Doctor Who: Series 5 Volume 1 review (Blu-ray)

A scene we've seen countless times before (well 10, at least) – a brand new Doctor emerging from the Tardis. And this time, he's got the youngest face we've ever seen the Time Lord wearing.

And the new boy, it has to be said, is very good indeed. Matt Smith bursts onto the scene all manic energy and floppy hair. He's taken over the role from the very popular David Tennant – considered by many to be the best Doctor ever – so he's got some massive boots to fill. It's a big task, but he gets off to an excellent start in The Eleventh Hour, the first episode in this new series. The Doctor, still regenerating, crash-lands his Tardis in the back garden of a young girl, Amelia Pond, who's having a bit of a problem with a scary crack in her bedroom wall. The Doctor says he has to nip away for a few minutes, but returns 12 years later and with the aid of a now-adult Amy (Gillan), has to once again save the Earth from an alien menace. In the second episode, The Beast Below, the Doctor takes Amy into the future and aboard Starship UK – the entire country of Britain, flying through space. There they encounter missing children, strange creatures called Smilers ... and Queen Elizabeth the 10th. In Victory of the Daleks, Amy and the Doctor find themselves in the in WWII bunker with Winston Churchill. Oh, and the Doctor's greatest foes.

New showrunner Steven Moffat (who wrote the best-ever episode of the Tennant era, Blink) has really put his stamp on Doctor Who since taking over from Russell T Davies. He's tweaked the theme music (much to the horror of many fans), rebuilt the Tardis and even redesigned the Daleks, turning them into multicoloured iDaleks. But his biggest coup has been in the casting of the two leads, and for that he must be congratulated. It was a brave move choosing a 27-year-old to play the almost-1000-year-old Time Lord, and Smith is superb. He may look young, but he brings a certain ancient wisdom to the role. Just as good is former model Gillan as Amy Pond. Yes, she's incredibly nice to look at (and when we first meet her she's dressed as a policewoman stripogram, wearing a very very short skirt) but she brings a lot of feistiness, and smarts, to the role. And the chemistry between the two is just electric. This series of Doctor Who is shaping up to be a lot of fun.

EXTRAS ★ Just a short featurette: a 10-minute behind-the-scenes look at the new Daleks.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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