It feels like it’s been forever since Steven Moffat was announced as the new showrunner and Matt Smith as the new Doctor. It hasn’t been, of course, but well over a year in both cases is nothing to sneeze at. For some fans, the anticipation has been damn near excruciating. Another very vocal minority had little interest in the continuing adventures of the Time Lord without David Tennant steering the TARDIS. And yet another group – perhaps the most important, due simply to the fact that they comprise a huge segment of the viewing audience – were understandably nervous that a new Doctor alongside a new head honcho might lead to a series that was somehow lesser than what had been seen over the past five years.
I’d like to believe that everybody was as utterly intoxicated by “The Eleventh Hour” as I was, but that’s probably wishing for too much. On the other hand, I can’t really see that it offered up anything that would possibly alienate audiences – not even in the form of the new Doctor, who’s not such a drastic departure from the antics of Tennant so as to drive viewers away. Indeed, the differences between Eccleston and Tennant are far more tangible than the divide between Tennant and Smith. All that said, Smith definitely has something of his own going on, and whatever that “something” is will most certainly grow as the season progresses. Both Eccleston and Tennant each took about a half season to find their Time Lord groove; Smith found it by the end of his first episode. I was wholly won over by him upon his delivery of “I am definitely a mad man with a box,” which was followed by an uneasy cackle that seems to imply this Doctor is not quite as right in the head as his recent predecessors.
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