If Doctor Who fans not keen on Matt Smith were in short supply last year, then I predict that they’ll be even rarer after tonight’s series opener. Indeed there will probably be more of Cromwell’s ancestors at next Friday’s royal wedding than there are Time Lord naysayers about on the internet this evening. What was so good about this series opener? It twisted like a corkscrew (Killing the Doctor!? What will Moffat think of next?), gave us more to think about than Brian Cox managed in a whole series, and became the scariest piece of pre-watershed television since that time Ann Widdecombe appeared on Newsround. The Doctor is back – and like Scorsese and De Niro during their heyday – so are Moffat and Smith.
Right, that’s enough shameless gushing. Down to business. You and the people you watched The Impossible Astronaut with may still be basking in the warm after-glow of this episode’s fiendishness and discussing the various plot bombshells that have been alluded to but I watched this episode nearly three weeks ago. What’s that you say? Lucky me? Well privileged though I was, it hasn’t been easy to keep all this tantalising information to myself up until now. River and the Doctor?! Those terrifying bastards who call themselves The Silence?! That scene in the Oval Office?! Amy’s baby?! I needed to talk about these things but was threatened with assault by my Doctor-loving friends who covered their ears and screamed blue murder if I even mentioned this series six opener. I’m just glad all these things are finally out in the open and would like to take this opportunity to thank the kind woman from The Samaritans who listened to me blabber about Matt Smith’s fate for a couple of hours last week..
Yet despite this release, I have subsequently realised that the nightmare is about to begin all over again. You see I’ve also see the (excellent) concluding part to this opening double-parter. This is made all the worse by the fact that unlike first episode’s of previous season’s, these two pose more questions than they answer. And although there is a demi-conclusion at the end of next Saturday’s The Day of the Moon, it is far out-weighed by some heavy-duty plot-arcs that should ensure this is the best year for Doctor Who yet. Smith is obviously the beating heart of everything witty and interesting in Moffat’s creation, but he has also succeeded in creating an brilliantly solid supporting trio of characters who have their own hopes, fears, burdens and meaty storylines. Another Moffatian masterpiece..