Matt Smith has made his debut as the Doctor in Steven Moffat’s new series of Doctor Who.
Beware of the spoilers and keep reading after the jump if you care not of them…
After the events at the End of Time, the Doctor has regenerated and the TARDIS has crashed in the garden of young Amelia Pond. She’s just asked Santa Claus to send help for the mysterious crack in her wall that voices come from. The Doctor begins investigating the problem but a crisis with the TARDIS demands his immediate attention. He tells Amelia of his time machine and promises to return in 5 minutes. Amelia, an orphan who lives with her aunt (whom she doesn’t seem to like), prepares to travel off with the Doctor.
When the Doctor returns, moments later to him and still regenerating, he misses the 5 minutes mark by just a bit: 12 years.
The grown-up Amelia, now Amy, clobbers him with a cricket bat before he can confront the menace in the crack.
The crack in her wall is a crack in the universe and something, Prisoner Zero, has escaped through it. With it’s ability to change into the appearance of coma victims, Prisoner Zero leaves the house. It’s gaolers arrive and threaten to destroy the Earth if he doesn’t surrender.
The Doctor learns that Amy has been obsessing about the “Raggedy Doctor” ever since and is widely considered to be a bit disturbed. Everyone in the village seems to know the Doctor once they see him with Amy, They, of course, all thought he was made up.
Amy, on the other hand, no longer trusts the Doctor, who now must earn her trust and stop the aliens from destroying the Earth without his TARDIS, his Sonic Screwdriver nor even a small nuclear power plant.
Ultimately, of course, the Doctor saves the day and the TARDIS, like him, has regenerated. He takes a quick hop off to the moon, once again leaving Amy behind. He returns to take Amy with him, at first unaware that it has been another 2 years and completely unaware that tomorrow is Amy’s wedding day.
Like most post-regeneration stories, this one isn’t a terribly strong threat and it’s dispatched with almost Russell T. Davis’ simplicity. Where the story shines is the absolutely unique back story for the new Companion and her interaction with the Doctor.
In some ways, it felt like a smaller story from an older time, where most of the action was dialogue-heavy. I can’t say I’d complain about that. The Doctor is stuck in a small, largely isolated setting and must work things out on his own. The deaux-a-machina computer virus being the exception to an otherwise well-imagined episode.
There’s a surprisingly large number of coma victims for such a small town, though. I wonder if that leads to something in the future.
Matt Smith did seem to inhabit the role as the Doctor immediately and his zaniness felt more real, less forced that David Tennant’s, although I didn’t notice that until I put them in comparison.
All-in-all, I can hardly wait for next week.