Wednesday, September 28, 2011


And number one on the list of WHO characters we'd rather
not have seen returned.....
"You know when I was little like you I dreamt of the stars. Yeah. I think it's fair to say, in the language of your age, that I lived my dream. I owned the stage. Gave it a hundred and ten percent. I hope you have as much fun as I did, Alfie."

1) It's good that we've got Matt Smith left to his own devices for a while here...and I admit, I enjoy the conflicted way he insists he's not going to check out the Mystery of The Week while he's, you know, checking out the mystery of the week. It makes it very obvious that helping is ingrained in his nature no matter how isolated he wants to be.

2) I really don't think Craig--a character introduced in 'The Lodger' to give contrast to the sort of life the Doctor usually leads--was a rich enough character to warrant this second look, especially since now he's firmly in the companion mode. Yeah, James Cordon is still up to the task of being Craig, but there's this definite sense that his story was effectively done last time, and his presence hinders the tale rather than helps. This might be why, no matter how many times we've asked for it, we've never seen outstanding one-off characters like Sally Sparrow again...

That, or James Cordon hasn't been called up to Hollywood to appear as the secondary comedy relief in inconsequential movies yet.

3) Now, you see...this is how you handle returning villains. Since we haven't seen the Cybermen in full fetter in several seasons (stray stragglers like the one left to guard the Pandorica aside), there's a sense of excitement in seeing them again. Even if we are seeing them operating out of a mall.

4) I think it's telling concerning this episode that when we get a glimpse of Rory and Amy from afar at the 18 minute mark, I wished we would follow them for a bit.

5) Here's the thing--when we see Smith on his own for a bit, like when he's admitting how old he feels to Alfie, the show slowly wakes up. We get something we haven't gotten for a while in this leg of the season, namely a sense of what the Doctor is thinking about his position now and his coming end. Hell, Smith even does something with his face that makes you realize how old he actually is. I have to wonder if Moffat should have had the courage to let Smith go it alone for a while and not saddle him with a comedy sidekick and a baby.

6) God, the thousand yard stare on Matt Smith's face at times in this episode is truly heart-breaking.

Yep...good ol' fashioned nightmare fuel....
7) I do like the redesigned Cybermat. The problem with Cybermats in the past is that they never looked like much of a threat. But these guys do--not because of the rows of teeth, but the sparks that emerge from said rows of teeth.

8) so, ummm....the Cybermen died because they couldn't handle Craig's emotions for his son?

I'm sorry, that's a little...silly, innit?

9) Attention to detail--the Doctor had a stetson in episode one of this season, and now we know how he got it. It's The Moffat way!

Yep...still totally cute....
10) For a second there, I actually believed in Frances Barber's Madame Kovarian--and then Barber took a big healthy bite of scenery, thus disrupting all the atmosphere director Steve Hughes had built up in the scene. I really hope at least her phase of this story is over, because I never quite bought Kovarian as a serious threat due to Barber's over-the-topness.

In short....yet another uneven episode. What works in it does so firmly because of Matt Smith, and the presence of Craig truly didn't help.

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