The new Doctor burst onto our screens last week, and left Catriona Laverty feeling a little conflicted about that best Doctor list
We who immerse ourselves in Whoverse were tuned, rather tensely, to BBC One two weeks ago for the return of our favourite Doctor. Would it be triumphant? Well the naysayers had waxed plenty lyrical about how Who couldn’t sustain the magic injected into the series by that dynamic duo of Russell and David (doesn’t quite have the ring of Batman, but they were better in that they only had a pen and a screwdriver). Their departure as head writer and eponymous hero respectively was seen as a poor prognosis for the new season.
In the last four series, Tennant has made the part his own, topping even ardent fans’ list of the best Doctors. His departure from the series was seen by many as the beginning of the end for the reincarnation of the show, and by others as a chance to re-reinvent the series for the new decade.
Luckily the producers belong to the latter category and have grasped the opportunity with many hands. The most important change in the new Doctor Who is not the casting of a much younger, but still slightly odd-looking actor as the titular hero, but in handing the head writing duties to the brilliant Steven Moffat. One of the stand out episodes of recent years was Moffat’s excellent ‘Blink’ and suddenly fans were rather hopeful again.
The first episode of the series ‘The Eleventh Hour’, penned by Moffat was a perfect blend of action, comedy, dodgy alien goodness and the snappiest script seen in ages. Matt Smith’s Doctor managed to link subtle Tennantisms with his own quirky style, beautifully showcasing the notion that although a new face, the Doctor retains the memories of his previous incarnations. By the end, this ardent viewer felt a little dirty at the swiftness with which Tennant had gone from irreplaceable to just another link in the Whoverse.
The teaser trailer we were left with last Saturday managed to further reinforce the excitement this new series has brought, not least in the appearance (very briefly) of Moffat’s wonderful Angels. All in all the future looks bright for the Doctor and his Companion Amelia Pond, and for us faithful viewers also.