Not only was there a new Doctor last night, but there was a new ‘Doctor Who’. I feel a bit like Clara, wondering what to make of it all. I’ll try and get my thoughts in order.
Let’s start with the new titles. Originality of the cogs aside, thumbs up for the way they lead into a blue wobbly time tunnel effect. It reminds me of a drunken version of Tom Baker’s intro! The theme has taken a turn for the weird, a bit screechy and howly. That’s all fine and dandy with me.
The dinosaur stomping around London bode well for the episode. It was a dramatic and pacy start. Oh if only they could redo “Invasion of the Dinosaurs” with those SFX! I found the droid, however, a bit dull.
The Doctor. It was a very brave move not to have him try to win the audience over with a charm offensive. We saw the Doctor as a raving loon, babbling on incomprehensibly and ‘pal’ing up with a tramp! Slowly but surely the Doctor grew into the well-dressed dapper and Pertweesque figure we have seen over the year in promo pics. I liken the transformation to Control’s evolution into a lady in ‘Ghost Light’. I bow down to Peter Capaldi’s acting abilities. His performance was spell-binding. Whether I like the Doctor’s new persona remains to be seen.
It was great to see Matt Smith again. He has now extended his run as the Doctor by a year – 2010 to 2014! I think his cameo was necessary to reassure younger fans about the new Doctor. Fangirls might well be turning off in their droves, but if the show wants to win over older viewers the Moff might need to fine-tune plots towards them.
I enjoyed the episode and there were many stand-out moments. Strax shone as always and tickled me with his idiocy. I’m glad that Jenny has been given extra screen-time. But the pace was sooo slow. We had been warned. But I’m not sure if it is a wise move.
The star of the show was Jenna Coleman. Please don’t go! Be the new Sarah Jane! Jenna’s acting skills are simply the best. I really felt for Clara. She was the embodiment of what the viewer was feeling.
Both the Doctor and ‘Doctor Who’ have regenerated. It really is a different show. I would say that the jury is still out. I think we need to see how the new Doctor deals with the Daleks before returning a final verdict.