A very lightweight start to the season. More comments after the cut to avoid spoilering anyone who might not have watched it.
The Eleventh Hour
A shock to the system to be sure. New Doctor, new TARDIS, new companion, though trenched in a familiar plot - alien fugitive takes on human form to evade the authorities and the Doctor must unmask them in time. It worked in Smith and Jones, it worked in The Stones of Blood, and it works here. The Doctor telling off the authorities at the end was a nice touch. It make me wonder if some planets had a designated Doctor, who dresses up in odd clothing and tries to scare off the aliens whenever there's an invasion.
The Beast Below
After the series opener, we got the Obligatory Future episode. The UK (or at least England, Wales and Northern Ireland) as a spaceship. A great wee story and brimming over with cute moments ("This is not going to be big on dignity") and with a deeper moral core. A lot of it relies on some frankly bizarre fridge logic. Otherwise, splendid.
Victory of the Daleks
And then the Obligatory Earth Past With Historical Figure episode. This time, World War II with Winston Churchill. And Daleks. It largely felt like the entire point of the episode was to introduce the new Daleks and have them symbolically exterminate the old RTD era ones. The only problem is that the new Dalek designs don't seem to be very popular with fandom. I kinda like the angle of having different colours for the different Dalek functions, even if it does make them look like the Dalek equivalent of the Wiggles. The rest of the plot was respectable but felt tacked on as an afterthought, and Ian McNeice proved an odd choice for Churchill.
Next up is the Obligatory Crap Two Parter. This year written by Steven Moffat and featuring the Weeping Angels from one of the most popular episodes of recent time. It has a very good chance of breaking the curse! (though season 4's Sontaran story was admittedly quite good)
K9 episodes 2-4
They seem to be falling into a formula of "Alien warps in and intends to do nasty things. K-9 is disabled for some reason to cause tension and drama, but recovers at the last moment to save the day." The dog breaks down so often it's like season 18 all over again. The human cast are reasonable enough, though let down by the writing. K-9 gets all the best lines even when those lines seem wildly out of character.
Next: Episodes 4-7