Sunday, September 25, 2011

Doctor Who S06 E11 The God Complex

Now, I guess technically you COULD say this review is late, but really, the episode only just aired in Australia last night, so how was I supposed to see it before then? *cough* The real reason is I spent a week trying to work out how on earth I was supposed to deconstruct this episode. It was near-on perfect, and to break it down into sections in my normal 'the good, the bad, and the ugly' style would have done it a disservice. Head below the cut for a slightly different take on the episode than normal.

The second half of this season has picked up its game in a big big way. It's starting to sound like a broken record, but just as Night Terrors was better than Hitler, and The Girl Who Waited was better than Night Terrors, this is so far the best of the lot. By this trajectory the finale is going to be mind blowingly amazing (though we can't really hope for that). So why did I like it so damn much?

To start, it was a wonderful marriage of sci-fi & fantasy, and it felt like you could have just dropped David Tennant straight into it, and it wouldn't have been out of place in Season 3 (it seemed like a Martha kind of adventure. Well, possibly Rose. But definitely not Donna). There was an ensemble cast of reasonable size, but each person was given decent characterisation and didn't feel like background filler. The story was incredibly satisfying and the twist was a total kicker. The group are caught in some sort of alien hotel where each room contains a 'fear'. Clowns, weeping angels, abusive PE teachers, disapproving parents, etc. People eventually go mad and are picked off by the Big Bad, so the Doctor assumes it feeds off fear, and tells everyone to tap into whatever it is that keeps them strong and not let the fear consume them. The twist being, the monster doesn't actually feed on fear, it feeds on FAITH, so while the Doctor thought he was doing the right thing, he actually encouraged everyone to lean on their faith and royally screwed them all over. Oops. It was a wonderful concept, and led to the climax of the Doctor having to destroy Amy's faith in him to cut off the monster's food supply and ultimately defeat it. 'Amy Williams, it's time to stop waiting'. Man. I just about cheered and punched the air. Amy Pond, the girl who waited. Amy Williams, the girl who waits no more. YEAH.

I will isolate two sections of the episode to talk about (yes I know I said I wouldn't, shush. It's my review).

The Monster

Who doesn't love a minotaur, amirite? It was cool to have a villain that was almost weary and reluctant, and just being driven by instinct. I loved the roughness, and the little details in the character design. The tribal scarring, the purposeful grating of the horn on the hallway roof, intergalactic kilt (lol), and those jarring blue eyes.

Whatta beautiful beastie
I did love the whole 'What happens to a God when its followers no longer believe in it?' idea. Apparently they set themselves up in a floating space prison and steal Earthlings to eat! Who knew? The Tron-esque reveal at the end was a bit weird, but...whatever. I can forgive that.

Amy's *clap clap* OUTTA HERE!

Now, I'm not happy about this for the reason you might THINK (cause, c'mon, it's not like we're done with her for good. She'll be back. They'll both be back).

"Well, now. This is awkward. Er, here's a car. Now piss off."
The last ten minutes of this episode contained the most mature conversation they've had in two seasons, and some ACTUAL PROPER MATURE EMOTION! Who is this new Amy character? Why could we not have had this Amy character all along? Why did we have to wait for so long before she was turned into a tolerable human being? Their goodbye could be described as nothing other than very Eleven. So incredibly awkward. Charmingly awkward, but awkward none the less. I've watched the episode a few times now, but his silly little wave makes me laugh every time. Despite his disarming little mannerisms, Matt Smith's Doctor tells the whole story with his eyes.

My god, that FACE
He's leaving his friends behind to keep them safe, and he knows he's going off to meet his death. I mean, SHIT. The final shot of him in the TARDIS tells the story of overwhelming isolation, something we haven't seen the Doctor deal with for quite some time. It was a wonderful finish to an excellent episode.

The trailer for next week poses the question, 'What's cooler than a Cyberman?'

A Cyberman with a kickass gangster scar, that's what! Oh, and Craig's back. Everyone loves Craig. Good old Craig.

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