Monday, September 19, 2011

Doctor Who Review: The God Complex

The God Complex. Considering what happens at the end of the episode, this one was really, really disappointing.

The problem really isn't the episode in and of itself. It's a perfectly fine but mediocre episode. There's nothing wrong with mediocre episodes. They have to happen eventually, even in a show that's been hitting it out of the park as much as Doctor Who has. The problem is that a very, very seemingly important thing happens at the end of the episode, and given the story arc we're in, it really changes everything about the show... and you wind up not caring nearly as much as you should.

Let's just recap what's going on. There's this guy:

On the DVD edition, George Lucas is going to dub in the minotaur screaming "NOOOOOOO..."

He's a minotaur, kinda. Later we find out he's very old, way older than the Doctor. He's been in his Labyrinth a long time, his "labyrinth" being a kind of holodeck version of an 80's American hotel with a seemingly infinite amount of rooms, each one containing somebody's personal scariest fear, such as:

Yes, some people shit themselves over clowns. I can understand that. I personally never was bothered by clowns, until working for a cluster of radio stations in Dallas. We'd changed formats of one of the stations to a Regional Mexican music channel, which meant to celebrate, we had an authentic (right) Mariachi band wandering the halls of the station playing La Cucaracha or some such stuff as loud as they could, and also wandering... or rather, stumbling... along behind them was a drunken Mexican clown.

Seriously, I could smell the tequila on him when I got off the elevator. They joined the mid-day guy in the on-air studio (which was adjacent to mine... they shared a window between them), and he did absolutely nothing but stand there, swaying and half-asleep, seemingly only kept on his feet by his handful of helium balloons.

Anyway, so each room is filled with a personalized horror for a future or current guest. Long story short, the Doctor finds other guests, hey what, I'll rescue you, bally ho the TARDIS has gone missing, oh did we mention the corridors change and you can't find an exit, and soon everybody starts dying.

This is me watching the episode.

After one particularly frustrating death for the Doctor, a Muslim nurse/medical student/something (I've not watched the episode twice so I can't remember) who was potential Companion material, the Doctor realizes that the creature isn't feeding on fear, it's feeding on faith, oh dear, Amy has too much faith in the doctor so she falls under the creature's spell, which is eventually broken when the Doctor admits he's not all that and a plate of chips after all, boom the monster is dying, everybody goes home.

Including Rory and Amy. Seems the good Doctor is scared that Amy might die during one of his adventures and he's eager to shove her and her husband out the door so they can get on with their life together. As a going away present he seemingly has acquired a blue flat for them (with TARDIS-blue door even) and a red Jaguar for Rory, which he eagerly accepts. He explains himself to Amy and then takes off, alone.

First off... really? NOW? This is the adventure that makes him say, "Whoa, I better stop while they're still alive!" NOT losing Amy in an alternate time stream and then having to kill her future self? Not fucking up their chance at parenthood by losing their baby so that they grow up together instead of raise her? Not Amy being held prisoner for HOW long while PREGNANT and replaced by a replicate? He kicks them out after this one and they don't get all up in his grill about it?

And the whole Amy's stolen baby storyline isn't even resolved yet. Really? That's how they want to end it?

We know they'll at least be back in the final episode, to answer the question about who shoots the Doctor at Lake Silencio (I still think Amy does... maybe even Future Amy... we never really saw her die, after all). But even if they are back in the TARDIS after next week's comedy relief return of Craig Owen (the lodger from the episode The Lodger), I still think it was a weak point to kick them out.

Mediocore episode. Big ending whose emotional impact was kind of quelled by it. Too bad.

Next week:

Closing Time!

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