I’ve been waiting for this one for a while now. Watched all of Series 5 in the hopes of getting refreshed and ready for the Doctor’s return. A second watch of the last series definitely converted me over to being fully on board with Steven Moffat’s sensibilities, and while I loved all of Davies’ run and David Tennant will forever be one of the finest Doctor’s ever to pilot the Tardis, the eleventh Doctor’s adventures are most certainly capable of being just as good, if not better in some places, when it’s all said and done.
Series six begins with the Doctor being whacky throughout the annals of time, with a light-hearted bit of fun opening the proceedings before getting into the real meat of the story and I have to say that for a season opener, and with the sort of hype that they threw at it this time around with some substantial pushes to get American audiences to try the show out, they crammed a metric ton of stuff into the first episode and any attempt to call it “new-viewer friendly” would be laughable. I think the beginning of the last series was much more efficient at letting folks hop on the Who train right out of the gate, and while part of that is a change in showrunners and a new Doctor, with this episode clear of just about any lingering plot threads after the big bang of the last series finale, they could have toyed around with something less overstuffed. Now, as someone who has watched all of Doctor Who since Eccleston’s arrival back in 2005, I didn’t have trouble following what was going on but if you’re looking to get into the show this isn’t the best episode to start. I’d hop on with the first of series five if you’re not wanting to watch the whole kit and kaboodle from episode one onward.
One thing I have to say about the episode is that the aliens were quite menacing. Moffat seems to have the darker elements of the show down with ease, as evidenced by his work with the Weeping Angels in series five, which is nice as it counterbalances the certifiably aloof Doctor as portrayed by Matt Smith. The balancing act this incarnation of the Doctor pulls off is quite impressive.
Long story short, I can’t wait for the second episode.