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.”
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