I ended my thoughts on the Doctor Who Christmas special promising to adopt “an air of mild optimism that 2013 will be a great year for Doctor Who.”
Today that optimism has paid off twofold, firstly with the news that David Tennant and Billie Piper are to return for the 50th Anniversary special, and secondly with an excellent opening episode for the new run.
Against expectations, but very much as wished for, Steven Moffat has written two great episodes of Doctor Who in a row.
The Bells of St John was a great romp of an adventure, made all the more enjoyable for the absence of Moffat’s usual timey wimey, series-wide story arc tomfoolery which has twice now failed to resolve in a satisfactory way.
Instead we got a straight-forward, witty and inventive modern-day yarn which boasted a great guest star (Celia Imrie), some fun stunts and a quirky performance from Matt Smith who remains the single best thing about Moffat’s tenure.
For once Doctor Who didn’t feel like the poor relation to Moffat’s Sherlock.
And on the strength of a second full episode, new companion Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) is officially less whinny, less annoying and a whole lot better acted than the never to be missed Amy Pond.