3rd April 2010
The Doctor: Amy Pond. The Girl Who Waited. You’ve waited long enough.
Amy Pond: When I was a kid, you said there was a swimming pool and a library and that the swimming pool was in the library.
The Doctor: Yeah, not sure where it’s got to now. It’ll turn up. So. Coming?
Amy Pond: No.
The Doctor: You wanted to come fourteen years ago.
Amy Pond: I grew up.
The Doctor: Don’t worry; I’ll soon fix that.
[He clicks his fingers and the TARDIS doors swing open.]
Writer: Steven Moffat.
Director: Adam Smith.
Producer: Tracie Simpson.
Starring Matt Smith as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams; with Caitlin Blackwood as Amelia Pond, Marcello Magni as Barney Collins/ Prisoner Zero and Olivia Colman as Mother/ Prisoner Zero.
A newly-regenerated Doctor crash lands in a young Amelia Pond’s backyard and promises her all of time and space. But there’s a crack in her wall, and sometimes, she hears voices…
What they thought:
As far as I’m concerned, The Eleventh Hour is perfect Doctor Who.
Dave Golder, in his review for SFX, gives the episode five-out-of-five stars and notes how “Matt Smith owns the role from the opening moments… Overall it’s a unique new take on the Time Lord, whether hungering for apples or boyishly hi-jacking a fire engine – loveable, off-beam, with tantalising hints of a deeper agenda behind that charmingly wonky exterior.”
In The Daily Mail, Sinclair McKay agrees: “Smith might turn out to be one of the best Time Lords of the lot.”
Golder also praises new companion, Karen Gillan: “She proves a terrific foil for Smith, whether flirtily eyeing up the new Doctor or smacking him with a cricket bat, Ace style. She’s good with the physical comedy, too – blink and you’ll miss the throwaway moment where she struggles with her woefully impractical skirt as she tries to keep up with a hurdling Time Lord.”
The Radio Times’ Patrick Mulkern picked up Steven Moffat’s fairytale inspiration , stating “the most enchanting moments… were the top and tail scenes between the Doctor and Amy. They had a strong scent of Roald Dahl and Raymond Briggs and, as with the very best Who, unfolded like a bedtime story appealing to the child in all of us.”
And in Keith Phipps review for The A.V.Club, he also notes Peter Pan’s influence: “[Moffat] puts a decided emphasis on a fairy tale-like tone familiar from episodes like Blink and The Girl In The Fireplace, episodes with threats that owed as much to folklore as science fiction… It’s a bit like Peter Pan returning to whisk Wendy away to Neverland the night before she’s resigned herself to a quiet, normal life.”
The episode was watched by 10.08 million viewers and heralded in a bold, brilliant new era of Doctor Who.
DVD (Region 2) Information:
- Released as part of the Doctor Who: Series Five box set in 2010, including commentaries with cast and crew.
- Also released as a ‘vanilla’ DVD, alongside The Beast Below and Victory of the Daleks.
- This is the first time we see the crack in time and space (a theme throughout the series) and the phrase, “Silence will fall,” the full meaning of which has yet to be revealed.
- The opening scene – with the Doctor struggling to control his exploding TARDIS – was released on BBC Red Button before the episode’s broadcast, and was, in fact, a pick-up, written months after principal photography for The Eleventh Hour has concluded. It had its own script – “Opening Sequence” – and was directed by Jonny Campbell and produced by Nikki Wilson.
- According to The Writer’s Tale by Russell T. Davies and Benjamin Cook, Steven Moffat began writing the episode in January 2008.
WATCH IT IF YOU LIKE… SMITH AND JONES.