Out of all the TV shows I watch, ‘Doctor Who” is the one that has affected me the most. ‘Doctor Who” has been a British science fiction staple since it first made its mark in 1963. After 26 seasons of success, in 1989 the ‘Doctor” took a bow and left the television screen.

In 2005, after 16 years off the air, Russell T. Davies brought the show back on the BBC. And that is when my love affair with the program began. Even though the show started its fifth season on Saturday, it is not too late for you to get into it as well.

‘The Eleventh Hour” marks a new era in the history of the program. Pretty much everything in the fifth season is new and different from its previous four seasons.

There’s a new Doctor, a new TARDIS, a new companion and a new behind-the-scenes show runner. Steven Moffat, who wrote on the staff for the past several seasons, has taken over for Davies and has inducted the new era into being with the fifth season.

For those who don’t know, the Doctor is an alien with no name, also called a Time Lord. He travels through time and space in his TARDIS, a spaceship which appears to be a simple blue box. He almost always brings along a companion as he fights the evils of the universe. Every now and then, the Doctor has to regenerate, meaning he changes his face (a neat plot device that allows many actors to play the role). The fifth season picks up after the Doctor’s most recent regeneration.

‘The Eleventh Hour” gives us a new Doctor (played by Matt Smith) and a new companion (played by Karen Gillian) to accompany him on his adventures.

Admittedly, I had very low expectations going into the episode. I absolutely adored the previous incarnation of the Doctor (played by the outstanding David Tennant), and I couldn’t imagine how a young, unknown actor would manage to fill those shoes.

I should have had more faith in Moffat because ‘The Eleventh Hour” was a joy to watch. The eleventh incarnation of the Doctor, was goofy, insane and fun. Each Doctor has a different and unique personality, which helps the actor make the role his own.

Smith’s Doctor appears to be zany and mad. From running around frantically to stealing a fire truck, Eleven (as I call him) made for an entertaining hour of television.

Not all the credit belongs to Smith’s brilliantly played new Doctor. Gillian’s portrayal of the Doctor’s new companion, Amy Pond, balances out the decidedly otherworldly Doctor. Pond met the Doctor when she was just a little girl and then waited her entire childhood for him to come and rescue her from normalcy.

And then, after 12 years of waiting, he came back. Pond wasn’t about to welcome him with open arms she was quite cheeky about the whole situation.

She’s the kind of girl who will not blindly follow the words of the mad Doctor, and that makes for some great situations.

For fans of ‘Doctor Who,”the new series offers several nods to previous episodes, particularly those written by Moffat. With ‘The Eleventh Hour,” Moffat has sought to redefine the show that Davies brought back from the grave four years ago. Moffat is a gifted writer, responsible for some of the best episodes of ‘Doctor Who,”and he has a clear vision of what he wants for his era of working on ‘Doctor Who.”

There is always some hesitation among fans to embrace the new Doctor. I recall having many reservations about Tennant prior to his appearance. However, his incarnation of the Doctor is considered by some as one of the best in the history of the show.

As such, similar skepticism followed Smith after he was announced to take over the role. In addition to being relatively unknown, he is also the youngest actor ever to play the part. Nonetheless, Smith brought his own brand of energy and frivolity to the Doctor. In his introduction episode, Smith proved to fans that he is ready and capable to assume the part that has entertained audiences for generations.

If you’ve never seen an episode of ‘Doctor Who” before, fear not. This new series requires no previous knowledge and could not be more accessible to newcomers. The new show runner, Moffat wanted to make this series his own brain child, and thus everything old is new again.

I couldn’t recommend this show enough. And if you happen to be a fan of the ‘Doctor Who” spin-off, ‘Torchwood,” watching the new incarnation of the series is a must.

‘Doctor Who” airs on Saturdays at 9 p.m. on BBC America.

Hyman is a member of the class of 2012.



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