Last week, I had to be unpleasant about a particularly below average episode of the Who. This did not please, but it was necessary for it to learn it’s lesson not to be so shit. And aren’t we glad I did that now?
Last week, everyone seemed to think I didn’t want a stand alone episode, because I compared last week’s pirate-fest unfavourably to the amazing opening two parter. That was not right. I completely wanted a standalone, after the mind-fuckery of the first two, I just wanted a GOOD one, something I didn’t get last week but completely got this week.
And it really was good, wasn’t it? Everything was completely amazing. The acting, the guest stars, the jokes, the emotion, the fan-pleasing, the sets, the music, just everything, This has honestly gone down as one of my favourite stories of all time.
So let’s start with the acting, and therefore, one Suranne Jones. I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to describe her as possibly the best guest star in the history of Doctor Who. Bringing the TARDIS to life was a fairly thankless role, on the face of it, because how could you get it right? But she did it. LIKE A BOSS. She brought just the right amount of madness, sweetness, sexiness, and seriousness to it, and never once seemed smug or annoying. As well as that, but she brought out the best in Matt Smith too, who really stepped up to the challenge after being a smidge too camp for me last week. And let’s face it, if you’re too camp for me, you’re pretty fucking camp.
Their relationship together was exactly was it should be, and the TARDIS’s reaction to Amy and Rory was just right too, i.e. slightly unsure of them or their names, but still wanted to protect them. Especially since she apparently fancies Rory (amazing).
Amy and Rory’s trek around the TARDIS interior was also full of win, from the mad old Rory, to the scribblings of “KILL” “DIE” and “AMY” all over the corridor walls, to the old TARDIS console room. One minor quibble would be the “death” of Rory AGAIN. Part of me thinks it’s just annoying, lazy writing, but I now have a new theory. What if after Amy brought him back, the universe totes doesn’t want Rory around? Amy’s parents didn’t actually die, they were just deleted by the crack, and the Doctor’s “death” was all a bit wibbly-wobbly, but Rory was just plain killed. What if that was supposed to happen, and fate is pretty pissed off that it didn’t, and is determined to off Rory? Plus that would explain the whole Amy pregnant/not pregnant thing. Since the baby was conceived after Rory had “died”. Might be complete bollocks, but it sounds good doesn’t it?
The rather unsung guest stars were also mega, Auntie and Uncle bringing just the right amount of creepiness and eccentricity, but also managing to make you empathise with them. Plus, Nephew was the single best use of any returing alien, with his motivations making utter sense to anyone who had ever encountered an Ood before.
Then there’s the baddie “House” voiced by the actual Michael Sheen of “pretending to be Tony Blair all the time” fame. A slightly generic scary voice, but got the job done, and was perfect for an episode that didn’t really need an especially memorable villain. Anyway, his treatment of Amy and Rory, plus the hints of his past murders were more than enough to make him stand out somewhat, and his defeat at the “hands” of the TARDIS was the perfect resolution. Aside maybe from the single most heartbreaking use of the word “hello” I have literally ever heard. I must say, I got rather emotional around then.
I normally only do this for my Glee posts, but there were so many amazing quotes, I have to list them:
“Why am I a thief? What have I stolen?””Me. You are going to steal me. You have stolen me. You are stealing me. Oh! Tenses are difficult, aren’t they?” – The Doctor and Idris
“Biting’s excellent! It’s like kissing. Only there’s a winner.” – Idris
“Did you wish really hard?” – Amy’s reaction to Idris
“You need fun, don’t you? That’s what Auntie and Uncle were for, wasn’t it? Someone to make suffer. I had a PE teacher just like you.” – Rory about House
“Valley of half-eaten TARDISs. You thinking what I’m thinking?”
“I’m thinking all of my sisters are dead. That they were devoured. And that we are looking at their corpses.”
“Ah. Sorry, no. I wasn’t thinking that.” – The Doctor and Idris
“The only water in the forest is the river.” – Rory/Idris
“Doctor, this time could we lose the bunkbeds?” – Amy about her sleeping arrangements
Also, I completely loved Amy’s “Come on!” to being told that she was breathing in Nephew. Not really the line itself just the way Karen Gillan said it.
One final thing: after Russell T Davies stepped down as showrunner, it was always just assumed that Steven Moffat should take over. And I’ve been thinking that there isn’t anyone really obvious to take over from the Grand Moff when he leaves. Well, I think we’ve just found him. The campaign for a Giaman run Doctor Who starts here!