I liked last night's episode until the end, which I found incredibly heavy handed. Here's this spacewhale that humanity has tortured for centuries and the moment the torture stopped, it forgives them. And lest we miss the symbolism, Moffat has Amy repeat several times the whole "incredibly old, incredibly kind, last of his race" mantra (note that I might not be quoting exactly here). I'm going to go out on a limb here and hazard a guess that this series is going to be about the Doctor letting go of the pain of his last two selves and moving on with his life.
But what prompted this post was neadods commenting that the Eleventh Doctor sounded petulant rather than "fire, ice, and rage" in that scene and the first thing that came to mind was of course he's a bit petulant, he was born out of the Tenth Doctor's temper tantrum. Doctors tend to veer drastically away from the characterization of their predecessor. This is mostly so the actor can make their own stamp on the character, but it works because it feels like the new Doctor is always a reaction to his predecessor. (Example which may not prove my point, but I find amusing: Seven was heavily into controlling events and knowing what was going on, Eight went so far the other way he was prone to bouts of amnesia - coincidence, I don't think so.) During that interim series, we watched the Tenth Doctor in a downward spiral cumulating with his having to destroy his own people again. There was nowhere to go but up.
The Ninth Doctor was still in shock from the war, the Tenth went through various stages of grieving, lashing out at the world and trying to control things that couldn't be controlled. I think the Eleventh Doctor has moved past that and let go of the pain - he just hasn't realised it yet. And maybe in the end that will be why he sounded petulant rather than angry - he's so used to that anger and pain being there that he's still trying to channel it. Perhaps it's a reaction to realising that he made the right choice in sealing his own people away or to the events of The Waters of Mars when he went too far.
Anyway, even if it is rather heavy-handed, I'm looking forward to watching Eleven's journey this series.
And since everyone else is drawing parallels with previous Doctors, I must offer mine.
I'm getting a Three & Sarah vibe from Eleven & Amy. Between the arguing and the suspicion I was definitely getting The Time Warrior flashbacks from the first episode. And the second episode evokes Invasion of the Dinosaurs with Amy/Sarah going various places she shouldn't (locked hole in the ground/trapped dinosaur cage, into the beast's mouth/out the airlock after they get a televised lecture on "what went wrong"). The next Sarah adventure in sequence is Death to the Daleks. Nuff said.
The lack of velvet and ruffles is disappointing, though I rather like the tweed.