Matt Smith as Doctor Who: Doesn’t suck so far

After three episodes, I have readily accepted that Matt Smith is Doctor Who.

I was worried he was going to play the role as a kind of namby-pants Gen Y woofter, but in fact he carries the whole thing off with a combination of vague brilliance and endearing ugliness. It doesn’t hurt that his co-star, Karen Gillan, has exactly the same kind of outsider geek hott that he does. I’ll be happy watching them for at least a few seasons.

On the minus side: the first three episodes confirm the argument of the previous Doctor Who thread: where Steven Moffat is the lead writer, the results are original and memorable, if a little heavy handed sometimes. But watch out for episodes written by anyone else, especially the ones involving daleks. They’re probably full of epoch-making plot devices, deus ex machina, and British jingoism and nostalgia which is really getting quite sad.

Also it would appear that the only way to make daleks interesting these days is to paint them bright pink.

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13 Responses to Matt Smith as Doctor Who: Doesn’t suck so far

  1. k- says:

    I’ve watched the season opener twice and I thought it was great. I immediately took to Matt Smith, which surprised me because it usually takes me 3-4 episodes to warm up to a new Doctor. But he is really quite good. The fish sticks and custard craving was a tad too cute, but the build-up to it was great (“Your Scottish, fry something.”) And yes, the casting of the companion was inspired. Outsider geek hott on the level of Rose. I was worried that they would play the new Doctor up as all boyish and cute, without the necessary dark streak that has been weaving its way through the past two (three?) Doctors. So I was happy to see him get pissed at the end of the episode and threaten the aliens, even if it was mostly done to explicitly link him to the lineage.
    I started watching the second episode last night, but had to stop because it was distracting my ladyfriend. I’m going to watch the rest of it in a few minutes. I didn’t even know the third episode was broadcast yet (probably isn’t here in the US). Pink Daleks, eh? They’re really over-working the Daleks and the Cybermen in the last few seasons. They need to give them a rest.

  2. k- says:

    Just watched the ‘Victory of the Daleks’ last night. Still behind by two episodes. But that was a rather shite episode. I hated the Churchill schtick. The set-up didn’t make sense (they joined the Allied effort to trap the Doctor? Huh?). And the new multi-colored Daleks are so obviously a marketing tool (buy all five!). Weak.
    But, all that said, I’m still totally down with Matt Smith as the Doctor. I think he is doing a great job.

  3. steve says:

    The dalek episode sucked. The next two episodes are fucking brilliant.

    I have kinda managed to pinpoint what it is that I like and do not like about various different writing styles on this show:

    GOOD: The tension comes from the actual situation, i.e., having to move through a cave full of moving statues, and not being able to open your eyes because if you do, you will become one.

    BAD: The tension supposedly comes from the scale of the sitaution and the consequences of failure, i.e. You must now save the entire universe from permenanent destruction. You have ten seconds. Go!

    The genuine situational sci-fi is scary and cool. The other stuff makes me feel jaded, and seems to encourage a kind of pantomime style of screenplay, because the situaions are so impossibly dangerous and over the top that you can’t actually imagine being in them.

    Venice vampires next week. Looks fun, if a little silly.

  4. k- says:

    Yeah, I totally concur about the BAD aspects of the writing. I find it insulting and tiresome. My ladyfriend was so freaked out by the original “Blink” that I have to wait until she is out one future evening in order to watch the last two episodes.

  5. k- says:

    Just watched the two-part episode. Really well done. I like the return of River Song, but I fear they are going to ‘resolve’ her this season by unwriting her existence. On that note, I’m still hoping his daughter shows up sometime.
    And I keep coming back to the fact that I’m loving the casting of Matt Smith.

  6. Great Southern Steve says:

    I think they are foreshadowing that the “very good man” she has killed is actually the Doctor.

    Or maybe they are fucking with us because they know we will think that.

  7. k- says:

    I think they are being a bit heavy-handed with that foreshadowing. Which is why I think they will unwrite her entire character at the end of this season. Or, maybe they just want me to think that.

    And on that note, he is over 900 years old and he just now figures out there is a way to unwrite history? Whatever, bring on the vampires. Hawt vampires.

  8. Great Southern Steve says:

    this shit is on tonight!

    aw yeah!

    hey, noticed how it’s jut me and you lately?

    • k- says:

      Yeah, but who cares? I keep my expectations low with this site.

      In other news, I am currently reading The Brown Girl. At this rate, I may be finished with it by the end of the year.

      • steve says:

        I have gone off the Brown Girl.

        I wrote it in the Solomon Islands and quality control was a bit poor. Also it is too serious and I lack the talent to pull something like that off at this stage.

        My slapstick fantasy novels are better. But I am glad you are reading it, anyway. As an experience in setting out to write a 60k word novel and actually doing it, it was worth it.

        PS – this site was supposed to be about people that have HIGH expectations!

      • k- says:

        Well, hell! Should I quit reading the Brown Girl then?
        And if you have some slapstick fantasy novels, send them to me.

  9. Great Southern Steve says:

    it was pretty good.

    cool monsters.

    plus amy pond’s bf is ok.

  10. Fuzzy says:

    Ok, so I’m “new” to the Doctor, but I’ve watched all the “new” (2005 onward) episodes several times each (thank you on-line viewing). I LOVE them. I hated to see the move away from David Tenant, but alas, I felt the same about the move from Eccleston, and like all of the doctors – they seem to pick up perfectly in stride – amazing actors/actresses.

    HOWEVER – what on earth happened to the writing?! This new 2010 USA season is the absolute worst I have ever seen (and I’ve watched many from the 1960s-1980s). Every single 2010 show has descrepancies which break the rules given earlier in the show. For instance, the vampires – sunlight hurts them, but they are in the sunlight through 90% of the show. Huh?! The burrowing folks in the cemetary, “No, they’re afraid of me!” – no they aren’t! These are fundemental flaws. I feel like the writers have thrown the genius of the previous seasons out the window in favor of trying to be quirky, and missing terribly. The writing was always the best part of the show – applified by the great character acting. Without the outstanding writing, I can’t stand the 2010 shows because they make no sense and break their own rules…we quit watching it two weeks ago – it just isn’t well-thought-out anymore, and the inconsistencies become so obvious and annoying that it takes all the fun out of the ride. It has become a tiny half-step above the writing of the “made for 13-year-old” Saturday morning fare (think R.L. Stein). Very sad…we really feel abandoned by the writing.

    If you don’t understand my view, I urge you to rewatch the USA 2010 season and pay special note to the inconsistencies. It’s also really annoying that the Doctor is now always bragging about how he is so special (“No, they’re afraid of me!” – which doesn’t turn out to be true at all). Is it possible to have more than one or two new episodes without the “I can beat the bad guys and save the entire world in 21/17/12/7.5 minutes?!” – what’s up with that?!) Also, did anyone else notice how much of a bully our beloved Doctor has become? When he is telling off the big star/eyeball guy in the debut – he’s downright mean, not the principled Doctor we have always known. Poor writing indeed. Oh, and did anyone else happen to notice that our brilliant doctor is now nothing but a bumbling fool who needs saved almost every week? Really, beginning in episode one – he can’t tell time?! Sorta odd for a “Timelord” – don’t you think?!

    BBC – please (pretty please) bring the writing back to the standards you’ve always had for the series. I miss my weekly meeting with the Doctor.

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