Monday, 15 March 2010


This new Tardis – not an obligatory accessory for each new Doctor, but required by the damage done to it in Tennant’s last episode – is big. It must be three times the size of Tennant’s, on multiple levels with staircases in between. Less grubby than its predecessor, with a transparent plastic floor on the main level, its walls are resplendent with polished copper and its central column features a blown glass decoration that could be straight from Tales of the Unexpected. There are old car seats and downstairs – downstairs! – a swing. With a nod to Paul McGann’s Tardis, the central column features an old TV screen on an extendable trellis. It also has a 1980s-style computer keyboard, and a His-Master’s-Voice style trumpet speaker.

Viewers won’t see this Tardis until the end of episode one, when the Doctor and Amy walk in for their first journey together. That first episode is now just about finished, barring a couple of CGI monsters that are a bit rough round the edges, and the occasional smudge in the dialogue. The aliens hold off from actually boiling the planet, but that exploding screwdriver still looks a bit of a shock. Most importantly, from the moment he stumbles out of his crashed Tardis, Smith is certainly his own Doctor. Less prickly than Eccleston and without the slapstick of Tennant, he brings an air of muddled intensity that’s a bit reminiscent of, say, Tom Baker (though without the stripy scarf).

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