Just over three years ago to the day this one, and what an opener for the young Mazza! So I’ll start with the man of the hour, Matt Smith. Waaaay back in, ooh let me think, 20, when was it, 09 when the ‘youngster’ (*coughs*)
was announced, too many people were asking “Who?” Frankly, their
ignorance was no excuse for the numerous and hasty remarks about the
actor. Thankfully, there were some of us who were quite aware of Mazza’s
talents and said so – you can read what I said HERE. Yup, those who had seen him, just knew he had it in him. And, by crikey (if you’ll let me use the ‘C’ word), weren’t we right?
Yes, we were.
Gloating aside however, his first appearance as Doctor Who certainly ranks amongst the greats of opening performances matching William Hartnell and Christopher Eccleston for assurity and style. The “fish custard” scene was sublime – from hilarity to heartbreak in the time that it takes to throw a plate out of the kitchen. Eleven, as no one calls him, took no time to get used to at all. His opening “apples” gambit was enough for this fan. (As a sidenote, that was a nice piece of deconstruction of The Moff’s – suggesting that his “banana” motif was to be replaced by another, only to completely abandon the idea.)
The other newcomer to the show, Karen “Kazza” Gillan, proved to be no slouch either and already started to tighten the ole trouser region in a very Daily Mail~hating way.
Amy was a bit like many pulchritudinous gurls, totally bonkers – her fake radio scene was delightfully Dahl~esque. Full credit must go to Kazza for portraying someone in lurve but
clearly harboring a grudge (don’t we all dear!) but a gold star is
awarded to her “entering the TARDIS” moment. We’ve had some good ones
over the years (specifically in recent times) but Amy’s amazement and
childlike wonder as she wandered into the time and space machine was
superbly played with seemingly impossible wide~eyedness by the Scottish actress.
Full marks and a soulful pat on the head also go to the even~younger Caitlin Blackwood who played Amelia Pond. Man, she was damn good! Kids can often come off as, well, kids but Caitlin played her lonely part so believably that one wonders what the flip is going on in the girl’s actual life.
Her facial expressions were a treat, evoking (for me anyway) kiddy comic strips, especially when Amelia chomps down on some ice~cream. Counter this with the utterly heart~wrenching scene of her packing her little suitcase and then sitting, waiting… *sniff*
Again, like Amy’s first TARDIS scene, this moment was punctuated by the genius
of Murray Gold; his score for The Eleventh Hour reaffirmed his status as Who ledge. These two moments were beautifully touching but he also delivered, as always it should be noted, in both the ‘action’ and, dare I use such an annoying and reductive word, ‘epic’ departments (next to the ‘Trouser’ department). I particularly enjoyed his choral work on this occasion – nice one MuGo!
Steven Moffat had a lot to do in that episode, a lot. Not only did he introduce a new Doctor, new companion (in fact two new companions), a new TARDIS and open a new series (which are in themselves a tricky beast) all in the shadow of the RTD and David Tennant-era (remember, they were quite popular back in the day) but he also delivered a cracking story, beautifully directed.
The Eleventh Hour was a fresh start for Doctor Who; SteeMo instantly proved his worth as showrunner whilst Matt Smith made a nation forget about that other guy who preceeded him. No mean feat from either gentlemen.