‘THE ELEVENTH HOUR’
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Prisoner Zero and the Eleventh Doctor Begins
The Eleventh Doctor has arrived!
In 2010, I was there to see Matt Smith’s first TV appearance as the Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’. This is where the Steven Moffat era begins and how Matt Smith’s Doctor met Amy Pond for the first time. It was a very exciting time back then when I saw Series 5 of ‘Doctor Who’ on TV from April to June 2010.
I admit, looking back, I wasn’t very keen on the Matt Smith/Steven Moffat era of ‘Doctor Who’, as I was still missing the David Tennant/Russell T. Davies era. But lately, Matt Smith’s Doctor has grown on me. I have been able to enjoy his TV era with a new perspective and enjoy his TARDIS adventures.
I saw most of Series 5 of ‘Doctor Who’ at my Nana’s house with her and my parents, before she passed away in 2011. I have fond memories seeing Series 5. For me, as a fan, it was intriguing to see how ‘Doctor Who’ started afresh with a new showrunner, a new Doctor and also a new companion.
The first three TV episodes of Matt Smith’s era of ‘Doctor Who’ detail how his Doctor began with his new companion Karen Gillan as Amy Pond. Although his first episode was a superb beginning to his era, it would dwindle to varying degrees with how Steven Moffat made his mark as the showrunner.
‘The Eleventh Hour’ by Steven Moffat begins the Matt Smith era with a bang! It follows on directly after ‘The End of Time’ had finished, with the TARDIS on fire by the Doctor’s explosive regeneration.
Eventually, the TARDIS crashes into a garden near an almost empty house in Leadworth village. The Doctor climbs out of the TARDIS, before meeting a little red-haired Scottish girl named Amelia Pond.
Caitlin Blackwood stars as Amelia Pond in this episode. I’ve met Caitlin in real life, both at the ‘Collectormania Glasgow’ event in August 2012 and the ‘Cardiff Film and Comic Con’ in March 2014.
I like how the Doctor and Amelia first meet. The Doctor craves for food and gets Amelia to give him an apple, yoghurt, bacon, beans and bread and butter. All these foods do not please his taste buds!
I found it so funny when the Doctor threw a plate of bread and butter and said “And stay out!” to it. Eventually, the Doctor has fish fingers and custard instead. Fish fingers and custard?! Hmm! Tasty! 😀
I recall Caitlin saying at the ‘Collectormania Glasgow’ event that Matt Smith actually spat the fish fingers and custard in a bucket during the making of this story. I don’t think I could stomach it either.
Matt Smith gives a good performance in his introduction as the Doctor in this episode. He’s trying to find his feet and wears most of David Tennant’s costume in this episode, before he changes clothes.
Very soon, the Doctor helps Amelia with a problem she has. There’s a crack in her bedroom wall. The Doctor checks it out before hearing a menacing voice behind it, saying “Prisoner Zero has escaped!”
The Doctor soon returns to his TARDIS. He promises to return for Amelia in five minutes after he gives the TARDIS a repair flight. Amelia gets herself ready, before she sits outside her house waiting.
Twelve years later, the Doctor returns to find Amelia all grown up. She is now Karen Gillan as Amy Pond. In this episode, Amy dresses up as a policewoman and she happens to be a kissogram. What?!
Amy has been waiting for the Doctor, who she calls ‘raggedy man’, a very long time. She’s angry with him when he comes back, and the Doctor tries to persuade Amy to help and to believe what he says.
Just to say, Leadworth village is filmed in Llandaff village in Cardiff, close to where I live. My Dad almost walked on the set of ‘Doctor Who’ during filming before he was moved aside. Aww shucks!!!
Karen Gillan is good in her first appearance as Amy Pond in this ‘Doctor Who’ episode. I didn’t warm to Amy instantly when I first saw her, but over time she grew on me and she’s feisty as a companion.
This episode also features the first appearance of Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams. Rory is a nurse and happens to be Amy’s boyfriend. I’d hoped Rory would return to the series after seeing this episode.
The monster in this episode is Prisoner Zero, a snake-like creature that can take on the form of any person it chooses. It isn’t so clear what crime he’s committed or why the Atraxi want to capture him.
This episode also features the first appearance of the Eleventh Doctor’s TARDIS. Personally, I prefer the previous TARDIS interior with David Tennant, since the new one in this episode seems very busy.
At the end, the Doctor invites Amy (two years later) to join him in his travels in the TARDIS. Amy gradually agrees and the new duo set off for new adventures, not knowing what lies ahead for him.
‘The Eleventh Hour’ is a very good beginning to Matt Smith’s era of ‘Doctor Who’. I enjoyed watching the episode on TV via its initial transmission, as I looked forward to seeing more of Series 5.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 of ‘The Complete Series 5’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s an in-vision commentary with head writer/executive producer Steven Moffat and executive producers Piers Wenger and Beth Willis. There’s also the ‘Meanwhile in the TARDIS Additional Scene 1’, which you can watch on its own or with the episode ‘The Eleventh Hour’ as the scene takes place directly after it. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘Call Me The Doctor’.
‘The Eleventh Hour’ rating – 9/10
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