BBC iPlayer: Doctor Who (2010 Series Premiere)

on Sunday, April 04, 2010
[Watch] (until 3rd July, 6.24pm)

8 million people tuned in yesterday to see the opening episode of the new series of Doctor Who. Alicia was one of them. Read what she thinks about the new Doctor, his new assistant and what lies next....

Matt Smith (the new Doctor Who)

Words: Alicia McBride

Episode: 'The Eleventh Hour'

So, the eleventh Doctor has only just hit our screens and he’s already breaking hearts. Maybe it’s because he’s being sold as someone worth spending your whole life obsessing over, maybe it’s his clumsy charm and mischievous eyes, but I can understand new assistant Amy Pond’s fascination with this man.

There is definitely something about Matt Smith’s Doctor, even with his bizarre old-young face that could simultaneously pass for 27 and 47. His wardrobe isn’t up to much either, it’s come under criticism for being too "old man"-ish. It seems the critics have failed to remember that while Smith may be the youngest Doctor yet, it doesn’t mean the Doctor has regressed 830 years or so. Impressively, Smith has already perfected the knowing twinkle in his eye that belies his age and reveals infinite wisdom about hundreds of galaxies. Anyway, those East London hipster types bought the bowtie back several years ago so in fact it cleverly encompasses both youth and age, making the Doctor achingly cool and perilously old-fashioned. Rather a smart touch.

Matt Smith and Karen Gillan in the new Doctor Who
Matt Smith spends the episode oozing confidence, tempered with just enough humility to keep him from arrogance. It’s this perfect balance between all things that makes him so watchable and also kind of fanciable. Plus the man has a sonic screwdriver and the TARDIS, and that’s never going to stop being hot.

Next up in new Doctor Who’s arsenal is the feisty and beautiful Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan. It is no coincidence that the first shot of Amy starts from the feet upwards, taking in those long legs which have made her a hit as a model. Luckily, she isn’t just a pretty face. She’s also completely mental. Alongside this comes a fiery temperament and some welcome independence - gone are the simpering sidekicks hanging on the Doctor’s every word......the age of Amy is here!

Amy bites psychiatrists, ignores direct orders and likes to chain the Doctor up. It’s fair to say she did steal the show, a fact reinforced by both the actress’ and the character’s name becoming trending topics on Twitter for the whole of Saturday evening, while Matt Smith’s barely appeared. She is definitely a challenge for the Doctor in every single way and I am excited to see how their relationship will develop throughout the series. He seems bemused by her so far but it could quickly become exasperation.

Amy Pond (Karen Gillan's new character)
Some of the success of the first episode could be the result of a change in the style of the show, thanks to new writer Steven Moffat. I am usually loathe to insult anything Russell T. Davies did while at the helm, but hell I’m going to anyway. The most recent series of Doctor Who was continually straining to better itself - more drama, uglier aliens, bigger explosions. The Christmas special wasn’t even laughably bad, it was just bad. No one needed to see a peroxide blonde John Simm decimating a seemingly endless supply of roast chickens while they tried to stomach their own Christmas dinner. As a result, the quality suffered and the whole thing got slightly ridiculous.

The reign of Moffat promises a return to fairytale storytelling and plenty of humour. If the preview of what’s to come was accurate in its depiction of endless excitement and comedy then it’s going to be an unmissable series. Sorry David Tennant, but I don’t actually mind you’re gone.

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