Here there be spoilers, not even going to attempt to avoid them. If you haven’t watched it yet then DON’T READ THIS. Go watch it and come back. The spoilers WILL RUIN YOUR GOOD TIME. It’s a Grand Moff episode after all. The first paragraph is just synopsis and will be fine, but the rest and probably any comments spoiler spoiler spoiler.
When the Doctor is kidnapped by his oldest foe, he is forced on an impossible mission – to a place even the Daleks are too terrified to enter.
Synopsis wasn’t that long really. I’m dragging this out so that little box on Facebook that says what the article has in it doesn’t have anything dodgy in it. That’ll do, geronimo!
I had a couple of issues coming in to this, three actually but one I won’t get to for a wee bit. First off, The Doctor has just faked his death. Everyone thinks he’s dead but in the trailers he’s surrounded by Daleks. I figured they’d just decided that was a bad idea, thrown it away, and everyone either knew he was alive or would soon. Secondly, the end of Pond Life. What’s gone wrong with Amy and Rory?! The trailers make it look like everything is just peachy! The third was a total surprise. Anyway, I should have remembered I was dealing with a guy that makes Loki look like a straight shooter but bizarrely can also be trusted to explain everything eventually and make you feel stupid. I’ll be watching the episode for the second time and writing down thoughts. I also have wine. Hopefully this won’t get too lengthy.
First bit is addressed right away. His death IS faked but like anyone else as high profile as The Doctor rumours abound that it’s bull. Good. I also thought Skaro was either destroyed or time locked, but did a check and it’s not. I’m only up to season 9 of the old stuff so I’m no expert. I think this is new though, human looking Daleks? That’s a bit worrying, means ANYONE can be a Dalek. Almost up there with them being able to fly!
Then they get to the second issue, nice quick work here. They’re divorced, just as we get there. Why isn’t known yet but they’re on the outs. That I’ll get to when the episode does. So far Eleven has been pretty serious, a change from the normal whackyness. And it’s some fine work throughout by Smith, even if he DOES sound like Eddie Izzard at times.
Here’s another thing, last time I checked the Daleks had an Emperor or other supreme leader. Where is this Parliamentary democracy stuff coming from?! Ah well…
Lengthy opener there. Is that new? I have trouble remembering and I’m biased by the fact that I’m sure things are being taylored for the yanks. New opening possibly, kept the theme the same but possibly fancier graphics. I only say this as I HEARD there was a new one. It’s pretty but not my favourite version of the theme. Used to it now and like it though.
Then, a vision. A confusing as hell vision. That absolute stunner is Jenna Louise Coleman. She’ll be replacing the Ponds. She also isn’t supposed to be in it until Christmas. I’ve been worried about her, she doesn’t look good in stills at all IMHO. I have fallen slightly in love over the course of this episode. She’s gorgeous, rediculously smart and fiesty as hell in a non annoying way. Because she’s so smart it could have gone the way of a very annoying girl called Vicky who was assistant to….Two I think for a while. Maybe One. AND if not dealt with correctly it could go a bit wrong with overwhelming companion syndrome. Assuming she’s like she is in this episode, I’ll address that at the end. There’s a big clue btw, that view screen. She’s meant to be on her own ship after all isn’t she? I didn’t twig at all though.
I’m going to miss Rory. He brings some great levity to the show, he’s brave and honourable. Amy can be a bit patchy at times, I’ll miss her too, but I’ll miss Rory more.
Why is the Doctor so surprised that the Daleks call him The Predator as well? He KNOWS he has a bunch of nick names, he KNOWS what he’s done to them over the years (not saying it’s not justified but his darkest moments have been against or down to Daleks). There’s also no logical reason beyond “It’s Rory and things tend to go wrong for him” for the beam to stick him way further down than The Doctor and Amy. Think a lot of this may end up being questions and nit picks!
I’m a bit slow, I thought this guy was just mental. See what I mean about ANYONE though? And ZOMBIE Dalek drones? Bloody hell!
I wish they’d never had the raggedy man nickname, that’s where a lot of her dodgy moments come from. She’s a muppet though, he’s the Doctor, there’s not much he can’t fix.
The first truly shit yourself moment. We know what’s coming, Rory doesn’t apparently cause he’s Rory. Arthur Darvill for Indiana Jones! Like I said I’m gonna miss him most and part of me wants things to fall back apart with Amy and for him to end up with Oswin. But not really. Also, I call dibs. That guy from Game of Thrones can get stuffed.
“Hang on to scared, scared isn’t Dalek”. Yes it is, it’s why you’re on the planet! Another little clue from the Moff here, only if you know what’s happening though. Glorious bastard.
Brilliant Doctor moment here. “How are you going to do that? You’re a tricycle with a roof”. And another moment proving why he shouldn’t be surprised at the nickname. The Doctor wouldn’t kill 20 of his enemies and then be a bit proud if it was pretty much anyone else. Part of this is being alone for a while, but this is where the raging Doctor comes from. Part of what attracted me to the show. Another Scottish dig too, but I made it myself before they did. She’s an Inverness bird, no surprise.
I didn’t notice explodey wodey the first time, nice. Ten would have had a mini rant at the 4 second line though.
NOW, we get to the reason why the Ponds are on the rocks. Amy is an idiot. I know because, at least partly, I’ve been Rory in this situation. I’d love to have a daughter some day but it’s not the end of the world if I can’t because the woman I love (no one right now) can’t have one or doesn’t want one/more. Rory really doesn’t care Amy, you silly lassie. What you did was noble and all but unnecessary. The Doctor proves his genius though, get them in a situation where they have to confront each other so they’ll address it. They will have before, but the life and death situation will help. I assume because the show is well written that it won’t be perfect right off or anything BUT they’re back on the right road.
AND problem that everyone will know the Doctor is back, sorted. Hit them with the old Men in Black brain wipe. Problem is that the Daleks probably won’t be held back now. Bonus is we’ll see an excellent battle at some point as he’ll have to stop them.
Then, the true genius of this episode and the biggest question that’s left over. Oswin is a Dalek, she just thinks she’s a girl. The whole ship thing is inside her mind. Every night they try and break in, her humanity is holding off the Dalek aspect. It’s fucking BRILLIANT. And leads to an amazing Dalek performance. I love the Daleks, but when they break the standard Dalek situation I love it more. Two has a story, the last Dalek one for a few years, where some of them get human type emotions and end up spinning around to play a game called dizzy dizzy Daleks. It’s adorable and a bit creepy when you have some Daleks acting like kids that want to play. I teared up a bit on this one though, that last wailed exterminate is heart breaking.
But how the fuck will she be a companion?! THAT Oswin is dead now, we don’t really do alternative dimension malarky in Doctor Who. He can pluck her from earlier in her time line but that’s a big assed paradox. I trust Moff, but I have NO ideas at all.
Christ, second time in a row and that along with the Ponds has me choked up. I’m a big girl.
And as brilliant as it is that they don’t know who he is, hearing Doctor Who in the show bothers me a bit and probably always will. As long as people aren’t calling him it it’s fine though. That only happened once and was a big fuck up.
SO, I’m really happy The Doctor is back. It was a fantastic episode, left a lot of questions but ones that will be answered eventually. Although they seem to have forgotten that Amy needs fixed. Bit of a Star Trek “everything is fine at the end” moment unless she keeps the wrist band on forever. Everyone did some stellar work here. Matt played serious very well, which I’m glad of as I expect quite a lot of serious moments this season. I do like his Doctor, I know many don’t. Karen had one or two minor bum moments but was generally great. Arthur is great, pretty much always. Jenna Louise Coleman, I don’t know how they’ll do it but I can’t wait for you to be travelling in the TARDIS. You are a vision and a fantastic actress. This is one of those rare times where THAT GUEST STAR that we all really loved will be back, unlike Sally Sparrow or the Doctor’s Daughter. And a special shout out to Nicholas Briggs. Who? The guy who voices the Daleks. You did a hell of a job in this mate, all over the joint really but particularly with the Oswin scene at the end.
If the rest of the season is like this I’ll be a happy boy. I’m at Jocktoberfest next week so won’t see the dinosaur space ship one until the Sunday. From what I can gather we only get a paltry 5 episodes before a break then Christmas? Could be wrong. 5 Ponds, maybe there will be a Doctor only one or two. No matter what it’ll never be enough I suppose. Unless we go back to the first two Doctors format and have 40 odd episodes a season. 20 minutes long, but can you imagine how awesome that would be NOW?! Ah well…