Reinvention Of The Daleks!

Doctor Who's oldest and deadliest monsters are back — and some new concept art shows how the twisted, maniacal minds at the BBC recreated them in a new, terrible image. Plus here's why Doctor Who season five is must-see television.

Minor spoilers ahead...

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So at this point, three episodes of the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who have aired in the U.K., and the first episode is about to air tonight on BBC America. If you're just starting to watch the show now, you're in for a major treat. The first few episodes really do feel like a whole new first season of the venerable time-travel show, and Matt Smith's Doctor is absolutely bubbling with energy. Also, Karen Gillan is instantly likable and effervescent as new companion Amy Pond.

One thing that's becoming clear after a few episodes, too — the Eleventh Doctor is a bit more fallible, perhaps, than the Tenth. Not surprisingly, given Steven Moffat's apparent love of the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, we're seeing some glimpses of Davison in Smith's portrayal. (Alongside the Patrick Troughton influence everyone's already mentioned.) Smith's Doctor is frequently out of his depth and not sure what's going on — until he makes a brilliant deduction, of course. In the Dalek story, especially, the Doctor is not the know-it-all we might have been expecting him to be.

In tonight's debut, "The Eleventh Hour," we get to see the Doctor tossed in the deep end, with only minutes left to save the Earth from annihilation, with no high technology at his disposal. He literally hits the ground running, although he also drives a fire truck at one point. Smith won us over in his first hour, and he's just gotten better since. We'll have a fuller recap of "The Eleventh Hour" tomorrow, but it's well worth checking out.

And today's new British episode, "Victory Of The Daleks," is tremendous fun as well, mostly thanks to the double act of Winston Churchill and Professor Bracewell, both of them bouncing off the Doctor and Amy. The Daleks have come up with their daftest scheme yet — yes, dafter than turning people into pigs and zapping the Empire State Building with Dalek DNA — and amazingly, it makes sense. The Daleks regain a smidge of the menace they lost during the last few years of Dalek Overkill, and there are deeper mysteries that we can't wait to discover the answers to.

It's an amazing time to be following Doctor Who.