Friday, 9 April 2010

New Who Knew How

I’m only here for the crack…

The Doctor has a new face, a new TARDIS, a new companion and a new story arc… and on the strength of Matt Smith’s first outing, it’s all good! In the extended premier episode of the new series we were given all that we wanted, enough to satisfy, enough to tease…

‘The Eleventh Hour’, written by Who's new Executive Producer Stephen Moffat, was a good yarn and before the audience had time to start discussing the Doctor’s new face and compare actors past and present, we were headlong into the story. The seeds of this story seem to have been sowed back in the 2007 Doctor Who Storybook with Stephen Moffat’s short, ‘Corner Of The Eye’, in which a being (called a ‘floof’) attaches itself to an individual and lives through them, always standing just inches behind them, always moving too quick to be seen when the person turns around, only sometimes catching a flicker in the corner of the eye. The ‘floof’ used psychic manipulation to subtly alter perception and was capable off miraculously hiding, even in a crowded room. In the short story, the ‘floof’ murders a man’s wife and then convinces him that she is alive but has to be away a lot of the time. He is convinced that he is communicating with her every day via a text messenger service. After ten years of hardly ever leaving the house, the man does not question the validity of this explanation. I do not want to give too much away as it is a good little read, but it does have some parallels with ‘The Eleventh Hour’ and hints at a possible answer to that question of what happened to Amelia’s parents and where was her aunt that night?

…and then, of course there was the big, neon lit, bells and whistles incongruity… just how did the sonic screwdriver get into that room and onto that table all covered in goo? There is a parallel time thing afoot, for sure. (Perhaps we'll find the answer in the 50th anniversary special!) Something to do with the crack and, did they say ‘pandoro’ (an Italian cake, surely not)? So what about Prisoner Zero? It did not kill Amelia when the Doctor said that it would, it just did that breathy, all teeth smile thing… So, why is Zero a prisoner – what was the crime? It seems certain that the crack in the wall of time and space is inextricably linked to Amy Pond, the Doctor, and Prisoner Zero, and was probably caused by the Doctor’s actions in one way or another. And who has the sneaky suspicion we will be seeing the Master again? I only mention this because the silvery, liquid metal, fanged serpent did remind me of the way that the Doctor Who Movie depicted a Time Lord in his ‘raw’ state… the scale was different, but then that could be relative… couldn't it? One way to find out.

Matt Smith is the Doctor, and Karen Gillan is Amy Pond. Both turn in exuberant performances that are filled with fun as well as being convincingly real on an emotional level – and that is difficult to achieve. It is much easier to play either comedy or pathos, but to mix and meld varied and complex character traits seamlessly in such a fast paced one-hour drama is the mark of fine acting, especially when you throw in fairy-tale imagination and SF-gothique elements. Of course, the thumbs up must also go to the rest of the cast, particularly Caitlin Blackwood (young Amelia), and the production team around them.
Watch this space for more on one of the greatest TV series of all time...
...meanwhile, check out the BBC Doctor Who pages.

No comments:

Post a Comment