Trailer courtesy of Gallifreyforever97
The Eleventh Hour
With head writer Russell T Davies and arguably the show’s best Doctor, David Tennant, both leaving the show, it was never going to be easy to follow the brilliant Season 4. Thankfully, Stephen Moffat’s first season, despite a few episodes that feel like filler and don’t quite reach the lofty heights the show’s set for itself, is a decent start to what promises to be a completely different, darker take on the Doctor role.
In some ways, the fifth season surpasses last Season with some great episodes, a confident new companion in Amy (Karen Gillan) and an intriguing plot throughout, but it never quite feels as tightly connected as last Season. This time around we get a connected plot about the “Pandorica” opening. A box that supposedly holds the most dangerous being in existence and the approaching doom causes cracks to appear across the universe. The Doctor and his companions set out to stop whatever comes out of the box before its too late.
This Season feels like a Doctor for a more mature audience. That’s not to say the humour is gone, but the subtlety at which its delivered is a welcome change from Davies over-the-top scripts that at times felt a little too comedic for the show’s darker tones that it explores.
Most of the episodes here are written well with just the right touch of charismatic charm from the Doctor. His new playful, wondrous persona feels like a nice change of pace from what’s come before with the more moody, serious tones. The weeping angels episodes are excellent too and arguably the standout episodes here alongside “Vincent And The Doctor”. The obligatory Dalek episode (why must there always be one every season?) feels like a step back in the series. Whilst I understand what they were trying to achieve, it doesn’t work and ultimately makes the episode feel disappointing.
As mentioned before, Matt Smith plays the Doctor very well indeed. There were times where Tennant was a little too human and despite his fantastic acting, didn’t quite feel alien enough for the role but that’s not the case here. Mixing the playful nature of Patrick Troughton (2nd Doctor), the madness of Tom Baker (4th Doctor) and everything that made David Tennant so well-loved, Matt Smith is arguably the best Doctor so far and his chemistry with Amy and fellow companion Rory (Arthur Darvill) feel like the perfect anchor for Matt Smith’s character. The wit, banter and overall dialogue oozes with confidence and realism with an ending that leaves it wide open for another Matt Smith season.
Season 5 is a decent start to Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor and a mix of confident writing, great characters and a darker tone overall combine to put a new style on the classic formula. Moffat’s first season feels like a different show altogether, opting for more serious, emotionally charged scenes rather than the comedic and apart from the Dalek mishap, its a good start for a new era of Who.
Verdict - 9.5/10