- Title: Doctor Who – The Eleventh Hour
- wiki: link
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who we continue to look back at some old episodes of the series. With Matt Smith making his final appearance as The Eleventh Doctor in “The Time of The Doctor,” it seems appropriate that we take a look back at his first episode as The Doctor in “The Eleventh Hour.” It begins with an out-of-control TARDIS, a crash landing, a lie to a young girl, a mysterious crack in a wall that is actually far more interesting, and the odd combination of fish fingers and custard. And it ends with The Doctor frightening off an alien invader, adopting a bow tie, and heading back into space with a new TARDIS and companion.
“The Eleventh Hour” does quite a bit to inform what kind of Doctor Matt Smith would become. He’s actually terrible at telling time, promising young Amelia Pond (Caitlin Blackwood) he’ll return in five minutes only to materialize 12 years later in her timeline (he makes a similar misjudgment at the end of the episode disappearing for another two years). We also see evidence at his capricious behavior, manic energy, antagonistic nature, and the beginnings of several odd tastes which will become staples of The Eleventh Doctor.
Not only does the episode have to introduce The Doctor put also his new companion. When we first meet Amelia Pond the young girl is far more frightened of a crack in her bedroom wall than the bizarre alien time traveler who has crashed into her backyard. Twelve years later when the two meet again the adult Amy Pond (now played by Karen Gillan) has done her best to put aside the experiences that her friends, family, and four separate psychologists have all written off as a child’s overactive imagination.
After reconnecting with Amy, The Doctor discovers something truly awful has being hidden in her home for the decade while he was away. Prisoner Zero (a large space snake able to assume the form it pulls from dormant minds to hide in plain sight, even if it can’t always get them quite right) has indeed escaped through the crack in her wall and has been hiding out in a hidden bedroom in her large, and oddly empty, home. When the Atraxi show up threatening to destroy the entire planet if their prisoner isn’t returned, The Doctor, Amy, and her boyfriend Rory (Arthur Darvill) will have only 20 minutes (without a working sonic screwdirver or TARDIS) to save the planet.
Although the Atraxi themselves aren’t too interesting, other than their odd physical appearance, “The Eleventh Hour” sets up several themes and ideas which will be continued to be played out all the way through Matt Smith’s final episode when silence finally does indeed fall. Successful in launching a new Doctor/comapnion relationship, laying out plot threads which will be developed over time, and in offering a pretty good single story, “The Eleventh Hour” starts Matt Smith’s run in style… and a bow tie.