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April 23, 2011

‘Doctor Who’ review: Immediate excitment with a timely return

Posted in: TV

Times television critic Robert Lloyd checks in on tonight’s return of the Doctor.

drwho Doctor Who review: Immediate excitment with a timely return

Matt Smith as The Doctor in the new season of the BBC's "Doctor Who." (BBC)

The Doctor is (back) in. The second season of the adventures of the 11th  Doctor — which is also, officially, the sixth series of the post-16-year-TV-hiatus 21st-century “Doctor Who,” if you don’t count a year of “specials” — begins Saturday on BBC America, with an emphasis on the “America.”

It has been a while — whatever “a while” means in the curlicue chronologies of this time-twisting show — since the Doctor (Matt Smith) has run with recent and future traveling companions Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill), now newlyweds. But they have been getting messages from him out of the deep past: the Doctor naked in a Baroque painting, cavorting in a fez in a Laurel and Hardy film. And then comes an actual invitation (in a “Tardis blue” envelope, Amy observes, the Tardis being his police-box shaped time machine) and before you can say “John Ford,” we have decamped to America and Monument Valley, where the Doctor awaits, in a cowboy hat. “I wear a Stetson now. Stetsons are cool,” he says, the truth of the second statement being predicated, to his mind, upon the first.

Dr. River Song (Alex Kingston) is there too; she  first appeared back when the Doctor still wore David Tennant‘s face, invented by present show runner Steven Moffat for previous show runner Russell T. Davies. She and the doctor have a past, in his unremembered future — she calls him “sweetie” — the untangling of which will surely occupy more of this immediately exciting new season…

For more of the TV review, click here.

– Robert Ll0yd

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