The press was treated to a sneak preview of the opener for the fifth season of the new Doctor Who.
Den of Geek’s review:
It’s probably best that we get one thing out of the way up front. And it’s this: if you’re looking for a major tonal shift from the Russell T Davies era of Doctor Who, you’re not getting it with The Eleventh Hour.
For arguably the biggest difference with this Doctor Who is it feels younger. That’s perhaps an inevitable observation given the age of the two leads, but there’s a feeling here that Moffat is playing on the fearlessness of youth as well in his writing. We’re not going down that path in detail because this is most certainly a spoiler-free write up. Yet even the way the show is directed by Adam Smith has a very modern urgency at times. However you look at it, there are certainly little evolutions to be found here.
Is The Eleventh Hour vintage Doctor Who? It was never really going to be. Is it a good, enjoyable episode with some terrific moments, that does a very good job of starting the show’s engines back up? Absolutely. And given the trailer of treats that we were shown at the end, the next few months look like being terrific fun.
Throughout this series Amy and the Doctor go on some truly extraordinary adventures including travelling to 16th-century Venice, exploring France during the 1890s and visiting the United Kingdom in the far future, now an entire nation floating in space.
“I loved filming the vampire stuff in Croatia which doubled up for Venice,” reveals Matt.
“I had to climb a huge bell tower with a rain machine pummelling water at me. It was freezing cold but I absolutely loved it! I also enjoyed filming part of episode 10 when I was yanked through the air on a harness after being hit by an invisible monster. However, my favourite scene to film was in episode one when I ate fish fingers and custard with Amelia. Luckily they were actually breaded cakes so it wasn’t quite as bad as it sounds. I had to eat a lot of them but it was an enchanting scene so it was worth it.”
However, the Doctor’s enemies are never far behind him, including old nemeses the Daleks and Weeping Angels, plus new monsters such as alien vampires, humanoid reptiles and a silent menace that follows the Doctor and Amy wherever they go.
And Karen [Gillan] feels Matt Smith, as the youngest actor ever to play the Doctor, has risen to the challenge admirably.
“I think Steven said it perfectly; Matt manages to be old and young at the same time,” explains Karen.
“That’s the great thing about the Doctor; he has the energy and mischief of a young child as well as the wisdom, age and intelligence of someone a lot older. Also, with Matt’s performance in particular, he’s so believable that he isn’t human. He has all these things that he does that make you really believe he is an alien or a Time Lord and you’re drawn in by that.”
TimesOnline focuses on Doctor No. 11, Matt Smith:
Matt Smith is a Time Lord for the Twitter generation, but he still has his monsters, as revealed in a special preview of his first episode.
What is clever about Moffat’s script as well as Smith’s interpretation is that it allows the new Doctor to grow within his first hour’s outing. He starts as a raggedy-clothed, tatty-shirted doctor, a tie barely secured around his neck. His actions are jerky, almost like a newborn’s. He is a forehead-slapping, apple- munching, fishfinger-and-custard- chewing adolescent, still finding his place in his new body. By the end the Doctor is almost debonair in a tweedy jacket and tightly wrapped bow-tie. “They’re cool,” he says of the neckware and my bet is that by Christmas they will be, too, even in necktie-free Britain.
Smith is undoubtedly aristocratic, a prince rather than a lord of space and time, but one in no doubt of his lineage — briefly referred to last night in the briefest of romps through the previous ten Doctors. But what he does bring to the part is indeed his youth. He is comfortable with Google and Twitter, and is not going to run short of breath amid all the rushing around that the modern Doctor Who plots require.
Details from the MailOnline:
Viewers will see a new Tardis unveiled – billed as the biggest in the show’s history. Executive producer Steven Moffat said the machine regenerated after an explosion in David Tennant’s last episode on New Year’s Day. The latest incarnation has rooms extending out of the main control centre and includes a variety of bizarre gadgets such as hot and cold bath taps, a typewriter and a morse code machine.
Smith’s previous credits include BBC2 political drama Party Animals. He is the eleventh Time Lord taking over from David Tennant who spent four years in the role.
There is also a return of 1970s baddie The Silurians, which have been given a new look for 2010. There are new monsters for the Doctor to battle such as the sinister Smilers, whose expressions give a hint of their evil intentions, that are sure to send children rushing to hide behind the sofa again.
Guest stars for this series include Bill Nighy and James Corden.
The new series begins on April 3 on BBC1
The event was also covered in the news, where viewers got a glimpse of the new program.
Doctor Who will return for a sixth series in 2011, it has been confirmed.
Executive producer Piers Wenger also announced a Christmas special for this year, penned by showrunner Steven Moffat.
Matt Smith will be returning for his second full series as The Doctor.
Shooting on the special and the 13-episode sixth run will begin early July in Cardiff. Filming on the fifth series wraps this Saturday ahead of transmission on BBC One at Easter.
For those who have not seen it, here’s a picture of the new sonic screwdriver.