1)Watched the first story of the Moffat Era last night - it was fun. I thought the real star of this was young Caitlin Blackwood, who I thought did a very good job- it can be a real tricky business for a kid that age to be believable, but she carried it off well. It helps that she definitely looks like she could be a young Karen Gillan - I gather that they're cousins in real life.
2)Our Steven discusses in the commentary track the challenge of making the show "all-new" whilst still remaining the same show that we've all enjoyed. A tricky business, indeed. The show starts with a similar "space down to Earth" show that RTD used to like starting with, then goes into a brief comedy bit of the Doctor trying to regain control of the TARDIS, then goes into the new opening titles and a new version of the theme music. These are both OK, though for my money they've never topped the original ones. There's also a new console room, which is OK, although the McGann console room has always been my favorite. The sonic screwdriver is also re-designed, which strikes me as them seizing an opportunity to sell new toys - seriously, down at my local, you can by sonic screwdrivers from three or four different Doctors. As Figs has noted, the show also shifts from the mutlicultural London of the RTD years to the uni-cultural (non-cultural?) Leadworth, a sort of British Mayberry.
3)Amy Pond is somewhat circuitously introduced as the new companion (Seriously, can Steven Moffat walk a straight line?), along with the theme of her being the "girl who waited". We also meet her love interest, Rory Williams. Slowcoach that I am, it took me awhile to realize what Moffat was doing here in reversing the traditional gender roles, making Amy the aggressive, adventurous one, and Rory the passive, nurturing one. Actually, Amy comes across as a bit nuts in this one, which I suppose is natural enough, all things considered.
4)We also get the "theme" for this season, what with the crack in the wall, and the whole "The Pandorica will open, silence will fall" business. I'm really not wild about the whole thing of each season having a "theme", just once I'd like to see him have a year of unconnected adventures.
5)Prisoner Zero was an acceptable heel, I liked that it kept screwing up the voices. The barking man was amusing, the woman with the two little girls was somehow extra creepy. The Atraxi were nothing amazing, although the giant eyeball was sufficiently creepy.
6)Now, as for the new Doctor - I've come to like Smith in the role, and even with this first story I thought he had potential. First stories are always tricky. He certainly does physical comedy, well. I thought the food scene went on a bit too long. I note that this is the third time we've seen him steal clothing form a hospital right after a regenerating. (The Third and Eighth Doctors did it, too.) I liked the touch at the end, when he emerged through the images of his predecessors.
7)Some fun quotes:
An acceptable "first episode". Smith sets up the Eleventh Doctor reasonably well. I liked his outift- sort of reminiscent of the Second Doctor. Moffat shows off early his love of convoluted timelines, of which a little goes a long way, for me.
[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]
And fish fingers and custard becomes a pop culture touchstone...
I gather there are people that actually went out and tried that.
Chocolate donuts and cheese for me (see “Terror of the Zygons” discussion).
I’ve just started my way through the Eleventh Doctor series for the second time (not including River Song episodes, which will be my third).
The reversal of traditional gender roles apropos Amy and Rory is nothing RTD didn’t do first with Rose and Mickey.