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First Impressions of the 11th Doctor Who

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the about-time dept.

United Kingdom 379

Mirk writes "The first episode of Doctor Who's new series 5 has just aired on BBC1 in the UK. This is an important episode for the show because so much has changed: Matt Smith plays the new Doctor, replacing David Tennant, and Karen Gillan portrays a new companion, Amy Pond. Maybe most important, Russell T. Davies is replaced as showrunner by Stephen Moffat, who is known for acclaimed Doctor Who scripts including The Empty Child and Blink. Here is an early review of the new Doctor, companion, showrunner, and series."

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379 comments

Watched it, impressed! (4, Insightful)

King InuYasha (1159129) | about 4 years ago | (#31726940)

The new Doctor is quite impressive! A little bit on the stranger side, but fans of Doctor Who are no strangers to strange Doctors!

Re:Watched it, impressed! (4, Informative)

Goffee71 (628501) | about 4 years ago | (#31727050)

Love the humour, love the pace but still a bit too much random running around. Cast and chrs are just the change of pace needed, quirky but loveable and with decent chemistry. Wonder who was responsible for the cracks in the universe?

Re:Watched it, impressed! (3, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 4 years ago | (#31727092)

It's off to a good start, I agree. As for the cracks - the Doctor mentioned that the prisoner opened them, but I guess that might not be all behind it. Those cracks will be with us for a while, I suppose.

Re:Watched it, impressed! (4, Informative)

click2005 (921437) | about 4 years ago | (#31727104)

The prisoner said it didn't create them. It teased the doctor because he didn't know who had.

Re:Watched it, impressed! (2, Interesting)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 4 years ago | (#31727146)

On reviewing that scene I stand corrected. Too late around here and too much beer... The conclusion stands, though - those cracks will probably make up the main storyline for this season.

Re:Watched it, impressed! (3, Interesting)

NoobixCube (1133473) | about 4 years ago | (#31727494)

I'm fairly certain the reason the multiform taunted the Doctor about it was because the Doctor, or at least the Timelords, are the root of the problem. I'm aware he's supposedly the last Timelord alive, but we've seen how thinking you're the last often turns out... Of course, they could pull the whole alternate reality thing again. The Doctor never was clear about how alternate realities come to be, just that they're meant to be sealed off. I'd say alternate realities are the convenient writers-block fixer: Out of enemies? Bring an ancient and long-since-defeated enemy back from another alternate reality! The damaged Cyberman in the preview says it's at least possible. What I'm most curious about is the English-flag-stamped Dalek; though it's probably just some military immitation, and not a true Dalek...

Re:Watched it, impressed! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727528)

What I'm most curious about is the English-flag-stamped Dalek

Me too but that's a Union glag, not an English flag. The English flag [wikipedia.org] is a St George's cross, red on white. That's only a part of the Union flag [wikipedia.org].

Misidenttified (3, Informative)

Gonoff (88518) | about 4 years ago | (#31727694)

The Dalek was not showing an English flag. It was in fact the British flag. England is no more the whole of this country than Texas is the whole of the USA. I agree that there are many Texans and English who may not fully appreciate the differences but people on /. are generally less parochial...

Re:Watched it, impressed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727638)

oh thanks so very much! You've ruined the whole series for millions of people.

Re:Watched it, impressed! (2, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 4 years ago | (#31727232)

I don't mind the random running around. It's different. The usual American sci-fi series feature a lot of walking around in circles instead (stargate/trek/etc).

CAT GOT MAH TONGUE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31726942)

Who>?

The Companion (5, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 4 years ago | (#31726948)

is hot.

Re:The Companion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31726998)

The Doctor accidentally screwed up her life. Might as well repay for it with a scenic tour of the universe and time.

Re:The Companion (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727008)

Uh, hello, The Doctor is a mega-genius, remember? This was all part of his plan to get her into the Kissogram business so he'd have excuses for her to wear different costumes while looking hot.

Lovely and Scottish! (4, Interesting)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about 4 years ago | (#31727442)

"We saw some amazing actresses for this part. But when Karen came through the door, the game was up - she was funny, clever, gorgeous and sexy. Or Scottish, which is the quick way of saying it. A generation of little girls will want to be her. And a generation of little boys will want them to be her too." -- Steven Moffat

Re:Lovely and Scottish! (1)

somersault (912633) | about 4 years ago | (#31727682)

<quote>she was funny, clever, gorgeous and sexy. Or Scottish, which is the quick way of saying it.</quote>

As a Scotsman, I have to say that Steven Moffat must have never actually been to Scotland. I think he's getting confused with Ireland. A common mistake..

Re:The Companion (0, Troll)

fm6 (162816) | about 4 years ago | (#31727006)

Yeah, what else is new?

I really don't get the appeal of this show. Dumbest stories this side of Ed Wood.

Re:The Companion (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727404)

Huh. I've always been under the impression that I enjoyed this show, but now that I know a random stranger on the Internet doesn't like it, I guess I'll have to reconsider.

Re:The Companion (1, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | about 4 years ago | (#31727010)

This is definitely +1 informative. She is indeed.

I am also sold on Matt Smith now after being initially disappointed that it wasn't Simon Pegg.

Re:The Companion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727336)

I am also sold on Matt Smith now after being initially disappointed that it wasn't Simon Pegg.

What? Simon Pegg as the companion?

Re:The Companion (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about 4 years ago | (#31727684)

lol @ Pegg! Anyway, he was the editor... sorry, [ahem] The Editoorrr!

When they were throwing around ideas for who the new Doctor would be, Paterson Joseph [wikipedia.org] seemed the best choice to me, so I was a bit worried when they picked some 16 year old kid. But, having seen the first episode, I have to admit that Matt Smith was really, very very good.

Re:The Companion (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727026)

Which one? The one from today, from two years ago or 16 years ago?

Re:The Companion (4, Informative)

isorox (205688) | about 4 years ago | (#31727028)

is hot.

Just a note to our cousins across the pond, British police officers *do not* look like that :(

She Wasn't (1)

Das Auge (597142) | about 4 years ago | (#31727054)

I've watched enough Cops with Camera's to know that. However, she's not a police officer. She has a job befitting her good looks.

Re:The Companion (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 years ago | (#31727224)

British police officers *do not* look like that :(

That's OK, US viewers certainly understand it, after all, the British police boxes likewise don't look on the inside like that (I hope).

Re:The Companion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727440)

I on the other hand sincerely WISH THEY DID.. in both cases.

Re:The Companion (1)

bertok (226922) | about 4 years ago | (#31727592)

is hot.

Just a note to our cousins across the pond, British police officers *do not* look like that :(

Aussie officers do though. For some reason, the law enforcement career path seems to attract a particular brand of perky blonde over here.

Re:The Companion (1)

Chas (5144) | about 4 years ago | (#31727714)

Just a note to our cousins across the pond, British police officers *do not* look like that :(

Damn! I could see myself getting arrested over and over (and over and over and over) again if they did.

"I'm not going to be compliant ma'am...err officer. You're just going to have to wrestle me to the ground and handcuff me!"

Note to the British Police Forces. SEND TO SCOTLAND FOR MORE SEXY REDHEADS!

Re:The Companion (1)

click2005 (921437) | about 4 years ago | (#31727172)

She is good but then it just seems like they've rolled all the past few companions into one.

Day before her wedding (Catherine Tate), probably been a doctor (Martha Jones) and rescued from the
'nice but boring' boyfriend (Rose & Mickey).

I heard they weren't going to use any of the previous companions again. I guess they wont need to now.

I just wish they'd kill off all the pathetic enemies once and for all. Please no more Daleks/Cybermen/Sontarans
and all the stuff that got old 40 years ago.

Re:The Companion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727360)

probably been a doctor

Huh? Is that just your expected career path for kissograms or are you basing it on something plausible?

Re:The Companion (1)

Keeper Of Keys (928206) | about 4 years ago | (#31727470)

I just wish they'd kill off all the pathetic enemies once and for all. Please no more Daleks/Cybermen/Sontarans
and all the stuff that got old 40 years ago.

Cybermen and Sontarans - I agree. Very boring. But the Daleks and their successive returns from oblivion never get old.

Who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31726950)

Dr. Who, actually.

post title (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31726956)

Not bad so far, but has a lot to live up to, to match David Tennant.

Re:post title (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727192)

Always liked Christopher Eccleston more, he was much cooler. Tennant was also darn good though. Matt Smith got off to a decent start but as far as I'm concerned the jury is still out on him, after all we've only seen one episode so far. Didn't like the new intro music at all, a time vortex doesn't have smoke, for one, and the music was a lot worse - it didn't quite have that Doctor Who feel to it. The episode also seemed more low-budget than episodes from previous seasons, but that could be because it was the first time I've watched it in FullHD. My impression is that the acting performance was strong but almost everything else was a bit lacking, including the script. It was a still good, but I hope it gets better because I've come to expect a lot more from the show.

Re:post title (3, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | about 4 years ago | (#31727368)

The episode also seemed more low-budget than episodes from previous seasons, but that could be because it was the first time I've watched it in FullHD.

No, my reaction also was that the effects in this one were a bit naff. I thought that of the very first episode, too, though. Remember Mickey wrestling with the Dumpster? And the Nestene Consciousness wasn't very impressive. I figure they're just saving their budget for the best bits to come.

Re:post title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727570)

...a time vortex doesn't have smoke...

Next time you're in one, you should take a picture for us. The producers would surely appreciate the original research.

Re:post title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727710)

The vortex was never made of smoke before, so I don't see why it would be now. That was the basis of my argument, but I suppose you do have a point, I tend to get hung up on details.

Re:post title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727398)

Not bad so far, but has a lot to live up to, to match David Tennant.

... who, in turn, had a lot to live up to, to match William Hartnell. Or Patrick Troughton. Or Jon Pertwee. Or ...

Do we have to have this comparison every time there is a new doctor?

Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727024)

Who is the guy who's blog is linked and why is his opinion worthy of being linked to in a Slashdot story summary? (And will his wordpress account handle the traffic?)

William Hartnell & Patrick Troughton (1, Insightful)

GuyFawkes (729054) | about 4 years ago | (#31727034)

Were the best, by far.

Watching it on an old 405 line UHF black and white set, this was before man had walked on the moon, the TV worked on thermionic valves, back in those days it was genuinely good, the scripts were good and the stories pushed the envelope of props and effect to the limit, and often moved the boundaries.

Nowadays it is a bunch of feeble, lowest common denominator camp crap.

You only have to watch the original movie Gone in 60 seconds and the awful remake to understand what I mean.

The New Tardis (4, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 4 years ago | (#31727090)

While Matt Smith seems capable of playing the Doctor, the new TARDIS on the other hand really was disappointing.

I'm sorry but a pinball plunger, an old typewriter and a decor that looks ripped from a kid TV show just doesn't suit the supposedly alien look of the inside of the TARDIS. Too many earth parts, levers and buttons too obvious. The new TARDIS is a pale joke compared to the previous one.

Re:The New Tardis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727108)

err - it's meant to be recognisable parts...

Re:The New Tardis (1)

click2005 (921437) | about 4 years ago | (#31727134)

I'm sorry but a pinball plunger, an old typewriter and a decor that looks ripped from a kid TV show just doesn't suit the supposedly alien look of the inside of the TARDIS.

I'm betting the 're-imaging' its getting is so it'll appeal to kids more.

Re:The New Tardis (1)

Manip (656104) | about 4 years ago | (#31727142)

This I have to agree with. The controls and centre of the console look really silly (*even by Dr. Who standards). Plus the sonic screwdriver is no longer blue? Huh? Lore, people, lore?

Re:The New Tardis (3, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | about 4 years ago | (#31727378)

Plus the sonic screwdriver is no longer blue? Huh? Lore, people, lore?

Lore? The sonic screwdriver only had a light on it for the new series. It wasn't any color at all in the originals.

Re:The New Tardis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727512)

I, for one, was hoping that the sonic screwdriver had been irreparably damaged, so he could carry on without his 'magic wand' to get past absolutely every obstacle.

Re:The New Tardis (5, Insightful)

Josh04 (1596071) | about 4 years ago | (#31727162)

It crashed, damaged, into an old garden shed, and repaired itself with parts therein :)

Re:The New Tardis (3, Insightful)

Jezza (39441) | about 4 years ago | (#31727188)

The Doctor and the Tardis influence each other, and the Doctor's fascination with Earth is well known, so a Tardis with lots of recognisably "Earth-tech" is hardly that much of a stretch. Anyway, the new Tardis is kinda SteamPunk, and I can't argue with that. Personally I like the new Tardis set, not sure about the "storm cloud tunnel" in the opening credits ... but I guess we'll get used to that.

It all got a big thumbs up from me. Thanks Auntie Beeb, glad to see you spending my license fee on something I actually like!

Re:The New Tardis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727226)

haha thats exactly what my nephew said as well, he was extremly disappointed in the tardis as well loved the whole episode and then ruined by the new look tardis, whats worse is that he is only 11

Re:The New Tardis (3, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 4 years ago | (#31727542)

the new tardis appears to be a labout of love for a guy who posts on livejournal

his name is douglas442 and he appears to have started work on the tardis around 18 months ago.

"The steampunk console project"

all kudos to him and it fucking shows how much hard dedicated work he has put in
tremendous job :)

http://douglas442.livejournal.com/ [livejournal.com]

His acting grew on me in the first 10 minutes (1)

drmitch (1065012) | about 4 years ago | (#31727118)

I wasn't excited when David Tennant left, but Matt Smith is a very worthy replacement. Two Thumbs Up!

Re:His acting grew on me in the first 10 minutes (5, Funny)

BeerCat (685972) | about 4 years ago | (#31727198)

Indeed - "Box falls to earth; man falls out of box; man eats fish custard"

What's not to like?

Re:His acting grew on me in the first 10 minutes (2, Insightful)

drmitch (1065012) | about 4 years ago | (#31727332)

"And the final score is no TARDIS, no screwdriver, two minutes to spare, Who Da Man!?"

Seriously? (2, Insightful)

lattyware (934246) | about 4 years ago | (#31727166)

How do people like it? All of the new episodes (never watched the old, so can't comment) just, to me at least, seem like dull, predictable, poorly-written, poorly-acted and overall not very good TV. I just don't get why people like it. I have caught an episode every now and then and it just seems so... poor.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727504)

Thank goodness. I was feeling like I was alone there for a minute. But whatever I suppose. I never had much faith in humanity ;)

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727558)

I agree I caught some episodes via netflix and never saw the appeal. Perhaps it is a difference of culture.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727596)

It has it's moments but it definitely gets more credit than it deserves. The plots are incredibly repetitive and derivative. The writing is straight out of Eastenders.

Try the older series. They have the charm and inventiveness that's characteristic of '70s sci-fi TV, not the knowing, formulaic artificiality, characteristic of '00s sci-fi TV.

The Tardis Rotor (2, Funny)

acehole (174372) | about 4 years ago | (#31727168)

I think they went a bit too overboard with the "Tardis is dodgy" thing. Last tardis interior was a nice mix of steampunk and random bits. This one just seems to be random bits.

Lets not even mention the Tardis Rotor (the thing that pumps up and down in the middle of the console) because it now looks like a giant glass time dildo.

Re:The Tardis Rotor (1)

Aladrin (926209) | about 4 years ago | (#31727450)

lol So I'm not the only one that thought 'Wow, that's pretty phallic' when that part was on, eh?

Re:Time dildo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727480)

Especially when it started thrusting at the end

Introduction to Dr. Who (Off-topic) (1)

vbraga (228124) | about 4 years ago | (#31727256)

I never watched Dr. Who before, but I would like to give it a try. What should I watch to start?

Re:Introduction to Dr. Who (Off-topic) (1)

Pop69 (700500) | about 4 years ago | (#31727322)

Start with An Unearthly Child and work forward from there

And it will only take you a million years... (4, Interesting)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | about 4 years ago | (#31727468)

The Doctor is 900 years old. There are dozens of seasons.

Start with 2005, work forward. THEN go back and watch some of the classics. I like Tom Baker, but an Unearthly child is also worth a look.

Also, if you've seen even one episode, this [youtube.com] is priceless.

Re:And it will only take you a million years... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 4 years ago | (#31727532)

That's from "City of Death", one of the greatest episodes ever made. Also, that script was heavily rewritten by Douglas Adams. He undoubtedly wrote the snippet in question.

Re:Introduction to Dr. Who (Off-topic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727326)

Start at the start :) It doesn't take too much to get into it, you could even start with the episode that just aired, mentioned in the article. It'll be lacking slightly as you don't know the characters too well, but it is a big refresh, with a new doctor and assistant, so it shouldn't be too bad. Alternatively you could start with Series 1 of the new series, or whichever series David Tennant became the doctor (series 2?). I wouldn't start with the old episodes, as a lot has changed in the new episodes... If you watch the new episodes and really get into it you could think about watching the old episodes then.

Re:Introduction to Dr. Who (Off-topic) (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 4 years ago | (#31727350)

If I were you I'd skip the shows from the 80s and earlier (I can't imagine acquiring that taste today) and just rent a DVD of any of the recent episodes. Seasons have overall plot arcs that build up to a climax in the season closer, but it's not the kind of show that you have to watch from the beginning. Most episodes are essentially self-contained stories.

Re:Introduction to Dr. Who (Off-topic) (1)

Aladrin (926209) | about 4 years ago | (#31727466)

Start with the 2005 season. Once you've had enough to get you hooked, go back and watch all the past episodes with the Daleks. Then keep watching from wherever you left off from the 2005 series.

It's definitely worth it.

Re:Introduction to Dr. Who (Off-topic) (4, Informative)

EdgeyEdgey (1172665) | about 4 years ago | (#31727490)

Blink
That's the one that got the current writer promoted so is a good prelude to the current series.
Unfortunately they aren't all as good as that.

Re:Introduction to Dr. Who (Off-topic) (3, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 4 years ago | (#31727562)

"The Girl in the Fireplace", which was also his, was so good, it was almost too good to be a Doctor Who episode.

Proof that TPB is alive and well... (1)

avatar139 (918375) | about 4 years ago | (#31727348)

...Everyone who is in the US and saw the premiere last night please raise your hand now in a two fingered salute to whoever the executives are that have decided they still can't give us same day showing of Doctor Who on BBC America!

Re:Proof that TPB is alive and well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727424)

I watched it 45 minutes after it aired.
Gotta 3 the interwebs.

Re:Proof that TPB is alive and well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727510)

EZTV is my friend

Re:Proof that TPB is alive and well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31727614)

I consider that fair, I do the same thing with all the American shows. Seriously, you think it's bad, we get all the american shows waaaaaay later.

Re:Proof that TPB is alive and well... (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 4 years ago | (#31727660)

They screened it twice at WonderCon here in San Francisco yesterday... ...but the lines to get into the screening were too long. They seemed to wrap around the building. I went home and downloaded it instead.

The new Patrick Troughton? (1)

Terminus32 (968892) | about 4 years ago | (#31727438)

I think he will be brilliant! A cross between Patrick Troughton and Peter Davison, I am so glad that David Tennant has gone, I was growing tiresome of his over-the-top emo acting. The show is back on form: the Doctor is a nutty professor who has adventures in his time/space machine, not a skinny douche in a suit who cries all the time...

Goofy (1)

Aladrin (926209) | about 4 years ago | (#31727474)

I think the new Doctor both looks and acts too goofy. If that doesn't somehow tie into the plot, I'm going to be very disappointed.

And it's in HD (2, Interesting)

ranulf (182665) | about 4 years ago | (#31727506)

That makes this significant because up until now, only specials were done in HD. The BBC had previously said it was too expensive to make Doctor Who in HD due to all the special effects, so obviously we've reached a turning point where the money made from selling overseas has made it viable in HD. Win.
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