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Doctor Who- The Eleventh Hour

As the new Doctor, Matt Smith has a clear sense of fun and a personality. Currently, that personality seems to owe a lot to the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, but I think there were undertones that I think Smith will be able to develop into a full fledged version of the character.

As for this episode, I think that it was much more about the personality of the Doctor and his new companion than any other plot. The introductions came fast and funny, and I actually think that it was brilliant to show the early childhood of a companion as an introduction to the character- the child actress and the adult were both very in tune with one another and shared elements of the character across the time period.

With that said, it was a little bit... pat? I guess I would say. This episode introduced the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor in way that showed how awesome he was in the lineage of the actors who've filled the role, started to hint at ways in which he would distinguish himself as a character, and had some truly funny moments that arose naturally from the progress of the plot. But the focus of the episode was clearly on scenes of character development with the Doctor and Amy, so those aspects of the plot were strongly emphasized over the others.

There's nothing I can pinpoint as particularly weak or alien to the spirit of the series, but had this plot served as only an introduction to Amy, I think there would have been more room for emphasis on the action of the plot. I never really felt the danger of the possible world-destruction, and there's one moment, where Amy halts the Doctor's forward progress by locking the loose end of his tie into a car door, that made it feel very much as if the writers were fine with breaking the tension of the oncoming apocalypse to give the characters another cute moment of interaction. It's good, it works, it's a fine introduction to the new actors and new TARDIS and tone for the upcoming episodes, but it very much felt like an introductory episode.

There was one visual effect that I thought was very out of place- in trying to locate something in a large crowd scene that had caught the Doctor's subconscious attention, the camera zoomed around and back and forth over the paused scene in a way that reminded me strongly of a prolonged analysis in Sherlock Holmes and several other films. It was flashy and it stopped the action and I think that it worked a lot better to merely have the camera focus on the Doctor as he monologues and tries to discover what caught his attention. The "Doctor-Vision" camera was honestly rather distracting and I hope that they abandon it in other episodes with a more modest effects budget.

In local news, I have found a recipe for Pasta con Sarde that looks delicious and would satisfy my fish craving with lower cost than buying salmon and much less mercury. It was featured on Grist.org here http://www.grist.org/article/2010-04-05-pasta-con-sarde-the-gateway-drug-for-sardine-obsession/ I will be trying it out later, if I can find pine nuts on short notice.

This Friday, the Roomie and I are hosting a party that has become the afterparty for a heavily-lubricated social event at my school. There may be prospective students and there may well be alcohol brought from one event to the other. I look forward to it.

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