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Doctor Who continues to amaze

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2010-04-17 Ottawa Citizen.jpg


The new Doctor Who is gentle in spirit, gorgeous to look at and almost childlike in its innocence. It's also sad, deeply moving and really, really clever. Doctor Who was always a remarkable phenomenon — it's been on the air in one incarnation or another for 47 years now — but, as tonight's season opener proves, Doctor Who has transcended its tacky, low-budget roots to become a fairy tale for the modern age.

Yes, it's that good.

In fact, based on the evidence of tonight's enthralling opener, it's not just good. It's special.

First, the new Doctor — the nth in the Time-Lord canon, if you're keeping track — is played with a brisk, high-octane energy by 27-year-old Matt Smith, the youngest Doctor in the series so far. (The original Doctor, William Hartnell, was 56 when he took on the role in 1963.) David Tennant was marvellous in the part, but Smith picks it up without missing a beat. He's cheerful, friendly, goofy and utterly believable in a role that, let's face it, requires a willing suspension of disbelief on the part of the viewer. Incredibly, since he's been at this for no more than a few minutes, Smith seems as if he was born to play the part.

And it's just as well, because tonight's heart-stopping first episode is so rich and colourful and dense in emotional detail that we have to buy the Doctor immediately, or else the illusion is broken.

The story, written and conceived by Jekyll's Steven Moffat, is disarming in its simplicity. The Doctor tumbles to Earth from outer space, and strikes up a friendship with a lonely little girl living alone in the Scottish countryside with her distant, hostile aunt. The little girl is terrified that something may be living in her wall. The Doctor investigates, and decides to rush away to investigate the houses origins. He promises he'll be back in five minutes ... but five minutes becomes an eternity.

Doctor Who continues to amaze To reveal more would be to ruin some real, genuine surprises. (9 p.m., Space)

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  • APA 6th ed.: Strachan, Alex (2010-04-17). Doctor Who continues to amaze. CanWest News Service .
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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who continues to amaze | url= | work=CanWest News Service | pages= | date=2010-04-17 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=27 May 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who continues to amaze | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=27 May 2024}}</ref>
  • Title: Doctor Who continues to amaze
  • Publication: Ottawa Citizen
  • Date: 2010-04-17