26 July 2010

Season 31 of Doctor Who: Box of Delight

A rather late review of this; see earlier posts for an explanation for the delay.

OK, some elements to discuss.

The Eleventh Doctor

I was sold on Matt Smith right from the last scene of "The End of Time", as he burst into life (and the TARDIS burst into flames). It's a brilliant opening scene that takes you completely away from the sad end of the Tenth Doctor.

The fact that he's the youngest actor to play the Doctor ever didn't throw me; he has proved more than up to the task.

This Doctor's persona of an old man in a young man's body, more alien than some other Doctors, is just different enough from David Tennant to keep the character fresh, while true to its roots.

I like Eleven. He's witty, but brave too. He doesn't bluster, but has a quiet confidence about him. It occasionally turns into arrogance, but that's a fault of the Doctor in general.

Amy Pond

Alright, I'll just say it here; Amelia "Amy" Pond is the first out-and-out sexy female companion we've had since Peri. Her legs will be particularly well remembered. It isn't all her character, that's for sure.

Amy's got a clear sassy (there's that word again) vibe to her and really is very forthright. She's best in the Moffat stories; the Moff has a far firmer handle on her as she's his creation- other writers will be able to write her better next season.

Not my favourite of the post-2005 companions, but not a bad companion.

Rory Williams

Somebody's got to be the Shaggy to Amy's Daphne (wow, that's the first time I've made that connection and it's a good one) and Arthur Darvill handles it with aplomb.

Rory is definitely the junior partner in the TARDIS, but has some awesome moments, especially as an Auton.

I like three in a TARDIS; it allows for a character to be captured and still have witty repartee with the other two. Glad he's sticking around.

The new TARDIS

I like the new set; it's got some great features, including multiple levels and a typewriter (typewriters are cool).

Episodes in general

Nearly everything written by The Moff is brilliant; "The Eleventh Hour" started the series with style and the Weeping Angels two-parter was truly superb.

I didn't like Gatiss' Dalek episode; the Daleks are overused in the current show.

Richard Curtis did a wonderfully emotional job with "Vincent and the Doctor" and "Amy's Choice" wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Overall thoughts

I think the best word to sum up this season is "confident". The show knows what works and delivers it. It's not afraid to experiment, but not for the sake of it.

I'm looking forward to a very interesting sounding Christmas special - and Season 32.

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