Review of Doctor Who S5 Ep1: Eleventh Hour

Quote of the Episode
I’m saving the world.
I need a decent shirt. – the Doctor

Non-Spoilery Review:
After what seems like a millennia Matthew Smith has taken over as the 11th Doctor. This episode, penned by the new show-runner Stephen Moffat takes everything we love about Doctor Who and promises eager fans that, while actors may change, Doctor Who is always the same.


The Doctor has regenerated into a brand new man, but danger strikes before he can even recover. With the TARDIS wrecked, and the sonic screwdriver destroyed, the new Doctor has just 20 minutes to save the whole world – and only Amy Pond to help him.

Spoilery Review
I must admit, I was not one of the skeptics when it came to “can Matt Smith pull off the Doctor”. As much as I’m a David Tennant fangirl, I was very excited for Doctor Who to be run by Steven Moffat (who wrote my all-time favorite episode of Doctor Who: Blink and a close second: The Girl in the Fireplace). I will give Russel T. Davis his due for having revamped a classic TV show and made it even more relevant and timely than it’s previous incarnation, but Moffat really holds the qualities of storytelling that I find so fascinating.

That said, Eleventh Hour surpassed my expectations. The episode highlighted the very thing most fans love about the Doctor, through young Amelia Pond we have a picture of the average Doctor Who fan. Some one fascinated with the mythos of a mad man in a blue box who can come and save the world. The childish innocence and strength of young Amelia was clearly accentuated through her interactions with the Doctor. Those are, after all, the Doctor’s favorite things about humans.

And, of course, the ever present (and very needed) element of humor was throughout the episode. From the crash landing (apples, swimming pools and the like) to the Doctor’s final choice of outfit (bowties are cool). My favorite moments were the food tasting, especially hurling the plate of bread and butter out the door and commanding it not to come back.

The alien was great too, the perfect combination of scary enough (the corner of your eye bit was fantastically done), but not overwhelming to the main part of the story (The Doctor and Amy’s journey together). Some great special effects too with the same voice coming out of  the mother and both girls at the end and with the teeth.

I also like the set up for what promises to be the series arch (the Silence, the crack appearing on the Tardis’ screen, the duck pond… okay, maybe not the duck pond). Also loved the Doctor’s ability to help random strangers (like Jeff). It’s something I’d missed from previous seasons.

Matt Smith has big shoes to fill, and I don’t envy the microscope his acting will be under for the next few months, but I am very happy to see a lot of doubting Thomas types now sold on Matt being a great Doctor.


Tabz (aka Tabitha Grace Smith) is a omnivorous geek with a special love of television. She's a writer, social media strategist, and teacher. In her spare time she blogs over at Doctor Her (a Doctor Who blog) and runs Between the Lines Studios.

One thought to “Review of Doctor Who S5 Ep1: Eleventh Hour”

  1. I completely agree!
    I was excited to see the 11th, and it was beyond my (already high) expectations!

    I thought it was brilliant.
    Amy Pond is great.

    My favorite bit was this exchange:

    – Why did you say 6 months?

    I thought not only Matt’s, but Karen’s acting was REALLY good in “Eleventh Hour”, and I can’t wait to see the rest of it!

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