The overwhelmingly positive reaction to the new Doctor Who episode and its star continued over the weekend, with support from some unlikely places.
None other than The Mirror’s Jim Shelley, a famous critic of the Russell T Davies/David Tennant years. Of The Eleventh Hour, Shelley observed:
Overall, Gillan was better at comedy. Smith was good at confusion.
It ended with a declaration of intent.
“Hello !” he said to the spinning crystal eyeball – the Atraxi. “I’m the Doctor !”
Even after one episode, it sounded pretty convincing.
Meanwhile, popular local paper The Shropshire Star utilized a clever dual review of The Eleventh Hour. Unfortunately one of the reviewers forgot to watch:
SoÂ the aliens came. Who were they? What did they want?
Search me, because by now we were back into frantic chase sequences andÂ spaceships
And you, “Andrew Owen”, weren’t paying attention as clearly the Atraxi wanted Prisoner Zero, a fact made clear in the first act with the phrase “Prisoner Zero has escaped” and the sight of a giant eyeball through the crack in Amy’s room. A “Hack of the Week” award is earned, people…
The Scotsman, meanwhile, can draw upon a band of real journalists and critics who seem prepared to watch TV and not text their friends while the show in question is on air.
“Matt Smith seems to be ideal,” Stuart Kelly wrote in Scotland on Sunday. “You can understand why Scottish-born series supremo Steven Moffat shelved all his preconceptions when Smith auditioned.”
io9.com featured a great review (one worth reading) from Charlie Jane Anders which curiously compared the superior The Eleventh Hour with the much shorter Rose with the following statement:
“The Eleventh Hour” will inevitably be compared to “Rose,” Russell T. Davies’ first story and the story that launched the new era of Doctor Who. And “Rose” is clearly a stronger episode as an hour of television drama…
Rose is essentially 35 minutes long, plus opening titles and long trailer. An hour it is not.
Curious rag The Mail on Sunday observed:
“By the end of the episode, in his tweed jacket and bow tie, like an Indie-band Professor Quatermass, you have forgotten all about his illustrious predecessor,” McKay wrote.
“Indeed, Smith might turn out to be one of the best Time Lords of the lot.”
However those Daily Mail readers were later stirred up by an article about some of the over-reaction to Karen Gillan’s legs.
‘They’ve completely demeaned Doctor Who by replacing good episode stories with slutty girls.
said one viewer.
Finally, The Independent gives a good review, but more fascinating is the fact they’re speculating what might go wrong for the new Doctor. Essentially, Liz Hoggard is posing the “when are you leaving?” question on his first day. At least David Tennant got 3 months!
Incidentally, did you see this from the BBC?
Considering David Tennant was voted the most popular Doctor ever, we’re really pleased that Matt’s first episode pulled in as many viewers, this was a real success for the BBC.”
I hate to be picky, but Sylvester McCoy was also voted the most popular Doctor ever during the 1990s. No disrespect to Sylvester, but a DWM poll isn’t based on reality, it is based on “now”.
A view from over the channel is provided in the blog of Thierry Attard:
The Eleventh Hour is a brilliant return all in panache and subtlety to the Doctor Who we all know and love with fantasy, humour, adventure and action served by a great cast…
It is thanks to this entry (thanks Aurelie) that I was able to find this wonderful review from Frank Collins which observes:
…the Doctor’s mind’s eye sequence didn’t quite work. It makes the point well enough that the Doctor never misses the detail, and it’s a brave effort to do something that little bit different, but I hope it’s something that isn’t repeated throughout the forthcoming episodes because it’ll become very annoying, very quickly.
Finally, Digital Spy quoted Doctor Who Appreciation Society chief Anthony Wainer, whose remarks were aired on BBC News over the weekend.
“He brings back genuine madness to the role of the Doctor – Matt’s Doctor is bonkers.”
Funny, that’s what I was thinking…