Our regular Doctor Who reviewer was otherwise occupied this weekend, so I’m filling in. Short review: it’s been months since I’ve had a smile this big on my face.

Cast and Crew Information

Matt Smith as the Doctor
Karen Gillan as Amy Pond
Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams
Jenna-Louise Coleman as Oswin
Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the Daleks

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Nick Hurran

Premise

The Daleks aquire the Doctor, Amy and Rory so they can ask the Doctor to save them.

High Point

“Oh, Oswin, you did it to them all. You beauty!”

Low Point

The final time delay should have been a bit shorter. The Daleks are very efficient when that one task is involved.

The Review

After almost 49 years of this series, it is very hard to find an original story with the Doctor’s greatest enemy. They did, establishing a new type of Dalek threat in the process. That deserves a lot of credit. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were pretty good. This series has grown over time, and so has the budget. Virtually every shot included a visual effect of one form or another, but only one actually looked like a visual effect to me. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story was well done, filled with rich details that appear to be small now. I expect this to be a typical Moffat series/season, with a very enjoyable opener that takes on much greater meaning by the time we’ve seen the next twelve (or twenty-five) episodes. That’s the kind of storytelling I love. I fully expect the nanocloud to be a big part of the next few months. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was excellent. The regular cast are firing on all cylinders, and the main guest star is a character I’d love to see again. My only complaint is that I’ve been spoiled: I know that Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill are leaving soon, and that Jenna-Louise Coleman returns as a new companion named “Clara” and not Oswin. I’m looking forward to Coleman’s return, but a human Oswin would have been a pretty damned spectacular companion. End spoilers. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production is right there, controlling pacing and camera angles, and keeping things dark and spooky enough to allow for a lack of walls in the set so that the team could litter the place with cameras to get the best possible angles, including ceiling mounted cameras. I’m sure Matthew is happy to hear a new arrangement of “I Am The Doctor” in the score, as well. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response was excellent. This was a compelling 49 minute stretch that seeds so many possibilities that it will demand to be rewatched over the next few months. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is a very strong series/season opener launching the next chapter of a very strong show. Do not miss this. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, receives 39 out of 42.