In this overture episode to the sixth series of Doctor Who, the Doctor (Matt Smith) is quite dramatically struck down by an alien attired in a 1960s space suit. For a blissful moment I thought Matt Smith was going to be replaced by someone rather less irritating, but sadly he turns up again a couple of minutes later. Damned wishful thinking.
I’ve never really been an avid viewer of Doctor Who; always having placed it in the category of ‘things to watch whilst ironing’ (of which ‘sci-fi’ is a subset). That being said, Saturday night’s episode managed to hold my interest for the entire 45 minutes, although to be fair I was putting off revision.
The Doctor and his merry gang of sidekicks drop (casually) into the Oval Office for a chat with the pre-Watergate President Nixon, who is in a quandary about a mysterious phone call from a child who is scared of space men. The scriptwriters take a subtle (and brilliant) stab at the general act of being American before throwing it all away by means of some hideous innuendo from the strangely styled ‘River Song’ (Alex Kingston), who by her own account is “a bit of a screamer”.
Amy Pond (Karen Gillian) – the Doctor’s rather bang-tidy gingery assistant – takes a visit to the restroom and finds a large quotient of the special effects budget manifesting itself as an Evan Davis-like creature that nobody can recall setting eyes upon. Following some deduction of which Sherlock Holmes would have been both proud and incapable, the Tardis takes the team to the lair of the Evan Davises, where Amy takes a shot at a five year old and River disappears down an underground tunnel. Very cliffhanging. Surprisingly though, it’s not bad.