Easter. A time where the shops are full of cuddly toys of fluffy bunnies and fuzzy chicks. A time when fertile buds of fight their way through the remnants of last year’s leaf litter.
A time of new beginnings.
And for those of you who might have missed it, time for the first full-outing for BBC1’s new Doctor Who.
If we time-travel back through the last 24 months to David Tennant’s shock departure announcement, to us Doctor Who fans it felt like a kick in the stomach. Winded, we raced through the chaos of speculation regarding to whom the Sonic Screwdriver would pass, and held our breath through the festive season stonking Doctor-Tennant finale… All leading up to 3rd April 2010 when young Matt Smith stood up to take hold of the Doctor Who mantle.
And he was pretty darn good.
‘Fresh’ and ‘new’ clearly are the season’s buzz-words. There’s a new creative team on board, the theme music has been revamped, the Tardis is given the once-over, there’s a new assistant in the shape of kiss-a-gram Amy Pond ( played immaculately by Karen Gillan, who may look a tad familiar from when she appeared as a SoothSayer in the 2008 episode ‘The Fires of Pompeii’), and even a new Sonic Screwdriver.
From the outset the whole episode was about completely re-framing the Doctor.
Matt Smith has got some large shoes to fill, but his Doctor remains energetic and sharp. He shares Tennant’s flair for comic timing and yet at the same time does not mimick his style. Even at the climax of the episode, standing face to face with his predecessors Doctor-Number-Eleven holds his own. The plot (the Doctor crash-lands in a young girl’s garden, discovers a fissure in the fabric of space, and gets involved in the hunt for an escaped alien convict) pales into the background. This episode is all about introducing a very different Son of Gallifrey.
My one criticism of the new series has to be the silly bow-tie. But then again, the Doctor isn’t known for his wardrobe choices (Tom Baker’s stripy scarf springs to mind), so maybe it will grow on me… I am certainly looking forward to seeing how Smith blossoms into the role.
I have to say I was sceptical at first – a crazy guy with no table manners and a strange set of taste buds didn’t seem to be the most sophisticated way to introduce the new series… but all in all this episode was spot on.
The new Doctor is exciting. The new Companion is ballsy. The Sonic Screwdriver’s gone green! And this is just the beginning.
It looks like we could be in for a great twelve weeks.