Doctor Who Season 5 trailer

By Phil Plait | March 31, 2010 2:30 pm

We’re getting closer to the premier of Doctor Who… and here’s the trailer the BBC released. Spoilers, of course:

Hmm, hard to say what’s what here, but it looks like the gravitas and buffoonery are both still there, which are the two aspects I really like about the character. I guess we’ll find out in a couple of weeks: the premier is Easter in the UK and a week later (April 17) here in the States!

And… "No, they’re scared of me." Awesome.

MORE ABOUT: Doctor Who

Comments (50)

  1. This is looking great. It looks like Moffat is taking it back to its original roots of exploring the extremes of the universe and telling neat little stories, unlike Davies’ tendency to make these ridiculously grandiose story arcs that fed on themselves in head-desk-worthy ways.

    I mean, I love that Davies brought my favorite TV series of all time (in multiple ways) back, but toward the end of his reign as head writer I was just counting down to see him finally leave the show. The only enjoyment I got from the final Tennant specials was knowing that they were the last episodes which were going to be like that.

  2. Philip

    April 17th is two weeks after Easter. I can’t wait, whatever the date is!

  3. I can’t wait!!!!

  4. MikeS

    Watching this, I’m cautiously optimistic about the new series. Smith looks like he’s going to really take to the role. And Moffat, of course, wrote arguably the best four stories in the series so far!

  5. IBY

    Ouch, that’s harsh. :) Not that I disagree completely. His tendency to deus ex machina everything left me very annoyed. I wish he would write more episodes like Midnight, which is my favorite Davies episode. As far as I see it, his major weaknesses butts in during the finales.

    As for the trailer: Looks awesome! I have really high hopes for Matt Smith.

  6. EdLark

    I was a huge fan of Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor (and still think his portrayal rivaled, and at times exceeded, the best of the historic Doctors), was highly skeptical of David Tennant but warmed to his brilliant portrayal over time (and was actually a fan of the long-story-arc Davies; but will acknowledge his tendency to be great with the initial idea, but weak on the closing); and find myself once again highly skeptical (the special effects and the nuggets of storyline look fascinating, but Matt Smith looks a little like an encephalitic rag doll).

    As for Moffat, his record for me is mixed. Really did not like “The Girl In The Library,” but “Blink” and “The Doctor Dances” are two of the best.

    As Phil says, we’ll see.

  7. gopher65

    Davies is one of those writers who absolutely love to give their characters “moments of shining awesome”, as the trope goes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; moments of shining awesome are great… when they’re well done, and used sparingly.

    Davies not only couldn’t write a well thought out moment of shining awesome to save his life, he wrote *way* too many of them (bad ones that is). When you overuse that particular story trope the audience quickly becomes jaded. Also, like some other writers I could mention *cough*Ronald D Moore*cough*, he makes use of deus ex machina plot devices on a regular basis. I *hate* that. Hate. Hate. Hate.

    Davies is right up there with Brannon Braga and Paul Mullie as one of my least favourite scifi writers… all of whom nonetheless (very) occasionally write pretty decent stories.

  8. MikeS

    Incidentally, I definitely heard Alex Kingston’s voice in that trailer. Glad to see River Song again!!

  9. m5

    Reminder that for all his downfalls Davies wrote the one with truck on the diamond planet and that was a genuinely amazing episode.

  10. OtherRob

    I have high hopes for the new series because, as has been mentioned, Moffat has written some of the best episodes of the revived series. But I am concerned to see the Daleks yet again and that the Weeping Angels are returning. The Weeping Angels are one of the best and scariest monsters of the new series and I hope they don’t get watered down.

  11. sorrykb

    Ooooooooh. I was very sad to see David Tennant go, but this new doctor might just win me over. (Come to think of it, I felt the same way when Christopher Eccleston left — I didn’t think anyone else could live up to that… but Tennant did, so I should keep an open mind.)

    And I have to say (since there’s a fair amount of anti-Richard T Davies posts above), I loved RTD’s stories (and of course his bringing Doctor Who back in such a fantastic way). But Steven Moffat is pretty damn brilliant too. This could be fun.

    And is that the Doctor firing a gun??????? oooooooooh.

  12. Henry Holland

    Very excited about the new Doctor, I was really tired of David Tennant’s whiny, emo Doctor.

    I highly recommend grabbing the BitTorent’s on the day the episodes appear in the UK. They won’t have the 8 zillion commercials that BBC America will and there’s no two weeks of trying to avoid spoilers.

  13. Rose did a play on the scared of the Doctor theme in the Battle of Canary Wharf two parter. She told the Daleks (and I am paraphrasing a little bit here), “Five million Cybermen, no problem. One Doctor, now your’re scared.”

  14. jcm

    Darn it. You’re having all the fun. I wish my cable company offered BBC in its basic package.

  15. John Cherry

    C’mon people, I remember seeing the first episodes with Patrick Hartnell, as a child, and being unimpressed even at that age, by the cheesy plots and rubber-suited ‘aliens’.

    It did have the benefit of scaring my younger brother with its ‘spooky’ theme music, but apart from that, I couldn’t see much to recommend it.

    So, tell me, does the Doctor still have his ‘sonic screwdriver’ and does ‘reversing the polarity’ still fix any kind of problem?

  16. Weed Monkey

    Off topic, but I bet you all like to hear this:

    Science writer Simon Singh wins libel appeal

    “High Court judge Mr Justice Eady said last May the comments were factual not opinion – meaning Mr Singh could not use the defence of fair comment.

    However, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Lord Justice Sedley ruled the High Court judge had “erred in his approach” and allowed Mr Singh’s appeal.”

    I have to admit, it feels somewhat unsatisfactory. I’d love to see “the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Lord Justice Sedley” (are they serious with these names?) simply call it as it is, quackery. But I bet it’s quite a relief for Simon Singh.

  17. Jeff

    The best dr. who was Dave Tennett and the funniest and most interesting companinon was Catherine Tate.

  18. MadScientist

    [OT] Since Dr. Who comes from across the Atlantic pond, current news there is that Simon Singh has won a round of appeals. The British Chiropractic Association is whining that its reputation is damaged. Other steps need to be taken to ensure that no one takes the BCA seriously – in particular their members need to be sued for making unproven medical claims.

  19. Jeffxandra

    Uhm.. Easter is April 4th (new Who does premiere on the 3rd) so April 17 would be TWO weeks later.. unless there’s some secret astronomer calendar that they’re using to keep the truth from us that the Sun actually revolves around the Earth (or something)

  20. OtherRob

    And is that the Doctor firing a gun??????? oooooooooh.

    IIRC, there were times in the old series where The Doctor used a gun. I don’t know how rare it was, but I seem to remember the fifth Doctor using one in a Dalek episode.

  21. Grand Lunar

    It may be just me, but Smith’s Doctor seems to invoke a little bit of Jon Pertwee’s Doctor. That’s the impression I get.

    It’s a good thing; getting back to roots; re-discovering what made ‘Doctor Who’ so awesome and enjoyable.

  22. Peter Davey

    As a certain Professor Haldane once said: “The Universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine”.

    Still, that it surely no excuse for abandoning our attempts to do so.

    I wonder how many of those responsible for producing the very first series could have imagined how long it would last?

  23. I believe the Doctor fired a gun in “Earthshock” with Peter Davison which was a Cybermen episode. I don’t remember him using one in a Dalek episode but maybe I just don’t remember that one!

  24. Dunc

    So, tell me, does the Doctor still have his ’sonic screwdriver’ and does ‘reversing the polarity’ still fix any kind of problem?

    The sonic screwdriver is, if anything, even more essential and versatile than it used to be. Haven’t seen him reverse the polarity of the neutron flow for a very long time though…

  25. This looks great. It’s good that Moffat has taken the lead — and is bringing the “Blink” aliens back.

  26. Gus Snarp

    So if one has only seen glimpses of Doctor Who, never a full episode, and only about three times, could such a hypothetical person watch the new Doctor Who and get any of it? Or does one need to start with the very beginning of the series?

  27. Yes. It’s bloke in a box. The box is bigger on the inside. He travels in time. From time to time he regenerates into a new bloke in a box, who is fundamentally the same bloke but with a different emphasis placed on his character traits.

    Remember, the kiddies are a key demographic, and some of those won’t remember Ecclestone, let along Bakers, Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee, McCoy, (McGann), Davison…. so stories won’t rely on earlier things too heavily (though earlier things might be referenced).

    One of the prime functions of the companion is to sit on the Doctor’s shoulder and be explained to for the benefit of audience members who weren’t watching 3, or 33 years ago.

    Indeed, some of the very first episodes don’t survive – so you can’t start at the very beginning anyway.

  28. lol.. don’t know why but the macho American voice at the end of the trailer just sounds so SO wrong for Doctor Who.

  29. Gebo

    April 3rd here in Europe :) I’m excited!

  30. Calli Arcale

    Murk: you certainly can start at the beginning with Dr Who, as the entire first season survives. Patrick Troughton’s tenure suffered the worst; I think it’s about 40% missing. There are audiotapes of all the episodes, though.

    The Doctor and guns:

    He has actually fired guns several times. It’s not a common occurrence, as he prefers to bluster his way out of things. As mentioned above, he used a cybergun to finish off the Cyberleader in “Earthshock” (after ramming gold in its chest plate), and in “Resurrection of the Daleks”, he used a pistol to kill a Kaled mutant (the nasty blob of hate inside of a Dalek). Those were both Peter Davison. Tom Baker got to fire guns too, though; one notable example is a Chinese fowling piece (well, fake — it was made in Birmingham) he used to shoot an embiggened sewer rat in “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”. The rat was only wounded, IIRC, and they had to flee quickly as the gun would take several minutes to reload. There are probably other instances; these are just the ones that come first to mind for me.

    Oh, and a notable bit of violence *not* involving firearms (at least on the Doctor’s part) was in “The Deadly Assassin”. During the dreamworld fight between the Doctor and the mysterious assassin in the Matrix, the Doctor makes several mighty efforts to finish the other guy off. First, he steals a grenade and rigs it to a tripwire. The assassin does set it off, but only takes a little shrapnel and keeps on going. Then, the doctor finds some poison, a thorn, and a hollow reed and fashions a blowgun. Unfortunately, the assassin has the antidote to the poison, and survives. Lastly, the Doctor tricks the assassin into firing his gun in a marsh which has been putting off a lot of methane, which ignites. The assassin is lit on fire and goes underwater, but as the Doctor goes out to see if he needs to finish the job, the assassin leaps up and the two begin to struggle, both trying to drown the other….

    The Doctor isn’t usually violent, but he’s not above violence when necessary.

    I’m very excited about this new season. Matt Smith is *awfully* young, so that’s my biggest worry. However, as a fanfic writer, I was tickled pink to learn his method for getting into the character: he tried to think of an eccentric genius and came up with Albert Einstein. Then he wrote a series of short stories featuring the adventures of the Doctor and Einstein. He’s a fanfic writer! AWESOME!!!

  31. Calli Arcale

    Oh, and as for where to start…..

    My favorite place for new viewers to start is with “The Deadly Assassin” because it’s just such a good story, and very nicely self-contained. The arc from “Keeper of Traken” through “Castrovalva” is also very good for introducing people to the series. But really, you can start absolutely anywhere. The writers make sure to fill you in; if there’s something they don’t explain, it’s probably safe to ignore it.


    It’s the last line in the video which makes my point, but actor Matt Smith says the line so quickly that it may be hard to understand, so here’s it is if you weren’t able to understand it:

    “There’s one thing you never put in a trap, if you’re smart. If you have any plans about seeing tomorrow there’s one thing you never ever put in a trap. Me.”

  33. OtherRob

    Resurrection of the Daleks is the episode I was thinking of. If I remember correctly, there was an unusual amount of gunfire for a Doctor Who episode.

  34. shash

    About the Doctor and guns: In more recent times, “junk… junk… hair-dryer… junk…” 😉

  35. Criz

    Re: 27 GUS – You don’t have to go all the way back to the beginning (1st Doctor) – look for Doctor Who Series 1 with Christopher Eccleston (as the 9th Doctor) – the first episode “Rose” is a perfect introduction for new Who fans – and the rest of the season (9 episodes) will give you more than enough of an idea whether you’ll like the show or not.

  36. Mike

    The Dr. Who anti-gun thing fluctuates a lot between Doctors, but it’s not so much an aversion to firing a weapon, as an aversion to killing with it. The problem is that firearms are hard to use non-lethally (on purpose) unless you’re really good at it. I’ve only seen the Doctor fire at a living creature a few times, Daleks I think, but I’m pretty sure he’s fired weapons at inanimate objects.

    Also, re: River Song. It’s not just her voice in the trailer; she’s actually visible in the far left of the last scene, just before he fires the gun.

  37. franklin

    let us not forget the demat gun in The invasion of time,the one that uses the great key as its powersource

  38. OK, it was good.

    And Patrick Moore made a guest appearance, too.

  39. Jim

    Just watched it here in Good Ol’ England.

    What can I say? FANTASTIC! Matt Smith and Stephen Moffat have made an amazing start.

  40. rennie

    Just watched the first episode of season 5.

    Matt Smith is awesome and Karen Gillan is beautiful and a fantastic actress. If they keep up the standard of this episode it will be the best season

  41. Watched the first episode and it was, in a word, AWESOME. I really wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was.

    Matt Smith was fantastic. His Doctor is both different and at the same time very much the same person as David Tennant’s Doctor. You got a real sense of them being the same person. His final big scene of the episode left me with no doubt that he is going to be a great Doctor.

    As for Karen Gillan? Well I am officially in love.

    If the rest of the season is as good as this one it is going to be amazing.

  42. dead yeti

    was an excellent start
    funny, exciting everthing a new doctor should be

  43. Prisoner Zero

    I second what rennie said. Matt Smith is awesome as the Doctor, though I might add that the CGI aliens in the episode didn’t look too good.

  44. celestial toymaker

    It burst straight out of the blocks to establish a season’s best in the first episode.
    Moffat was always going to raise the level, with his experience of both the TV comedy and sci-fi/horror genres.

    It was a typical Moffat script, with imaginative horror and quick fire repartee delivered on the run. Even when it vamped on themes from “Blink” it seemed like brand recognition.
    Plundering Hollywood horror films for monsters continues, with Prisoner Zero being a mixture of the themes from “The Thing” and ” War of the Worlds”

    Amelia Pond is a slightly disturbed character, with signs of a multiple personality disorder; cop, strippergram, nun, french-maid (” I dabble”), but sceptical and confrontational with it.
    Matt Smith stepped into Tennant’s role seamlessly and could be even better.
    Especially if he avoids the temptation to overact, which Tennant succumbed to towards the end.

    On the evidence of episode 1, this could be the best series yet .

  45. Sarcin

    Caught this on a site a visit

    5×01 The Eleventh Hour

    first ep of Doc Who season 5 already up, was pretty good if you ask me

  46. sophia8

    celestial toymaker @47: Amelia Pond is a slightly disturbed character, with signs of a multiple personality disorder; cop, strippergram, nun, french-maid (” I dabble”)
    Amelia is a strippergram full stop – dressing up (and then undressing) as different characters is all part of the repertoire. Her “I dabble” is a nervous excuse for the benefit of her elderly neighbour. But it’s an interesting choice of occupation, for sure. I have a feeling that we’ll see some more surprises from her.
    Also, she has a potentially very interesting backstory – how did her parents die, and just who is the mysterious, and mysteriously absent, aunt who was supposed to be looking after her when the Doctor first dropped in?


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