Another interesting episode, with lots of great ideas, but not necessarily adding up to the sum of their parts...
Surprising we haven’t had more of this type of 'Amy and Rory' perspective on a story, and being their penultimate episode, something we won't see again. However the story nicely made space for lots of spin off stories (Zygons included). I loved the idea of mankind needing culling to prevent it reaching plague proportions, with the cubes like slug pellets - although think more could have been made of this - when is Doctor Who going to get serious with environmental issues and mankind destroying this planet, rather than the Doctor blindly defending humanity, as he does a lot in this new series.
But we like Rory's dad. He's good. I almost felt at the end I wanted Amy and Rory to stay behind and dad to come along instead. Certainly Smith's childish Doctor needs a father figure... too much silly messing about going on for my liking, although he is very good at it.
And why is it that UNIT stories are always a bit of a let down? I'm glad we didn't have to get introduced to a role call of sergeants and captains, and yes, nice nod with having the Brig's daughter as the new special advisor, but I'm not sure I'm looking forward to more UNIT stories being developed - in their day they were great, but these days it's too familiar.
And those cubes... think they missed a trick but not showing us the Doctor trying to break into one, would have been better than showing him painting a fence and doing the hoovering, and more relevant to the story.
For me this wasn't the big impact episode I was looking for. Yes, it mixed up a load of ideas, mentioned zygons and had UNIT, but it felt like a script pulled from the RTD recipe book for new series earth-bound Who, utilising too many of the tricks of the Tennant years, including a wave of cameos, which I must admit did make me chuckle, especially Alan Sugar, who is such a plonker - to the point were the original elements of the story got lost in the mix. The Shakri are a nice idea, but looked too much like Darth Vader without his mask from the orginal Star Wars flims. Good job they give up easily hey.
And what a coincidence that Rory's hospital was one of the focal points for the cubes, but I'm not sure about doctors in masks with big needles. Come on, it's too easy, and it's all been used before, mostly by Moffat himself.
And the resolution at the end, with a bit of sonic and some frankly unbelievable cardiac therapy bringing everybody back to life, was just too much. And why was the ship colleting humans from the hospital, and the two doctors who had unwisely stuffed their cubes in their mouths? And the 'power of three'? I didn't really get that. Sort of excluded Rory's dad, and after he'd spent so much time watching his cube.
Damn, it's even making last week's episode look better, which is no good sign. Let hope next week gives us a much needed boost - but will it be enough to stop the slide in the ratings?
Well, as with last week, I wasn't expecting much from this episode, but was pleasantly surprised. Well produced and acted, it was entertaining, without hitting the cringe or slapstick buttons, and actually dealt with some serious themes.
My one big dislike, and it they used twice in the plot... I mean, would this supposedly high-tech terminator cyborg really not be able to tell its alien quarry from the humans he was hiding among, and be fooled by someone dressing up in his hat, or later by everyone with bits of face paint? It was just a bit too weak - couldn't they have come up with something clever like a good old fashioned 'reverse the polarity of the neutron flow' home made device, using the (other) alien Doc's primative electricity rig (I mean, what was the point of that is it's not used in the story?), or ship, or something, to disrupt the cyborg's computer recognition... or perhaps they shoud have tricked him into getting drunk - I'd have thought that would be a good way to deal with a cyborg. In fact the whole thing could have revolved around the bar - we could have have had Amy doing the can-can, and Rory could have done, um, something. Anything.
If I had to re-write this story (a useful mental exercise in terms of playing with ideas and generally faffing around, so good Sunday fodder), I'd be tempted to have made the barrier surrounding the town a force-field set up by the alien Doc to protect himself, but with everyone thinking the cyborg controls it. Then our Doctor and accompanying Ponds, trapped inside with everyone else, could have uncovered the truth, and the alien Doc. The town would want to lynch him, and our Doctor could save him from that and then deliver him to the cyborg, or whatever. Not sure I liked the 'noble death' in suicide, think he should have tried to escape and got blown up by a booby-trap set by the cyborg, but anyway. And I wouldn't have kiled Issac, I mean he was like a good man. And after the cyborg accidentally shot Issac, why didn't he just try again whilst the Doc was just standing there hey?
But other than all that, it was fun, and better than last week although I doubt the ratings will reflect that. I think the season needs to really pick up from here until the half-season break.
More to the point, what's it all about? Me? Well no, not really. (OK, just a bit) But Who. Who? Doctor Who. What? No, not Doctor What, although he's here somewhere as well (or will be). Doctor Who, the typically British and uniquely odd BBC TV time-travelling series, which started way back in 1963 and is still going strong today. Blending the old and the new, aiming to bring you all the stuff you didn't know and even the stuff you didn't know you needed to know... and more! And me? A mad manic megalomaniac... with a dash of delusional paranoia, the ups and downs of a flip-flop, oh, and a constant headache...
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