predict that all the geekiest trees next Christmas will be hung with huge sparkly snowflakes adorned with gigantic plastic eyeballs.

  • Now, this being a regeneration episode, there's a certain amount of compulsory content to get through:

    • Obligatory trying-on of new catchphrases! I rather liked "I'm worse than everybody's aunt", but it might cause a few raised eyebrows during intergalactic crises. "Who da man?" was strangled at birth, and rightly so.

    • Obligatory trying-on of new clothes, this time with unexpected naked Eleven, plus amusingly unexpected lecherous Amy! Well, at least she knows she's not going to be disappointed later, eh?

    • Obligatory running around a lot! Yeah, this one's getting a bit tiresome. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

    • Obligatory pointless celebrity cameos! But hey, if you're going to have a gratuitous celeb, Patrick Moore's a pretty legendary one.

  • I noticed that Olivia Colman was among the coma patients, and thus predicted that she'd be getting up to do some dialogue later. She also got to wear some ridiculous pointy teeth, possibly left over from Nerys Hughes's guest appearance on Torchwood. I hope they've been brushed since Nerys took them out.

  • "Silence will fall." - So, is this going to be the shadowy leitmotif of the series, along with the Oncoming Cracks? And who caused the cracks? I've got a theory: it could be bunnies COWBOYS. See, it'd be amusing if the Doctor had unwittingly predicted the real reason for the cracks right at the start, wouldn't it? Wouldn't it? Oh, suit yourselves.

  • And just in case we haven't all cottoned on to the fact that the Doctor is back and has a new face (but no eyebrows), he tries to impress the Atraxi with a gratuitous clip show of his own best bits on the alien version of YouTube (big screen, crappy resolution). Meanwhile, Amy keeps quiet about the fact that she got a much better look at his best bits earlier....

  • How would you sum up the new TARDIS interior? A dodgy nightclub that's holding a jumble sale? A cross between a trendy restaurant, your grandma's attic and a red light district? It's a bit too orangey for my liking, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

  • I've decided that I really like Matt Smith. Just in a platonic way, mind you. But there's something terrifically endearing about him. Enthusiasm goes a long way in a man, don't you find?

  • I quite liked Amy too, although she wasn't quite as adorable as her mini-self. On the plus side, she seems fairly no-nonsense and has decent chemistry with Mr Smith. On the negative side, she has an excuse for kinky outfits instead of a career and her relationship with the Doctor has a built-in burden of twelve fourteen years of tragic yearning, plus a load of unnecessary psychiatric trauma (which is always good for a laugh, except when it really, really isn't). So, potential for much goodness, but also some potential for dodginess.

  • Dodgiest of all, in my book, was her imminent wedding, which is an eye-rollingly soapy development. Can we take it that she's meant to be marrying Rory? Or the other guy, Jeff? Neither of them displayed any personality whatsover, so it's a bit hard to tell. Or care, really. Maybe it's a double bluff and she's marrying the guy that Martha dumped in favour of Mickey? That would be funny (well, less so for him).

  • Dear Steven Moffat: can we now have a moratorium on plots that involve the Doctor leaving people for five minutes and accidentally coming back years and years later? You've had it once with Reinette, twice with Amy: don't keep doing it. I guess it's meant to imply that the Doctor perceives time in a totally different way to the humans around him, which is fair enough, but it blithely ignores the fact that he's also had zillions of simple human interactions which involve making small moves within the same time period and hasn't messed up any of those, so it just comes across as a cheap and convenient form of generating plot-angst now.

  • In conclusion: I confess that my expectations were pretty low, not being a Moffat fan in general, but this was a bracing start to proceedings. Clearly trying to be a bit different, but still well within the time-honoured framework of Who-dom, it did the job it set out to do. Here's the Doctor, here's his companion: off they go. Now, let's see what else they can do. Over to you, Steve.

In related news, barring any further unscheduled technological failures or intergalactic crises, new mini-icons should be arriving later this holiday weekend. Yes, I'm endeavouring pass off my sluggardliness on the icon-making front as topicality. Tune it to find out whether I actually succeed...
Tags: doctor who
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