The new Doctor didnʼt seem as funny when he was confused after his change as Matt Smith was. I was hoping for a funnier sort of confusion. Instead, his confusion sequences came off as very bland. Perhaps he should also have spoken his lines a bit louder.
After the new Doctorʼs head cleared he seemed to emulate Matt Smith a little and then seemed to be finding his way toward his own unique persona. So the first half of the show was pretty weak in my opinion, including the exchanges between Clara, the Doctorʼs companion, and Madame Vastra, the lizard lady, which were confused and dragged on too long. They were trying to show that Vastra was challenging Clara to be strong for the Doctor, but they came off as insults aimed at Clara for no apparent reason and not all of the insults seemed geared toward making Clara stronger. Clara has already proven her strength many times in the past. They should have rewritten the first half of the show. (I would like to have had a crack at that myself.)
The rest of the program and plot were well done and no doubt tie into the season as a whole.
Overall, I recall Straxʼs lines more than anyone elseʼs. He stole the show.
Itʼs wonderful how much money they save by having actors act like clockwork robots without any special robot costumes required. Brilliant. Kind of like the Who episode where a group of tourists were locked inside a bus on some distant world and then possessed by an alien without having to undergo any physical transformation, just a personality transformation, or, like the Who episode where the humans all wore gas masks. Inexpensive yet effective means to convey otherworldly weirdness. And it allows the actors to stretch themselves instead of stretching plastic all over their faces.
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