Let the countdown begin!

In just over a week, season 5 of Doctor Who starts in the UK and as you can imagine I’m very excited. I’m also a little bit nervous.

It’s not as bad as my nerves were before Rose aired. That was a combination of “I won’t believe it until I see it” and “What if they muck it up?”. There had been so many rumours over the years that didn’t turn into anything. Even the TV movie, while fun, didn’t lead into anything permanent. I’m sort of glad about that because, as much as I loved Paul McGann, Doctor Who really doesn’t work when it’s made in America. Anyway. With all those rumours and disappointments (actors had been ‘signed’ before, writers had been attached etc.), I couldn’t quite convince myself that it was really happening until I saw it on my TV screen.

There had also been a number of old TV shows at that time brought back for series or movies and done as parodies, so a part of me was very scared that this would be the tactic they would take with Doctor Who. After all, as much as I love it and can overlook the dodgy effects to see the great storytelling in many episodes, I knew that this was a show that could easily be parodied. Bubble-wrap monsters. Eep.

I knew nothing of Russell T Davis apart from the fact that he’d written a few things that I hadn’t watched but had been well-received. It was only a couple of years later that I discovered that he wrote Century Falls, one of the best children’s drama serials that I’ve ever seen. That one still stands up well even now – hunt it down if you can, you won’t be disappointed.

Christopher Eccleston was an actor that I’d liked since his time on Cracker, but all I knew about Billie Piper was her disastrous pop career and her marriage to Chris Evans so I had no faith in that bit of casting.

When I sat down on Easter Saturday in 2005 to watch Rose, I was terrified that it would be really, hideously bad. Dad and I were both a bit of a nervous wreck that day. Two huge Doctor Who fans who have been watching since their childhoods made for a certain energy in the house. UK Gold had done a day airing a story from every Doctor (still can’t understand why they chose Dragonfire as the Sylvester McCoy ep – Silver Nemesis and Ghost Light were much better and the same length) so it was a really fun, Doctor Who-ish day building up to it. We still got progressively more nervous as the day went on, though!

I am so happy that my nerves were unneeded. It happened, Rose was good and the rest of the season was even better.

So this time my nerves aren’t quite as bad. It’s been nearly two years since the end of season 4 and the specials really didn’t satisfy the gap, which is why I’m very excited. It may explain a tiny bit of my nerves, although this time I do believe that it’s really happening. Stephen Moffat has written some of my favourite episodes and is also the man responsible for Press Gang, the other children’s drama that really stands out in my mind as excellent. He’s a massive Doctor Who fan.

Matt Smith didn’t impress me much initially, but all the trailers and interviews have grown on me. He looks to be full of energy and yet able to do the quieter moments as well. He says “Trust me, I’m the Doctor” and I trust him.

It’s just that there’s this nagging little voice that’s scared. Logically I know that all the elements are there for a great season: Moffat’s vision, lots of Moffat eps, other great writers including Curtis and Gatiss, Matt Smith. That little voice keeps whispering “What if Moffat can write, but can’t create the vision?” and “Matt Smith’s trailers might look great, but what if he actually sucks?”

I suspect that little voice won’t shut up until I get to the closing credits of The Eleventh Hour and sit back with a huge grin yelling, “Woo, that was brilliant!”

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