Monday, April 01, 2013

Who's Clara

"The Bells of St. John" kicked off the second half of the new Doctor Who season, and being a Matt Smith fan (he remains my favorite Doctor, although my good friend Charles is partial to David Tennant), I watched it first thing this morning.

There are things about it that I liked a good bit. For one thing, the moody Doctor of the first half of the season is gone; the manic, confident, impulsive Doctor is back, and I'm glad to see his return. Not only did the moody, brooding byronic hero of a Doctor seem out of character within the fictional world of the television series, but Matt Smith didn't do a particularly good job with that sort of characterization. There were times when he almost came off as unlikeable, which should never be the case.

The story, while filled with foreshadowing plot bits (and a clever callback to the Amy Pond run), was pretty much self-contained and upbeat, with the Doctor resolving the major problem in 45 minutes of air time. And the character of Clara Oswald was pleasantly adequate; that's the best I can say for her so far. While I agreed that it was time for Amy Pond's tenure as a companion to end, I also see that she has set a very high standard for future companions; they have to be both as independent and as personably engaging as Amy was. So far, Clara hasn't had a chance to shine in that regard; she's done a fine job of moving the plot forward, but I have yet to develop any attachment to the character. Hopefully that will change as things move forward.

(I also have to get past my instant reaction of thinking "cute Christina Ricci" every time she makes a screen appearance...)

Good enough for a second half start, though, and I was pleased to see that she didn't die in the end. That gimmick was getting old fast...

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