Thursday, October 25, 2012

Doctor Who-The Eleventh Hour
                                       As David Tennant officially exited the show in 2009,Doctor Who faced a similar situation as it had after Tom Baker left the show in 1981. Tennant shared the same level of fame in the role as Tom Baker had in the classic series. And the parallels went beyond that too. Again,a very renowned doctor was being succeeded by the youngest person yet to take the role. At age 27,actor Matt Smith broke the record held up to this point by Peter Davison as the youngest actor ever to portray the doctor.  This was a character very much dependent on maturity and a sense of existing at a point beyond time. So age and wisdom were at the very core of the role. On the other hand,being played by a human actor,would Matt Smith's acting abilities override concerns about his age as they had with Peter Davison? Well he'd certainly have the right debut story to figure it out.

                             Having newly regenerated and his TARDIS having crashed on Earth,the Doctor finds himself in the home of a little girl named Amelia Pond. She has been praying to Santa to fix a crack in the wall through which she's been hearing voices. After a post regeneration crisis that nearly has the doctor eating the confused Miss Pond out of house and home,the doctor gives this hole in the wall his sonic screwdriver treatment he discovers the crack represents a hole in the universe through which a voice saying "prisoner zero has escaped" can be heard. Attempting to repair his TARDIS he whisks away,promising Ameila he'll return in five minutes. Upon arriving back he has to break and enter into the home where he's knocked out with a cricket bat by a young lady whom he believes is a police officer. Turns out is in fact a very grown Amelia Pond. 
Now calling herself Amy,the doctor has to convince her of what he now knows: that a shape shifting alien prisoner is using Earth as an escape point. 

                      This despite it being twelve years,not five minutes since she last saw him. Meanwhile a nurse at a local hospital named Rory Williams is confronted by coma patients all saying "doctor" again and again. Correctly believing something is amiss he proceeds to capture photos on his iphone people outside who also seem to be in the hospital. The doctor encounters him in the midst of this,having already encountered one of these "people" in a hidden room in Amy's home. The Atraxi guards searching out the prisoner have designated Earth to be destroyed if the prisoner isn't handed over. By utilizing the talents of people around him to created a worldwide computer virus that allowed time to stop for enough time to divert the shape shifter and the Atraxi,and utilizing his persuasive talents on the Atraxi he is able to permanently avert the Atraxi from Earth. He leaves Amy and Rory again to repair the TARDIS. When he arrives back? Well two more years have passed and again Amy is reluctant to join him but upon seeing the interior of the newly renovated TARDIS decides to give the time lord another chance and become his new companion.

                    Being that this episode takes place in the modern era,the newly regenerated doctor faces many challenges around him. As usual he's in a world where he knows an alien intelligence is about to destroy everything but,as he points out,people are more interested in taking their iphones out for a snap shot than helping save anyone. So there's a lot of fantastic wit here about the media-centric  society of today's ill preparedness for anything beyond it's reach. Matt Smith pulls off the role of the doctor extremely well not by being old headed but rather reveling in his youth,often thinking and talking faster than anyone can understand him and flaunting his occasionally goofy awkwardness.  Most impressive is the introduction of companion Amy Pond. Karen Gillan portrays Amy,the lonely girl whose life was almost sent astray by the phantom time lord,returning to the right place at the wrong time,with the right mixture of wonder,skepticism and bewilderment. And her being the one who has to trust his position in her life to save the world. A wonderful Doctor Who regeneration story that shows,even after all these decades,the doctor's still got it.
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