Yeah, it’s taken me a few days to get round to this post, partially because I started work today, partially because I needed time to wrap my head around the episode, and partially because I’m extremely lazy.
So. Yeah. It’d be mad for me not to start with the big reveal, as the whole episode is just aimed at the cliffhanger, and sod the plot in between. I’ll be honest, I saw it coming. The whole “only water in the forest” thing was a bit of a tip off, and when I found out Melody’s name, well. Obvious, weren’t it? But it still doesn’t explain why River’s always going on like she’s the Doctor’s wife (unless she just inherited her mother’s natural flirtiness) and frankly, I don’t see how Amy or Rory could possibly go back to travelling with the Doctor having a lovely time fighting aliens when they know that their daughter is out there somewhere. Now, I need to go back to the episodes with both River and Amy and see if River acted weirdly around her.
As for the rest of it, I’ll start with the good. The use of classic monsters was amazing. Commander Strax and Madame Vastra quickly established themselves as my favourite ever characters from their respective species, and the latter’s “Why do you put up with me?” followed by an enormous tongue was personally my favourite joke of the episode. We don’t get nearly enough lesbian Silurians and I for one am disappointed by that.
In fact what with two completely seperate gay couples, someone hero-worshipping the Doctor, and then getting gunned down in time for a weepy reunion, plus everyone getting shit-scared of the Doctor, I must say this was possibly the only Steven Moffat episode that reminded me of a Russell T Davies one. Which is not a bad thing at all, it’s just oddly discombobulating.
I enjoyed the Headless Monks as villains, and I’m sure Eyepatch Lady (who I refuse to call anything else) will be back and just as awesome as she was here. Considering Frances Barber only had a few scenes to establish herself properly, she was awesome. As for the big blue dude, why was he brought back? Not by Moffat, I mean by the Doctor? What purpose did he serve for the cause exactly?
Then there’s the regulars. Matt Smith brought out all the best sides of the Doctor, my favourite bits being his rant at Colonel Runaway, and his reaction to River’s reveal. Arthur Darvill finally got to act like a man and was brilliant at it. Rory has been needing to stand up for himself since his first appearance so it’s about bloody time. Although this is the third episode in row that he hasn’t died, so it’s looking increasingly likely that that was sloppy writing rather than my conspiracy theory. Boo.
And then there’s Karen Gillan. She’s stepped up her game so much this year, becoming a lot less shouty and obnoxious, and her moments with the baby were so incredibly sweet, making the flesh!Melody dissolving in her arms even more horrific. I really can’t explain how much I loved her in this episode, even with another “I love the Doctor, LOL JK, I love Rory” moment. I do love when she confirms it’s DEFFO Rory who she loves, but a new way to show it would be nice.
As for what wasn’t good, there wasn’t really much of a plot was there? The Doctor rounds up some mates, takes Amy and Melody back, Melody gets stolen again, River reveals herself. Not 50 mins worth of telly. But it completely was. I’m usually the first one to get annoyed at padding but this was such entertaining padding, I didn’t give a crap. I think it’s also important to understand that this is the first part of a two-parter, so you can’t expect a fully coherent story line straight away. Although Steven Moffat knew that, so should probs have done two seperate episodes joined by a cliffhanger rather than an actual two parter. Which might be what he has done. Oh. Is it September yet?
Questions still to be answered
- When exactly was Amy taken? “At some point before America” doesn’t cut it with me.
- When did the Doctor realise she was Flesh. I mean, I get he knew it wasn’t Amy, but how did he know it was Flesh specifically?
- Who does Eyepatch Lady work for, and why are they at war with the Doctor?
- Do the Silence work for them? Are they actually in charge of the whole thing?
- Are they the same person who blew up the TARDIS last year?
- How many times as River regenerated?
- Who kills the Doctor? Is it Melody, or someone just wearing the suit?
- Is it actually the Doctor? Could it be Flesh avatar?
- How are Rory and Amy going to react to River’s news?
- Why was River acting like it was so sad the minute the Doctor knew who she was?
- Why does she keep insinuating she’s the Doctor’s wife?
- Are the Silence involved with the ship in “The Lodger”?
- What was the Doctor up to when he dropped Amy and Rory off for a couple of months before the series started? Was that him figuring out the Flesh thing?
- How did the person in the astronaut suit end up in the sea in 2011?
- What were the Silence up to with Melody?
Sigh. Exhausting. Still, Torchwood starts in a few weeks. Yays!
Oh, and I want everyone to see this, the greatest video of all time: