Number Eleven

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What’s on my mind today? Number Eleven.

We’re several episodes into the new season of Doctor Who. I’ve held off posting about it until I’d watched enough to form some solid opinions.

Overall, my reaction is favorable.

What I like:

  • I like that each episode feels like a story (Huzzah, Steven Moffat!), rather than just another alien hell-bent on badness and needing to be stopped.
  • I like the ongoing mystery of the crack in the wall, the crack in time, whatever it is. Again, good storytelling.
  • I like Amy Pond (and not just because she has a great name). I like that she mixes things up, gets in the Doctor’s face and in his way. I like that she sometimes has the answers. (I just hope she doesn’t always have the answers.)

What I don’t like:

  • The changes to the theme song. Bleayah.
  • The bits and baubles of the TARDIS. Is it made from a pinball machine? I don’t get it. It feels comical, which for me robs it of its wonder. And if the TARDIS is anything, it is wonder.

What’s growing on me (or rather Who’s):

  • The Doctor. I think Matt Smith is doing a great job. But he’s not David Tennant and part of me really, REALLY misses Number X. I have full confidence that Matt Smith will grow into the role — and quickly at that — but right now it’s like there’s a disconnect between Smith’s delivering of lines and his physical acting. If he tries to do both at once, both suffer. That will improve, I hope, and in the meantime I will have to rewind to catch what I’ve missed in his mumblings.

Mostly, I’m relieved to find my love of the show — of the premise — goes beyond my fondness of David Tennant as the Doctor. And that’s how it should be, right? That’s what has made the show last for so many seasons. I hope it continues to get better and better. I still look forward to seeing where they end up every week. πŸ™‚

On a related note: I’ve decided to attend the Phoenix Comicon next weekend! And guess what they’ll have? That’s right: Β aΒ Dr. Who and Torchwood panel discussion. Be still my geeky heart.

So what about you? What do you think of Number 11? Likes? Dislikes? What’s growing on you?

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14 thoughts on “Number Eleven

    Kathleen said:
    May 21, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I actually dig the revamped theme song and credits because they almost feel like a throwback to the older series. And that’s actually one of the reasons I’m really digging Matt Smith. He feels like the Doctor to me–like a mixture of Five and Seven. I loved David Tennant but Matt Smith just feels more like the Doctor to me.

      Amy K. Nichols said:
      May 21, 2010 at 11:34 am

      Interesting! I hadn’t considered that about the theme song, or the previous doctors. To be honest, I started watching when Eccleston was doctor. So I don’t have the history you have (much to my shame). I imagine that would make a difference. My hubby recently rented the Baker seasons to watch with me. (That was when he started watching, so he’s a bit nostalgic for the curly hair, scarf and jelly babies.) Maybe that will impact my feelings about the new season? We’ll see. I’m glad you’re enjoying the new Doc! I am, too. It’s quite possible I’m still nursing a bitter wound at the loss of DT. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you so much, Kathleen, for reading and commenting. πŸ™‚

    marc nash said:
    May 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I like Matt Smith – I wasn’t sure I was going to – bow tie reminds me of Jon Pertwee’s rouched shirts and a whole anachronism too far, but his floppy fringe is alright by me. I agree he is not an actor of the stature yet of his two predecessors, but at least he doesn’t overwhelm the screen and everything else like they did on occasions.

    Yes theme tune – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it (much like The Tardis itself).

    Amy Pond is um hot. I think I’d agree with your specific points about her, but I’d have to focus better…

    But where I disagree is the stories themselves. They are a) slight and b) parochial.

    Too much set on Earth and Amy’s Village seems like The Village in the Prisoner, only without any sense of threat. It’s all brollies and pastel shades…

    But the plotlines are facile and seriously miss the imaginative hand of Russell T Davis who invested the early series with real resonance to current themes such as the anti-war movement and the treatment of prisoners without over-egging the pudding. But now they seem over-extended “5 go and solve the mystery” where the action is repeatedly stopped or slowed down for discussions between Smith & pond or with the local philosopher on site. There’s not tension. No behind the sofa moments… So I can’t agree about Steven Moffat I’m afraid.

      Amy K. Nichols said:
      May 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm

      OK, I confess. I’m biased toward Steven Moffat, as he wrote one of my favorite shows ever: Coupling. AND he wrote “Blink”. I mean, it just doesn’t get better than that, in my opinion. Still, I appreciate your opinion, Marc, as well as your use of the phrase “over-egging the pudding”. I liked much of RTD’s writing as well, but my favor swings toward Moffat (as if they’re competing, LOL!).

      I have grown fond of Matt Smith’s floppy fringe. So we can agree on that as well. πŸ™‚

      The whole thing with Amy and her village and the mystery of the crack in the wall and her not remembering the daleks intrigues me. I appreciate an over-arching story line that intersects each episode. Much like the Ood in the last season. I like that kind of storytelling. Heck, I write that kind of storytelling, ha!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Marc!

    Jen Brubacher said:
    May 21, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I like him. 11th Doctor won me over because he *is* a step back from everything, and if there’s something #10 overdid it was ANGST, involvement, ANGST, regret, DOOM, angst, etc.

    See… #9 is my favourite. #10 won me over very quickly, but after a few years he was so bogged down in– yes, angst. So I was happy he could retire and let himself off the hook a bit with a new brain.

    I also like Amy Pond, and the story-a-week, and the arc. I think they’re doing a terrific job when it would have been easy to bomb after so many people adored David Tennant.

    Thanks for the topic. πŸ™‚ I love talking about Doctor Who. And don’t worry. If #10 was your first, you’ll never quite get over him, no, but you will let another into your heart… some day. You just never forget your first Doctor. πŸ˜‰

      Amy K. Nichols said:
      May 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      WHAT’S WRONG WITH ANGST?!

      *cough*

      I mean, what’s wrong with angst? πŸ˜‰

      Part of me appreciates DT leaving while he was in his prime. Too often actors stay too long or a show runs out of steam and then all the magic leaks out. That was smart, in my opinion.

      I really liked Eccleston, too! Especially his bravado. I watched Tennant first, but then stopped to go back and pick up the previous season and get the history with Rose. I’m glad I did. He made a good doctor.

      Thank you for joining in the convo, Jen! πŸ™‚

    Suzanne said:
    May 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    It’s late. I’ll be back…:)

    Virginia.Moffatt said:
    May 21, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I loved David Tennant,but I just love Matt Smith too. He’s brilliant in a different way and that’s how it should be. Amy Pond is great. Sassy, bit mixed up, but in control. Love her. Love her.

    Stories are patchy. The overall arc is intriguing and I like the sense of fairy tale. But some of the pacing has been a bit off. (Beast Below was great but dragged, first 15 mins of Dalek episode was terrific, but then it went downhill, Vampires one was a bit up and down). The Eleventh Hour, Time of Angels, Flesh and Stone and Amy’s Choice were all terrific though.

    Overall, a bit different from RTD who could get overblown at times, but sometimes lacking his sense of drama. But you know what? I think it’s as good but different. And in a show that forever changes its leading man, that’s no bad thing…

      Amy K. Nichols said:
      May 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      Uh oh. You’re talking about episodes I ain’t seen yet! *sticks fingers in ears and sings* πŸ˜‰

      Side note: my hubby and DW viewing partner doesn’t want to download episodes from the web and because I want to watch with him, I’ve agreed. So we’re watching on the US broadcasting schedule. *sigh* Oh to be in England…

      I think you hit on what I like about the stories: the sense of fairy tale. I’m all over that, which is probably why I write for kids.

      You’re right about it being good but different and that being okay. My guess is as the season goes along they’ll find their groove and take us all on a brilliant ride.

      Thanks so much for commenting, Virginia! I love chatting DW with other fans.
      Personally, I CAN’T WAIT for the Neil Gaiman episode next season.

    Suzanne said:
    May 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Almost back, just about to watch Ep 8 (and then the DW Confidential that goes behind the scenes). Be back after that. No spoilers, I promise!

    Suzanne said:
    May 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I’m torn really. I want to see the current series as the best ever but I’m struggling a little. I like the new style of Doctor, a little lighter and less hampered by the onerous responsibilities written most likely for the Shakespearean Tennant. It takes a monumental actor to deliver the wit, torment, and emotional gymnastics DT was able to offer and I suspect Matt Smith is not quite up to this yet. I don’t think he’s a stage actor either and that might be why some of his lines seem poorly enunciated. That said, had there been no Tennant to live up to, he would have been a shoe-in for best DW yet, even though he’s hampered by the loss of RTD whose scripts and directorial eye had a depth I don’t think we’re seeing in this series. For me, this iteration has lost a layer of quality that made it breathtaking and so it is just plain outstanding instead.

      Amy K. Nichols said:
      May 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks for not posting spoilers, Suzanne. πŸ™‚ I like what you said here. That Matt smith would have been a shoe-in for the best DW yet, had it not been for Tennant. I think you’re probably right, though I also really liked Eccleston. I might call it a tie right now between those two while fully expecting MS to pull ahead as the season progresses.

      Can you imagine the pressure they all must feel, all us kooky fans analyzing every move?

    Suzanne said:
    May 23, 2010 at 2:31 am

    I liked Eccleston too and, to my astonishment, Billie Piper who had seemed to be a bit of a talent-free zone until then. Looking back, that was an enormous risk, launching a new version of a creaky old favourite with someone mostly famous for being married to someone else in one of the lead roles. Critically, Eccleston is a mighty acting force in the same league as Tennant while Matt Smith is a bit of a newcomer. So is Karen Gillam and I wonder if that’s why the relationship seems much more egalitarian.
    Anyway, and there are other nuances that I won’t raise as you might not have seen these eps yet, I’ll still be on duty in front of the TV far too early on Saturday evenings for the next few weeks and then I will be bereft until the xmas special. Thank goodness ‘Lost’ is finally coming to an end. That’s one level of utter bafflement I won’t have to contend with after next Friday!

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Suzanne Conboy-Hill, MarcNash. MarcNash said: RT @amyknichols: I've finally put into words my opinion of the new Dr. Who. Do you agree? http://wp.me/pBmxU-gc #doctorwho #drwho […]

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