GallifreyNewsBase reports that initial audience figures recorded 8.3 million viewers – with an adjustment to come for time-delayed viewings.
While long-term fans are more used to the Doctor’s regenerations and change in personality every few years, younger fans might have been disconcerted at first. Thankfully for the popular view of Doctor Who, the people behind the newspapers enjoyed the The Eleventh Hour enough to give their mark of approval to Matt Smith, Steven Moffat and (particularly) Karen Gillan.
Suitably, The Daily Record – after a bit of Karen Gillan harassment (“Is it your boyfriend’s first visit to Inverness?”) published the thoughts of some younger readers, such as “Natalie”:
“The first episode was brilliant and really interesting. It was funny and scary and really different from before. Even the theme tune had changed and it suited the programme a bit more than the old one. I first became a fan because I think David Tennant is a great actor but I’m starting to like Matt better. He’s a good doctor and very silly. He’s younger too, so that’s good for my age group. Karen is a good choice as she seems likeable.”
Over in the Telegraph, the “end of the world” plot was described as “small beer” in comparison to the “establishment of Matt Smith”.
“Smith is a man who could have been born with a stripy scarf round his neck. Itâ€™s there in his physiognomy â€“ his face is made up of as many disparate workings as the Tardis.”
As for Ms Karen Gillan:
“Gillan, to use the X Factor argot, 110 per cent nailed it. Ballsy, bewildered, aghast and simultaneously delighted, she only let the sisterhood down by gambolling around in a skirt the size of a placemat.”
Sadly, the Telegraph weren’t enthused by the CGI used for Prisoner Zero.
“…the squirming alien escapee, which was meant to look like the alien from Alien, bore a closer resemblance to a soiled draught excluder.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian focussed on some of the dialogue triumphs (“You’re Scottish, fry something!”) as well as the visual design:
The Atraxi eyeball-ship has to be one of the most beautiful design creations the Doctor Who teams have ever come up with.
Elsewhere in The Mirror, they seem pleasantly surprised, as if Steven Moffat’s previous history of scripting great episodes of Doctor Who and running shows such as Jekyll weren’t quite convincing enough for them. The chaps at The Mirror had to see it for their own eyes.
So the good news isâ€¦ you can all relax.
After a fine performance in an encouragingly expensive and slick special- Âeffects packed opening salvo, itâ€™s crystal clear that Mr Smith is certain to be a sensation.
The Beebâ€™s best franchise is in safe hands. Phew!