Matt Smith as The Doctor in Order: S5 EP:1 The Eleventh Hour

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Matt Smith as The Doctor in Order: S5 EP:1 The Eleventh Hour

With Matt Smith’s announce­ment that he will be leav­ing the role of the Doc­tor over the next sev­eral months as we wait for the new doctor.

I wrote some quick reviews of his first Sea­son a few years back and I don’t feel obliged to main­tain the same rank­ing of every episode.

All my rank­ings will be based on the full episodes, not the cut BBC Amer­ica reruns of par­tic­u­lar episodes. So lets start at the Beginning

The Eleventh Hour: (Ini­tial review here)

My ini­tial review of the 11th Hour pretty much holds up You have an excel­lent story spun by Steven Mof­fett, a story that plays to all of Matt Smith many strengths

Sum­mary: The Newly regen­er­ated Doc­tor has 20 min­utes to save the earth from incin­er­a­tion, but is he up to it?

Plot: The basic plot of the story is strong, the doc­tor in the midst of a regen­er­a­tion cri­sis, Amy Pond the younger and older and an Alien on the run all hap­pen­ing in a small Eng­lish town.

Writ­ing: The story details work very well, the Doc­tor unable to get the right time in the TARDIS, Amy Pond deal­ing with a strange man in a blue box, it all flows effort­lessly to two dif­fer­ent cli­maxes both of them well done and the sec­ond a great homage to the time Lords Pre­vi­ous prob­lems. A per­fect mix of com­edy and drama and unlike many of the sto­ries that are to come, the end­ing isn’t a cop-​out

Act­ing: Of of the strengths of the series has been strong per­for­mances and they exist all around. Matt Smith and Karen Gilliam shine. Arthur Darvill. as Rory and Caitlin black­wood as young Amy more than pass muster in roles that we have no idea will be repeated.

Mem­o­rable moments: Lots of them as to be expected in the first full episode of a new Doc­tor. If at all pos­si­ble watch the full busi­ness with Young Amelia try­ing to feed the Doc­tor which is often cut on TV and the whole Backup/​No Backup busi­ness, The sequence with Jeff is great, as is the “believe me for 20 min­utes” sequence but the sin­gle biggest moment is the con­fronta­tion with the Atraxi, THE clas­sic moment of the episode

Odd­i­ties: When Mrs. Angelo says she’s seen the Doc­tor before that’s actu­ally plau­si­ble as she could have seen or noticed him any time in the pre­vi­ous 60 years. Given what was to come in the next four years it’s actu­ally rather amaz­ing noth­ing gets done with this.

Pet Peeves: The whole “Pray­ing to Santa” sequence not only makes no sense but is wildly offen­sive to any­one even remotely Chris­t­ian if you think about it. There is no rea­son why she couldn’t be just pray­ing as nor­mal or writ­ing a let­ter to Santa.

Great Quote: “Blimey! Get a Girl­friend Jeff.”

Five Stars

Rank­ing in Series 5 to date 1st out of 1

1. The Eleventh Hour

Rank­ing in Matt Smith Era (out of 1)

1. The Eleventh Hour

Rank­ing in Regen­er­a­tion episodes (1st appear­ances of a doctor)

1st (out of 11 note I’ve only heard the audio of Power of the Daleks)
2nd The Christ­mas Inva­sion (10th)
3rd Rose (9th)
4th Cas­trovalva (5th)
5th Doc­tor who (8th)

Next Sat­ur­day (or before if I feel like it) The Beast Below

With Matt Smith’s announcement that he will be leaving the role of the Doctor over the next several months as we wait for the new doctor.

I wrote some quick reviews of his first Season a few years back and I don’t feel obliged to maintain the same ranking of every episode.

All my rankings will be based on the full episodes, not the cut BBC America reruns of particular episodes. So lets start at the Beginning

The Eleventh Hour: (Initial review here)

My initial review of the 11th Hour pretty much holds up You have an excellent story spun by Steven Moffett, a story that plays to all of Matt Smith many strengths

Summary: The Newly regenerated Doctor has 20 minutes to save the earth from incineration, but is he up to it?

Plot: The basic plot of the story is strong, the doctor in the midst of a regeneration crisis, Amy Pond the younger and older and an Alien on the run all happening in a small English town.

Writing: The story details work very well, the Doctor unable to get the right time in the TARDIS, Amy Pond dealing with a strange man in a blue box, it all flows effortlessly to two different climaxes both of them well done and the second a great homage to the time Lords Previous problems. A perfect mix of comedy and drama and unlike many of the stories that are to come, the ending isn’t a cop-out

Acting: Of of the strengths of the series has been strong performances and they exist all around. Matt Smith and Karen Gilliam shine. Arthur Darvill. as Rory and Caitlin blackwood as young Amy more than pass muster in roles that we have no idea will be repeated.

Memorable moments: Lots of them as to be expected in the first full episode of a new Doctor. If at all possible watch the full business with Young Amelia trying to feed the Doctor which is often cut on TV and the whole Backup/No Backup business, The sequence with Jeff is great, as is the “believe me for 20 minutes” sequence but the single biggest moment is the confrontation with the Atraxi, THE classic moment of the episode

Oddities: When Mrs. Angelo says she’s seen the Doctor before that’s actually plausible as she could have seen or noticed him any time in the previous 60 years. Given what was to come in the next four years it’s actually rather amazing nothing gets done with this.

Pet Peeves: The whole “Praying to Santa” sequence not only makes no sense but is wildly offensive to anyone even remotely Christian if you think about it. There is no reason why she couldn’t be just praying as normal or writing a letter to Santa.

Great Quote: “Blimey! Get a Girlfriend Jeff.”

Five Stars

Ranking in Series 5 to date 1st out of 1

1. The Eleventh Hour

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (out of 1)

1. The Eleventh Hour

Ranking in Regeneration episodes (1st appearances of a doctor)

1st (out of 11 note I’ve only heard the audio of Power of the Daleks)
2nd The Christmas Invasion (10th)
3rd Rose (9th)
4th Castrovalva (5th)
5th Doctor who (8th)

Next Saturday (or before if I feel like it) The Beast Below