19 September 2011

Doctor Who - God Complex

There will be spoilers.

Emotional Response
So this was an intriguing episode, not really scary though, which I think was meant to be the idea.
The creepy hotel with the fears in rooms was a nice concept, and the mystery of what's going on and why certainly kept me watching. Tailoring each room for a different person makes a lot of sense, but as there's no room with my fear in I wasn't afraid. We knew there would be scary-thing behind each door, so none of it actually was scary.

The start was funny, especially Rory's "we're nice" and the Doctor's reaction to the chair leg.

The Doctor likes Rita cos she's smart, she's probably doomed. Though goodness knows it's funny that he fires Amy because Rita's smarter, Amy hasn't been too bright recently. Then he suggests Rita should come with him, she's SO doomed, she might as well be wearing a red shirt. Her death was sad and all, but so predictable that the emotion was lost.
It was sad that other characters kept dying too, but it was obviously going to be that kind of episode, so it wasn't that sad. I mean the Doctor said "No one else dies." At that point all the non-recurring characters were setting off the doom-o-meter. I can understand trying to tug on our heartstrings by killing the likeable characters, but if that's obviously going to happen we won't put much effort into liking them.

Plenty of that Who-staple running around corridors. Not sure how they kept finding each other and the dummy room again though.

The ending was kinda confusing, I didn't really get much idea of who built the place and locked the Minotaur up and how people got there. Also seems that if the Minotaur didn't want to feed off people it should have been able to just stop and die. I don't know. It was just 'oh look a spaceship, that was why mumblemumblemumble'.

I'm also not quite sure what's happening with Amy and Rory and the Doctor at the end. Obviously Rory's glad to get back to normal life, and he gets a great car, so win for him (also he hasn't died in ages, so really he's doing pretty well). Amy -who has been a bit of a flight risk when it comes to normality- is obviously a bit freaked by the Doctor leaving. Not sure about the Doctor, though. It feels like a build up to something (which it almost certainly is) but I don't get the internal reasons why.
I did like that their front door was TARDIS-coloured.

Intellectual Response
So Room 101 meets Greek Mythology - except there wasn't really enough Greek Mythology. I was waiting for references to Theseus, or Ariadne, or string, or something, but they didn't come so that was kinda distracting. I mean the whole hotel-is-a-labyrinth thing is fine and fits the theme, but I was expecting more (then again I suspect that's just me).
I'm glad they called the creature a Minotaur, rather than the Doctor coming up with some fancy alien name for it that means nothing to us (like with the Carrionites in the Shakespeare episode a few series ago). Of course it did look fairly alien and not much like a man with a bull head, but sometimes a silly alien word is just the Doctor showing off and the writers wanting to try and stick (loosely) to SF.

Rita was a great character and you can see why the Doctor liked her, I liked her and thought her presence was valuable - but so clearly dooming her to death (however dignified) meant I didn't want to invest in her. New Who has gotten a bit too comfortable in it's tropes and it really spoils the suspense.

The main creepiness wasn't the rooms but the way the people who were praising him started speaking. Creepy, death-culty zeal sends shivers down the spine. Not quite sure why fears or bad dreams (and which was it, because those aren't necessarily the same) are related to people's faith? I mean it seems as though there would be other ways to summon people's faith than scaring them, but possibly I missed something, or maybe it's a function of the broken holodeck.

If the TARDIS is supposed to translate alien languages how come only the Doctor can understand the minotaur? I mean the Doctor translates all the plot relevant stuff so I'm not sure I see the point in hiding it's speech. I guess it was a way of keeping the minotaur more animalistic.

The Doctor calling her Amy Williams at the end seems like he's giving up claim to her, which is a bit problematic. I guess it's because he calls her Pond normally and he's distancing himself. I can't see there being any ownership issues from Rory, he's not the sort.
I can see why the Doctor's distancing himself, we've had two episodes in a row showing the bad side of Amy's faith in him, but I have no idea what he intends to do next.

Amy mentions her daughter, which was a confusing surprise. So she acknowledges River (and Mels/Melody?) as her daughter, but doesn't have any actual concern about her. It's a bit bad really. I mean she doesn't ask the Doctor to look for her, just to see if he runs into her, like it's all a bit of a joke. After total silence on the subject this seems a bit flippant.

The episode was a good one, although I don't think it hit all the beats it was aiming for. I liked the idea thought didn't feel as moved as I would like. Found the end a bit confusing.

When are we getting back to whatever it is that we've been ignoring/forgetting about for the last few weeks?
I have loose plot threads going back a year and I'm becoming increasingly worried that there are too many gaps to fill. I like having standalone episodes, but ignoring great flapping loose ends and canyon-like gaps just makes the characters seem a bit stupid, especially when there's nothing stopping them investigating.

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