Sorry Dwaggz: thought I'd replied to this one.
I was distinctly underwhelmed myself: unlike yourself, I thought Gambon hammed it up and overacted it in places. We had the star turn, because we had an opera singer in there we had to to have a warble, and the shark thing was just... depressing.
I know some have already said about Moffat ripping up the Time Lord Manual for this one and breaking a few established rules. Good for him, I say, though sadly for me it just was a bit meh, to the point where I lost interest halfway through.
For me, not as bad as the Kylie Xmas, but close.
BUT youngest Hobbit enjoyed it (14 and-a-half), which I think may say something about 'who' we're aiming this at now.
As for the new series: yes, the trailer looks good: but they often do at this stage. I reserve judgement for later...
I'm going with "Oh dear" as my rating for this episode. What sounded like a positively fun or even serious episode quickly dissolved into convoluted waffle and ridiculous plotting. After the absolutely stellar finale to the first half, we've come back on an almost offensively weak episode.
It seems to me that they can't stop screwing around with River Song. I think the revelation from the finale was very well executed, whereas what we saw today was just pants. It explains stuff, yeah, but it seemed convoluted. Apparently the daughter of a redhead and a brown-haired guy, both of whom are white and Scottish, will grow up to be of black descent and have an English accent, despite living in Scotland. Right. She will also be part time-lord, despite being the product of two humans. See where I'm going with this? I'm just waiting for her arms to turn into laser cannons at this point.
The acting was fairly average, although I felt Matt Smith was pretty good in this episode, but sadly I really didn't think much of Alex Kingston this time. The weird robot thing was a bit daft, too. I found it bizarre that such a high tech piece of equipment moves in a less human manner than a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot. The plot was, initially, absolutely horrific though. It became clear that it was a vehicle to expand on River Song, so I found the addition of Nazis, Hitler et al to be completely pointless, perhaps even just done to add controversy to the start of the series to drum up attention.
I found a plothole, too. The robot magically conjours up a motorbike after Rory nabs the only one around. Weird.
Overall, I think it was a terrible start to the second half of the series, and I honestly wonder how many kids - who are the target audience, after all - kept up with the plotline.
I agree that River Song being part Time Lord just because she was born in the TARDIS is oddball, though it's not totally against canon (the suggestion that ordinary Gallifreyans - who aren't born being able to regeneate - become Time Lords after exposure to the Vortex as a child has been around for a while).Apparently the daughter of a redhead and a brown-haired guy, both of whom are white and Scottish, will grow up to be of black descent and have an English accent, despite living in Scotland. Right. She will also be part time-lord, despite being the product of two humans.
However, in fairness only Amy is Scottish. Rory is English and the town we see them living in throughout the series is in Gloucestershire. The first incarnation of Melody, the little girl we see in the 1960s two-parter, does look like a cross between Amy and Rory, so that's fine. Obviously through regeneration she can look like whatever she wants to look like (or something else at random), so when she regenerated into Mels (who is probably her third incarnation, going by the dates, or second if the Silence had the power to move her through time as well) it doesn't matter at all if she looks white or black or whatever. That - at the very least - appears to have been thought through.
The rest of the episode was pretty much a mess, though, despite some nice ideas (such as bigging up Hitler and then immediately sidelining him). I am particularly glad that they didn't render the 1991 New Adventures novel Timewyrm: Exodus non-canon, as that book set up the Doctor as Hitler's shadowy, mysterious advisor who initially helps his rise to power (to the Doctor's companion's disgust) and then brings about his downfall during WWII. That was a very powerful and quite adult SF novel in which time travel is used intelligently (rather than gimmickly, like it has been recently) to advance the plot. Totally excellent, if you can find a copy
Holy carp, that was pretty damned freaky. Attack of the wooden sex-changing, pale, massive-headed dolls. Weird. I think it was a much better episode than last week's, but compared to some of the ones from the first half, and Series 5, it wasn't all that great. Watchable, yes. Enjoyable? A little.
I think it was an episode filled with little flaws, rather than anything huge. The bulbs on the all the lights, and the 'switches'? Complete bunk. If you think about the scales for a moment, it doesn't make any sense at all. Even an LED would be too big for those candles, and would shine much brighter. The way Rory blocked the door also made little sense, as the dolls struggled to move the door when blocked by something perhaps half the weight of Rory & Amy combined. The Doctor also seemed to completely forget that Amy was missing at the end. Heck, even the doorknob bit was a bit weird. I've not seen a dollhouse without handles on the doors, and I've not seen any with big metal locks on 'em like that.
I think the plot was very strange, too. I can't decide if I'd have enjoyed it more if it was a straight-out monster tale, rather than a 'trapped alien' one. The Doctor seemed very knowledgeable about those kinds of aliens all of a sudden, and surely he would have picked up on things a lot sooner? It was also filled with a lot of pointless trash to fill time, rather than giving the episode a more satisfactory ending. There was the scene with the landlord in the house with his dog, Rory & Amy added very little with their parts and I guess I felt like the writer tried to do too much in one episode.
The old dear in the bins at the end was funny, though.
Edit: Forgot to mention I felt the soundtrack was highly evocative of Coraline
Last edited by Loerwyn; September 4th, 2011 at 08:53 AM.
While this season has looked a lot better than previous seasons, the look of the past episode really stood out. The lighting, the blocking, it all worked perfectly with the spooky theme. I want to watch it again for the atmosphere alone.
Whenever we saw George's room pre-Doctor, he had various lights on, there was light coming through the window and his door was slightly ajar, letting light in. Yet whenever we saw him shine the torch, it was as if he was shining it into a much darker room. That grated with me a little.
Used to be called, 'The X-Files Issue', if I remember right.Yet whenever we saw him shine the torch, it was as if he was shining it into a much darker room.
Better episode for me, though rather predictable. We now seem to be in the era of claiming an episode as 'this season's xxxxxx', for this was 'this season's Empty Child'.
Interestingly not a Moffat episode, whose output has deteriorated horrendously for me. I said a couple of seasons ago, when Russell T went, to have faith in the writing and the writer. Can safely say I don't have that these days.
Opinion in the Hobbit household, whose thoughts are probably more relevant than mine these days, was that it was better than Episode 1. (Episode 1 got the reaction of.... "Wow, that was cr*p.")
Series 6 Episode 10/Series 6.5 Episode 3
Huh. I think it was an episode with a nice amount of potential, but it feels like nothing happened until the last 10-20 minutes, and then it went into overdrive. It was such a waste of the budget on what amounted to an emotional piece.
That said, the last half was good. It was very interesting to spin things that way, and it worked fairly well. The 'enemies' were well thought out, and it was good that they weren't written to heal all (Unlike the feline-esque nurses/sisters from Tennant-era 'Who) and would actually kill Rory or Amy if they were in contact with them. The removal of the Doctor to a near-back seat role was also fairly good as it shows that he can't solve everything.
The big bit, of course, was Rory's choice. I personally felt any debate about the issue was completely pointless and served to be filler material (Does Rory go for the oddly alive and sane, but badly made-up and angry Old Amy, or does he save the 'Young' Amy like the Doctor was saying?). Whilst it was well executed and quite emotional, it seemed to me to be a very easy choice to make.
Hardly a great episode in most ways, though. The visuals were huge and completely pointless, the soundtrack seemed mostly pieces from Series 5, and the choreography for Amy with those weapons was absolutely abysmal. If she'd been fighting like that for 30+ years, her wrists would be in no fighting condition at all. Her clothes also seemed to be in very good condition for being so old and well-worn. Amy seemed to be out for ages after being touched by the weird robot, but Rory was up in seconds. Whoopsie.
I think that episode itself shows that Amy and Rory won't be in it much longer. I think the emotional toll it'd be taking on Rory alone (Dying, saving Amy billions of time, seeing her turn old, yadda yadda) would mean he's close to breaking point. Amy herself would also be fairly stressed and worn thin, so I really think they're going to cut them both soon. As fun as having two companions has been, I think it's affecting the balance of the show and leading us into the same situations again and again and again.
I shall wear a bow tie and mince around rather oddly for the review of that episode.
Well! I think I was quite right last week with my prediction. As I thought, the Doctor is seeing that it's way too much for Rory and Amy and that taking them around endangers them a lot more than he ever intended. The way he basically just cut them off was very well done, I felt, and it showed that he's realising just how dangerous he is to other people, not that it'll stop him getting another companion.
As for the actual episode, it was well done and a very good twist on the minotaur myth. Wert pointed out on Twitter that it was a reused monster, but to many people I'm sure it's something new (As it was to me) or at least refreshing. I wasn't sure about its death, though. Was it dying anyway and the episode's events were basically an act of desperation, or did the Doctor shattering Amy's faith effectively kill the monster?
The acting was pretty top notch. The lady who played Rita was very good, the main trifecta worked as well as usual, and that boy was mostly good. I felt David Walliams was just David Walliams in a mask, though, so I didn't think much of his performance (Not that I ever do). As a group they all worked, however, so that helped the episode.
Overall I felt it was the strongest episode this half-series, and probably one of the stronger ones of series six.
As for next week? Oh boy, James Corden. What grave sin have I committed this time? Aside from that... thing, it looks like next week's episode might be good. The Doctor is flying solo again, and it looks like it might be a fairly typical reboot episode in that things will go boom, people will run and stuff will be "exciting".
Two more to go, ladies and gentlealiens. Two more.
It was mentioned as a variant of the Horns of Nimon monster, one from the Tom Baker series.Wert pointed out on Twitter that it was a reused monster,
Young Hobbit thought this was another better one, though he misses the Daleks.
James Cordin? Yawn..... Gavin and Stacey meet the Cybermen?
Here's an interesting aside ahead of Saturday's episode. Is Doctor Who too complicated?
I'm personally on the side of yes, but in the way that it's a complete mess and really needs tidying up. Too many pointless, convoluted stories. Too much run up with too little reward. Too much emphasis on overly expensive CGI backdrops and too little decent plotting. The best episodes for me have been the ones most disconnected from the overarching plotlines, i.e. Neil Gaiman's episode as a prime example. That was the single best episode of this series so far, followed by the closing episode to the first half of the series (A Good Man Goes to War), at least until it went and turned River Song into Amy & Rory's child.
I really want this Silence/River Song/Doctor Is Gonna Die Lol plotline rubbish to end. Why did they go and make River the daughter of Amy and Rory? Whyyyyy? And not to mention that ridiculous younger not-quite-River in that abysmal series re-opener. The Doctor clearly doesn't actually die because, well, he's the Doctor. The Silence is something I don't care about, and something that seems to have half been forgotten, and it's just getting dull now.
The writers and production team really need to get things in order. It's just getting to darned silly.
We are only up to episode 11 in Oz so I'm being careful to avoid spoilers in this thread. (I know the thread is clearly marked spoilers, but maybe for those of us who are behind, spoiler tags can be used?) I'm still clearly going against the curve here, but I'm really enjoying part 2 of Season 6 - not a weak episode yet in my opinion, and one of the best episodes I've ever seen with "The Girl Who Waited". Unlike the majority of people here, I'm an Amy Pond fan and that episode hit all the right buttons for me with its humour, pathos and action. "Night Terrors" was another very strong Mark Gatiss episode and a poignant story about acceptance and a parent's love. "Let's Kill Hitler" was lots of fun, but probably me least favourite episode of part 2 so far. Last night's episode "The God Complex" had an interesting premise and moved the overall story arc in a nice direction. The Minotaur was pretty kick-arse too; loved the detail on the scar runes over his skin. So, yeah, I'm unashamedly more enthusiastic than the rest of you.