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Doctor Who 2013

timthumbSo we are definately far enough into the 2013 half-a-season for me to be able to form an opinion. I’m very much enjoying this run. Of course you probably wouldn’t expect anything else right?

Well, maybe you would.

I’m not Matt Smith’s biggest fan. He’s kind of like Tom Baker to me, everyone else loves him and thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread. I’m kind of lukewarm to him. I’m happy to watch him, but he’s nowhere near one of my favorites.

A couple of things have changed this time around though  The costume has changed slightly. longer coat, and a vest.  I can’t tell you how much the vest helps that costume. It adds loads to the “old man in a young man’s body” thing that Smith plays (In fact it actually helps him play it better than Tennant did I always wanted to see him look younger and more punk, maybe lose the necktie. Smith goes in the opposite direction and perfects it).  During Smith’s first two seasons I hated that suitjacket and bow tie combination so much I can’t even begin to express it. It never worked for me, and I cringed every time there was a long shot panning over the endless expanse of white shirt below that tie. A bow tie NEEDS a vest or a high button coat, otherwise it ravages the eye. The running gag about bow ties being cool is fine – very Who, but the costume ruined it for me. The longer coat we started to see in “Good Man Goes To War” helped, but this outfit perfects it. The occasional appearance of Amy’s eyeglasses is a superb touch.

The redesigned TARDIS is another source of delight to me. I despised the console from the previous run. The whole mish-mash of old technology that made up the console when the series first returned was handled with far more subtly in Eccleston and Tennenats era. It was too over-the-top in Smiths previous series. I love  the look of the new console. I miss the size of the previous console room,but it’s a fair trade for a console I can once again look upon with awe. I AM glad they still built the set so we can get in below the console and work in the guts of the TARDIS. That was a great innovation in the last set and a logical extension of how we would see Eccleston working under the grating of the console room in the first series.

pandorica-opens

Matt Smith came in under a disadvantage, following a popular Doctor (one that became a favorite of mine) his age (Actually too young. I didn’t know that could matter so much…but it does) and was saddled down with bad costuming and sets that went too silly. I know. All of that seems shallow – then again, just ask Colin Baker about how a bad costume can drag down a character. This stuff does matter.

It took me a full year to really accept Matt as the Doctor. It never clicked for me until his speech to the army of aliens in The Pandorica Opens.  “Remember every black day I defeated you! Then do the smart thing……let someone else go first”. Yeah, that was the Doctor. Finally.

All of those superficial complaints I’ve had however are gone now and let’s face it, the cosmetic shortcomings in the series have constantly been overshadowed by the excellent storytelling and directions Stephen Moffet has taken us.

That’s not slowing down either. For the first time I can remember, I’m really intrigued by the season arch – specifically who is Clara? It’s enough to make me move past the Ponds (who I was actually fond of, besides, I always liked a crowded TARDIS. Multiple companions always added a more ensemble feel to the show. One of the reasons Peter Davison is one of my favorites) and really wait on the edge of my seat for the next episodes.

While I’m waiting, I better get some Violent Blue done.

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