The iconic BBC SciFi Character is finally back for a new round of adventures. Replacing the immensely popular David Tennant is actor Matt Smith who picks up the story right from the time of his regeneration and partial destruction of the Tardis.
With a new writing team in addition to a new Doctor, there were definitely some hiccups in this first episode, however overall it lived up to the promise and if Matt Smith was perhaps a bit wooden his newest sidekick Karen Gilliam as Amy Pond was stellar.
Now obviously Matt had some fairly large shoes to fill and the pressure on him must have been immense, he does however have a unique look which is a necessity for the Doctor and could definitely play the role well in the future. My only negative was that he was perhaps “trying to hard” and needed to relax into the role a bit more. This is something that will happen in time though and I think that the overall impression of the British viewing public has been fairly positive.
The story itself does not have any underlying ties to the larger Doctor Who universe, although there are some definite changes that will be seen in the future due to it and is what I would probably consider a “filler” episode in an existing series, however as an introduction to two new characters it does a very good job.
The Doctor has now completed his regeneration and the Tardis is in tatters due to the force of the regeneration itself … forced into a crash landing on the property of a little girl – Amy Pond – The Doctor tries to find himself in a very funny sequence which shows that while each Doctor retains memories and feelings from the previous incarnation, his new body is truly that – brand new and something he needs to discover the limits off.
Young Amy Pond has a disturbing crack in her wall through which she is hearing strange voices about the escape of Prisoner Zero and she is getting quite frightened (by the way did I mention that this little girl does an amazing job? She’s excellent!) … when she tells the Doctor he rushes to her room to take a look and also hears the voice.
Forced back to the Tardis however due to all the damage that it has taken, the Doctor promises to return quickly but does not turn up again for 12 years. Poor, young Amy Pond is left alone and her only memory of the episode is ridiculed and made fun off by the rest of the folk in her little village. Her remembrances’ of the “Raggedy Doctor” were such that Amy did not really have a normal life after that episode and when the Doctor does finally return, the young lady that she has become is a complete shock to him.
Prisoner Zero however is now very much a problem and one that threatens the entire world as the prison wardens return to hunt him/her/it down and threaten the whole of the Earth with destruction if Prisoner Zero is not returned within 20 minutes. As the Tardis is still repairing itself and the Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver has been destroyed in a confrontation with Prisoner Zero (who it turns out is a shape changing alien that is able to take on the persona of coma and catatonic patients as disguises), the Doctor is only left to solve the problem with his mind and wits alone!
As the story progresses, Amy really comes into her own and is shown to be an (extremely) strong and feisty personality and one that can definitely stand up to the Doctor and his normal manic states. The Doctor is eventually able to save the day after some very harrowing close calls and in an homage to all the previous Doctor’s he shows the Alien Prison Wardens who they are dealing with and why they should never come back to Earth again! This is a really nice sequence in itself and is also the launch of The Doctors new costume which we will all have to see over the coming shows and seasons.
The Doctor finally offers Amy a place on his Tardis (after another 2yr gap – another funny sequence that you will need to really see to enjoy) which she accepts and they are off on their new adventures in a brand new and improved Tardis that looks radically different to the Tardis of David Tennants time. In addition The Doctor receives a new (green) Sonic Screwdriver to replace his old one and the journey has begun!