Doctor Who: The Eleventh Hour

The Eleventh Hour is a solid eight out of ten for me.

I don’t like the new theme music but that’s a fault with the whole season, not the episode.

I felt the food tasting scene went on a little long and this seemed at such an early point in the episode to be padding to get it up to that one hour running time. I wonder if the discarded foods will end up innocently being consumed by the eleventh Doctor without complaint in later episodes / series? It’ll keep the continuity police busy.

Although the camera moves used for the sequence (the tracking shot over, around and under the bench in particular) of the information taken in by the Doctor at the duck pond were overly and improbably showy, I like the idea. It chimes neatly with the way the new Doctor’s eyes are constantly darting about, something that was also a key characteristic of William Hartnell and Tom Baker‘s performances.

Mind you, there’s something very Freudian about the set up of this episode. A young girl invites a strange older man up to her bedroom to show him a crack that frightens her. He hurries off but comes back when she’s older and helps her face a menace that takes the form of a giant snake like creature. Later her whole world is threatened by one eyed monsters. Sigmund could probably get a whole book and a lecture tour out of that lot!

How many people went out into their hallway to count the doors after this episode? Like Amy, I’ve got six, one of which I almost never open…

The dark fairy tale quality the new production team are aiming for is a welcome change after five years of urban Earth backdrops. The lack of parental figures in the story is also a step away from the heavy soapy elements of those years, although the wedding dress in the closet indicates that there is a hint of soap to come for those who want it. The long gap between the first and second meetings of the new Doctor and companion neatly repositions the new Doctor as being the companion’s imaginary friend as well as the audiences’.

After the episode ended, I was feeling ever so slightly hyper, enthused and infused by the energy and liveliness of the episode. I was properly carried along by it and far more satisfied than I had been by any of the 2009 special episodes.

Written by Timothy Farr, Cardiff Timeless SF Group


    Peter G

    April 7, 2010

    I was very reassured by Matt Smith’s incarnation as the Doctor, suitably alien. Vindication of Steven Moffat’s decision I think – I still think William Hartnell was the definative Doctor ;-).
    The story itself was good-ish, but at least it wasn’t soap-ish. I do think that the Doctor Who production team are obsessed about the viewer’s attention span hence all the frantic rushing around, or is that because there are plot holes somewhere? In any case it makes the choice of the prolonged eating scene all the more strange. Perhaps that could only have worked with the young Amy (Amelia).
    All the Freudian stuff was well observed Tim.

    John Campbell Rees

    April 8, 2010

    Proportionally, I don’t think that the food scene took up any more time in the story than any of the post-regenerative trauma of previous Doctors. Jon Pertwee,in “Spearheaded from Space”, a story that this one pays so much homage to, spent far longer being “patient x”. A colleague of mine complained about how rude The Doctor was to young Amelia, but I suspect that this is just another side effect of regeneration.
    It is interesting to note that as we did not see any bodies in this episode, Steven Moffat has given us another episode where nobody dies as a direct result of alien incursion. Once again “Everybody lives!”. Will this Saturday’s episode finally see him lose his duck in the Alien Body Count?

    Frank Sable

    April 8, 2010

    I wonder what the thinking was behind the Atraxi. They are spherical prison guards who chase after prisoners who try to escape the village, err… I mean prison.

    A homage to ‘The Prisoner’ I think.


    April 22, 2010

    And the classic: “You’re Scottish – fry something”

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