Doctor Who review; The Eleventh Hour…

This is the latest eppy of Doctor Who to air (in the US, that is), and also the first to feature the new Doctor.  This is the Eleventh Doctor (and we won’t mention Ten… *sob*), and he is played by Matt Smith.  Other “firsts” in this eppy?  The unveiling of the new TARDIS, both the outside and inside got a bit of renovation, a new companion (Amy Pond), a new sonic screwdriver, and this ep is also the first with Steven Moffat at the helm instead of RTD.

As always on the Christian Scribbler, I look into any religious implications, or discussions that arise from the actors, the writers, the script, the directors, etc… This new incarnation of Doctor Who seems it will also set up nicely for me to comment upon from time to time.  With Moffat as the showrunner, will we see as much of the Doctor’s Messiah complex?  I dunno, but we already have religious/spiritual implications creeping into the show.

A quick summary of the ep follows, with mild spoilers, and then I’d touch upon the religious bit.  Ok, Eleventh Hour sets up a plot line to introduce us to all the new stuff in Doctor Who, so we have a basic episode with a basic alien baddie.  We meet Amy Pond as a young girl who has a suspicious crack in her bedroom wall.  It is a creepy crack to be sure, and we are left to no other conclusion than the Doctor is directly involved.  Said Doctor, in his newly regenerated body, crashes the TARDIS in Amy’s back yard.

One of the funniest moments in the show ensues as Eleven tries to figure out his favorite food…MAJOR SPOILER…fish fingers and custard. hahaha…Anywho, we also find out the alien baddie of the week is; “prisoner zero.”  The Doc has to take off for a bit and promises to return in five minutes in the TARDIS…twelve years later he does manage a return and we get to meet Amy again.  Teaming up with various extras results in Eleven and his human helpers saving the day in a basic Who plot carried out very well.  Another standout scene was a montage of all the previous Doctors (including Ten…*sob*) leading up to Eleven.

So, my opinion?  Matt Smith did the role proud and I will happily tune in every week.  I really enjoyed Amy’s character  as well (played by Karen Gillan), and she seems like the perfect companion for The Doctor.  The new control room for the TARDIS is going to take some getting used to; I liked the organic feel to Nine and Ten’s TARDIS a bit better.  I also realized after watching all the Tennant specials and this episode, that the changes to the show were needed to advance the storyline past the Rose/Nine&Ten romance subplot.  I’m a fan who really enjoyed the romance aspect, and am also glad they found a way to move the story on now.

Anything really negative?  No, I just hope that Smith relaxes into the role and makes it his own…I don’t know his acting well enough to tell if the manic edge to Eleven was a deliberate overlap in the transition from Ten to Eleven, or he’s trying too hard to match Tennant, or that’s simply his acting style.  I hope that there is unifying storyline through the season, as in seasons past, and that all the writers are on the same page as to where to take the Doctor as far as character goes.  And I would absolutely love a TARDIS centered episode or two…or three..or…

As to the religious aspect, once more, it can’t be helped: the theme of the Doctor arriving in the nick of time, as if it was arranged and orchestrated by a higher power was definitely there.  In fact, attention was drawn to it by having the child-version of Amy Pond praying at the very beginning of the show for help with the crack in her wall; and what a blatant prayer it was with kneeling and prayerful hands and everything ;).  The perhaps (atheist) dig of having her pray to Santa instead of God is easily overlooked by the underlying point; her prayer was answered regardless (she was a little kid too, and these misunderstandings do happen)…perhaps she’s Roman Catholic and was indeed seeking Saint Nick’s aid?

For readers just joining in on my Doctor Who discussions, I’ve blogged about the interesting themes I see in Doctor Who, esp. when those themes that are religious in nature are coming from atheist writers; for those blogs that will help explain my interest and where I’m coming from in my reviews go here:  Doctor Who, Atheism and God pt. 1 and Doctor Who, Atheism and God pt. 2

Overall?  Two thumbs up; like the new Doc and companion and am looking forward to all the new episodes!


Filed under Atheism, Christianity, Doctor Who, Reviews, Sacred Secular

5 responses to “Doctor Who review; The Eleventh Hour…

  1. “The perhaps (atheist) dig of having her pray to Santa instead of God is easily overlooked by the underlying point; her prayer was answered regardless (she was a little kid too, and these misunderstandings do happen)…perhaps she’s Roman Catholic and was indeed seeking Saint Nick’s aid?”

    Probably more of a British dig than an atheist one. They’re a much more secular country, culturally speaking, and many celebrate Christmas and Easter while having no interest in the Christian religion. So it makes sense for a young, secular-raised British girl seeking out help for something impossible by turning to Santa Claus.

    Religion/atheism aside, my opinion has been that the TARDIS is a bit alive, and may have its own agenda, and sends The Doctor where it thinks he needs to be.

    • Kliska

      There is undoubtedly a link betwixt the secular slant and an atheistic one, though not synonymous of course. However, I would tend to agree with you if Moffat hadn’t discussed his views as influencing some of his writing (this is in the past, not for this particular episode in all fairness). We don’t know for sure if Amy was secular-raised, though it could be assumed based on the fact that she wasn’t praying to God. I’m still interested in the fact that Moffat chose to put the prayer in, regardless of Amy’s particulars, and it was put in right off the bat and quite blatantly. I’m not saying it has any profound meaning, just that it interests me from my particular perspective.

      Also, I agree about the TARDIS, and I would love for that to be explored more! There is definitely an interesting “personality” there, and I hope the writers at least bring it up more often.

    • JJ

      I think you are right about the TARDIS — we have seen it “trying to shake” Captain Jack by going further than it ever had before near the end of S3 and again near the end of S4 it kept Donna Noble inside (remember she tried to exit but the door slammed shut on her) when everyone else left to stand in front of Davros. That was key, in that her being inside allowed for a second (human) doctor and for them to be able to “save the world (plus more worlds)”. If she had exited when everyone else had, that would not have happened. Tennant’s Doctor even mentioned something to the effect that the TARDIS had kept her inside on purpose, if I remember correctly (it has been awhile since I’ve watched that episode).

      BTW, I am a Christian who has been pondering these same ideas of Doctor Who being a shadow of what we subconciously desire spiritually-speaking. I’m glad to have found this site.

      • Kliska

        Yes, the TARDIS also seemed to favor Rose in certain cases, and also it seems “it” is kind of guiding the timeline as far as Amy is concerned and when the Doctor interacts with here.

        Thanks for stopping by and commenting, feel free to chime in on any of the stuff that comes up!

        Grace and Peace,

  2. Kingsley the bard

    Really glad i found the blog!
    I raised an eyebrow at Amy praying to Santa.
    Here’s my other blog!

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