Sunday, April 04, 2010
The morning after the night before: the Moff-era started here
I'm deliberately writing this before I start engaging with the online responses. I could be wildly out of synch with everyone else, or merely another voice yelling in the wilderness of bloggery.
I don't care.
From a simple and totally unscientific poll of my three key contacts - Neil, who sat on the sofa beside me; and Helen and Chrissie who exchanged texts with me in the aftermath - I think I can safely say this.
We liked it.
Sure, we won't stop loving Ten (or Tennant for that matter) and there was an inevitable piquancy to feeling his absence at certain moments (because there was still a lot of Ten in there), but... my word, those mighty shoes that Ten left behind... Matt Smith and Karen Gillan and Steven Moffat: bravo. You did it.
I'll tell you how out of the loop I had managed to keep myself: I didn't even click how long the episode was. Sure, I had seen it started 6.20pm. And I saw that Confidential wasn't due to start till 7.25pm on BBC3. But somehow I had only processed this as 'hmm... shame they couldn't start the Confidential straight after'. Doh.
The time flew by. It never felt over-long -- and let's face it, there were occasions when RTD had the longer time slot and couldn't quite make it pay with dividends. (Not always: sometimes he nailed it and made the extra few minutes up to and over the hour slot feel perfect in length)
From this point, there may well be spoilers.
You have been warned.
SPOILERS AND REVIEW LINKS BELOW!
So: what was there to love? Well, there was Caitlin Blackwood, a child who almost convinced me that SHE should have been the companion over luscious Karen Gillan. (And the behind the scenes shots of her working with the crew and Matt Smith were just glorious). I know it was predictable, but I still felt the agony of knowledge to see Amelia sat in her hat and coat on her suitcase in the dark night and feel her disappointment.
There was a suitably everyday scary thing: the trademark of the Moff (well, they are always at the very least everyday to the period they are set in anyway: gasmask; clock, statues, shadows) -- in this case the crack in the wall.
There were funny bits (parents must be dreading requests for custard and fish fingers), there were scary bits (voices coming out wrong - always scary) and there were magical bits (the delayed entry into the new TARDIS with its glowing was possibly just too nicely done to make the first sight pay off enough --- but the new console? Wonderful)
Oh, and there was the inevitable nerdgasm - a little obvious perhaps but still neatly done - of the past monsters and Doctors.
The 'coming soon' trailer was too long, but I'll forgive them that. It's going to be a long year anyway (again, something else that I had been trying to keep myself away from, but which now feels like a proper return to childhood structures).
And Matt Smith? Yeah. He has it. The doughy whey-faced boy came good with that squiffy hair and his buried eyes. it's true, he LOOKS alien and I mean that in a totally good way. He isn't fanciable to me at least - but hey, if he sails your boat, go for it - but what he definitely is is appropriately weird. The boy professor with alien unawareness of what he looks like and how he functions but with a surety of actions that will carry him far across time and space.
Doctor Who. Welcome back.
Stuart Ian Burns at Behind the Sofa
Frank Collins at Behind the Sofa
Tom Dickinson at Behind the Sofa
Neil Perryman at Behind the Sofa
and, finally, The Daily Mail (spit), only on the ground that they have a lengthier review article mentioning lots of the other reviews. Oh well. The Mail has to have its uses somehow I guess.