And now back to 2010 and the debut of Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. Smith is one of two Doctors – Jon Pertwee is the other – who, in my opinion, starts his run with his very best story. Yep, it’s all downhill from here. But since “The Eleventh Hour” is so incredibly good and darn near perfect, there’s not a lot of sense in grumbling.
Steven Moffat’s run – six series, lots of one-offs, and lots of attention being spent on Sherlock instead of Who – has, as I’ve often grumbled, some serious ups and downs for me. But series five is one of his best. There are two stories this year that I really can’t stand, and one that meant well but didn’t quite manage it, but everything else this year is pure gold. I’d really rather not spend time tonight doing analysis and review, I just want to bask in how excellently everything in this story comes together.
Our son was also completely thrilled. The opening scene with seven year-old Amelia and her raggedy imaginary friend is pure silly magic to win the hearts of kids and it works perfectly. The episode is one small surprise after another – the door, the crack, “DUCK!,” Prisoner Zero using the wrong face to talk, “Silence Will Fall,” – just a constant stream of things for kids to grab onto. He loved it hugely, of course. He wanted to know how much the set for the new TARDIS cost. A packet, I guess.
Joining Matt Smith in time and space, it’s Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, joined by Arthur Darvill as the long-suffering Rory, and there’s a teeny cameo by Olivia Colman as one of Prisoner Zero’s other faces. I love most of the new TARDIS set – the walls and the stairs, anyway, and not the console. It’s an hour that promises so much, and I’m really looking forward to revisiting some of this year’s triumphs, and maybe finding a thing or two to like about the fumbles. Who knows?