Friday, April 16, 2010

American Press About Doctor Who

Here is a part of a LA Times article: Beginning Saturday on BBC America, the new season — the 31st since the show began, and the fifth (not counting 2009's "year of specials") since writer Russell T Davies was hired to bring it back to life after a 16-year hiatus — features a new Doctor, Matt Smith. Steven Moffat, already the author of several much-admired "Doctor Who" episodes, is the new show runner and head writer. There are new producers, as well, and a new opening, a new logo, and (I am geeky enough to say "excitingly") a new look for the TARDIS, the Doctor's space-time machine.

It takes no time at all for the new team to establish its authority; the new "Who" feels at once traditional and fresh, and completely right. We begin where we left off, with the TARDIS out of control and careening toward Earth, having been damaged during the regeneration of 10th Doctor David Tennant into 11th Doctor Smith. It crash lands in the back yard of little Amelia Pond (an excellent Caitlin Blackwood), who has just prayed to Santa to send her someone to fix a scary crack in her wall.

"I'm the Doctor," the Doctor says, taking charge. "Do everything I tell you, don't ask stupid questions, and don't wander off." And then he walks into a tree.

Moffat's first episode as head writer recalls bits and moods from his earlier work on the series — the Doctor's several visits to a waiting Amy echo "The Girl in the Fireplace"; a ward full of coma patients under alien influence recalls "The Empty Child." Here again, he likes his monsters disguised, or difficult to see (the deadly statues of "Blink," the shadowy swarms of "Silence in the Library"). He even quotes himself, on the "wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey" nature of Time. Indeed, the script for Saturday's opener is enough of a piece with what's gone before that I can imagine Tennant or Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston playing it with only slight adjustments.

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