Saturday, April 23, 2011

'Doctor Who' premiere is an emotional roller coaster

The day the all "Doctor Who" fans have been waiting for, finally came when the longest running sci-fi show in history began season six or 47, depending on who you ask.

The show opened with Rory and Amy living an ideal family life, while keeping tabs on The Doctor's increasingly outrageous historical exploits. As a matter of fact, the first scene featured a naked Doctor hiding under a woman's giant Elizabethan skirt.

Fast forard to The Doctor, Amy, Rory and River Song meeting up in the middle of nowhere, enjoying a nice reunion and a fun picnic. It was revealed that The Doctor and River had been on more of their future/past adventures and that he was 1103, 200 years older than when we last saw him.

Knowing how Steven Moffat likes to immediately launch into the story, this couldn't last long. In the most jaw-dropping opening ever, The Doctor was killed.

That's right, The Doctor is dead.

Of course, since the show is called "Doctor Who" and it revolves around time travel, a younger version of The Doctor popped up a short time later.

This all led to a hilarious trip to the White House circa 1969 and the team being joined by the always awesome Mark Sheppard as an ex-FBI agent working for President Nixon.

New enemies The Silence were introduced and I haven't been this creeped out since meeting the Weeping Angels. They're like a bigger, scarier version of Buffy's gentlemen, but as soon as anyone turns away from them they forget they saw them.

So, the question for next week is how do you fight an enemy you can't remember?

This episode also advanced the mysterious relationship between The Doctor and River. There was a touching scene where River describes to Rory how she and The Doctor are moving in opposite timelines and her worst day is coming when The Doctor will have no idea who she is.

It was a beautifully emotional scene as she painted exactly what happened in "The Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead," which in the timeline hasn't happened for her yet. River is a strong character who doesn't get vulnerable very often, so it was nice to see her reveal a bit of herself. Alex Kinston hit every note perfectly and is a spectacular heroine.

Another highlight was how mature Rory has become, his take charge attitude in the wake of The Doctor's death was surprising and appreciated. At the same time, the comically normal Rory was still ther when he questioned why River would unlock a creppy door and decided she and The Doctor were perfect for each other.

Sheppard is never dull and he jumped right in like a series vet, fitting in with the right amount of wonder, cyncism and acceptance. Though episode two hasn't yet aired, they have to figure out a way to bring him back because his rapport with The Doctor was great.

Overall, this was a fantastic start to the season, it was a nice blend of heart-breakingly sad and comic madness. Emotionally exhaausting roller coasters seems to be Steven Moffat's calling card.

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