New Doctor Who: First Impressions

doctorpromoWhether or not you’ve seen the new series of Doctor Who today, you will have this weekend (and if you don’t have plans to, you should).  I’ve had the first episode percolating in my brain for a few weeks now, and I think I’m finally ready to give my (non-spoilery) thoughts.

A few months back, after the last episode with the old Doctor, I posted my hopes and wishes for the new season. This season features a new Head Writer and Executive Producer, so we’re talking about more than just a new actor for the Doctor.  Well, here goes:

Hardly any of my suggestions are explicitly followed.  But I don’t care.

I am going to have to get used to seeing the TARDIS banging around like a box on a string, because it’s in the new intro.  But the tradeoff for the little things that bug me is so worth it!  I’ve now seen two episodes that have produced minimal eye-rolling.  The 45 minutes are packed with plot, not mindless running around.

And the new!  Love the new Doctor, the new Companion, the new TARDIS.  No, seriously.  I know the new Doctor is young, so very young, about my age, really, which kind of freaks me out – but he’s got such a… different face that he seems sort of ageless.  Some of the first scenes he has in the first episode, opposite a child, really demonstrate that he’s capable of the sort of gravity/humor combo that one might expect from the Doctor.  I was completely sold by ten minutes in.

The companion, played by Karen Gillan, is utterly likeable.  She’s gorgeous, sure, but more importantly, she’s got incredibly expressive eyes that sell every little neurotic quirk or emotion from her character.  I’ll be honest: I was not a Rose Tyler fan.  Every subsequent new companion I’ve liked a little more than the last.  This is completely in keeping with that trend.

One of Russell T Davies’ huge strengths was clever, funny, believable dialogue.  I was a little afraid of what we would get now that he’s gone.  Thankfully, the new writers have filled that gap nicely.  It might not be exactly like the speech of the old Doctor, but hey, it’s not the old Doctor.

As you could probably tell from previous posts, I was a bit of a Moffat fangirl just from the episodes he’d done for Doctor Who in the past (“Blink” is my favorite episode, ever). But I was a little worried; what if my expectations were too great?  What if he’s only capable of writing one good episode a year?  What if he’s just not a good Executive Producer?

It’s early, I know.  But thus far, my fears have been unfounded.  And I’m looking forward to Saturday.

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