If you include the Christmas episode (and don’t include Sarah Jane Adventures) then this is the half way point of Matt Smith’s first year. So what’s going on with last night’s episode? Again, spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen it.
There was a riot on the tweets of London tonight as the BBC only made this available in HD on their iPlayer for the first five hours which meant no one without a 4MB service could see it, and it also knocked out the Wii iPlayer channel too.
1. Did You Know This Is by The Guy Who Created Men Behaving Badly And The Reggie Perrin Remake Both Starring Martin Clunes?
However, don’t worry, he also wrote the quite excellent Dylan Moran and by Charlotte Coleman series How Do You Want Me? so don’t judge him too harshly. Also Martin Clunes was in Doctor Who in his very first acting performance – and had been approached to play David Morrissey’s role in The Next Doctor.
Any anyway, this was a tip top episode.
2. Oh Look, She’s Got One In The Oven.
And she’s pregnant too! Lots of good jokes in this one from the Doctor’s lack of knowedge of human reproductive biology to the “elephant in the room”. And I don’t think the nine month pregnant Amy Pond will have put anyone off. Certainly not the kind of people who wear this.
3. Fetch Me A Cold One?
A Cold Star, burning ice, making the orbiting TARDIS freezing, especially when they open the door? You know, as opposed to the Absolute Zero of space? But building a generator out of a bottle opener, a mug and an egg whisk was very “I can save the universe using a kettle and some string!” And an icey TARDIS does look very pretty indeed.
4. Get Your Fairytale On.
This is probably the most explicit Fairytale episode to date, made all the more impressive by not having people stand around saying “this is so fairytale” as usual. Monsters hiding inside old people, dream states, unsure which is reality, a life-or-death puzzle to be solved, everything resolved as it being a dream – or indeed two dreams. Will Karen Gillan turn out to be made of gingerbread? And lots of episodes have freaky stuff with eyes or teeth, a fairytale trope… this has eyes coming out of teeth!
5. Don’t You Know What Happens When A Woman Gets A Man To Cut His Hair?
As with Samson and Delilah, Samson loses all his strength… then turns into a pillar of salt. No, wait, that last bit was Job’s wife. Still, you know…
6. Suicide As A Viable Choice For A Child’s Role Model
Yeah, dream or not, that was a bit of a toughie. Especially coupled with the Doctor’s earlier comment, “what do you do around here to stave off the self-harm?”, the realisation that Amy is nine months pregnant when she aims for the house in her van, throw in beating up old age pensioners and we’ve got a show! And anyway if Amy remembers how she died, why doesn’t Rory?
7. I Sometimes Wonder If Sally Sparrow Will Make A Revisit, What With All This Timey-Wimey Business
Then I see the press call in Cannes for Carey Mulligan over Wall Street 2. Not gonna happen.
8. Possible Fan Wank Over The Dream Lord
Cos he’s dark aspects of The Doctor in his elevnth incarnation – The Valeyard was an evil version of the Doctor somewhere between his twelfth and thirteenth incarnation… is this the beginning of that? Good to see Dobby The House Elf used in such a creepy way though. Coming on to Amy like that? All very nasty. But, in the end, all for the good. Amy was stuck, and the Dream Lord made her realise what was imnportant to her and make a choice. Something the Doctor seemed unable to help her with – indeed he was making it worse.
9. Has There Ever Been A Better “And They Woke Up And It Was All A Dream Ending?”
I mean this is the kind of thing that Russell T Davies hated – he removed dream sequences from scripts. If anything marks the difference between Moffat and Davies eras, it’s this episode. This is just one that’s done well. Far from making everything not have any bearing on anything, a simply reset button, this does anything but, permanently concreting Amy and Rory as a couple, and pushing Amy away from the Doctor.
And of course there were all sorts of flubs – the unlikelihood of Amy as an expectant mother committing suicide even if Rory has died, the Doctor falling for the existence of a Cold Star, Rory’s cut hair suddenly straightening out, blah blah blah – and the dream world explanation is a catch all for all that. But I did love the use of birdsong and snow in the alternate worlds. Very nice indeed.
But also Chris Cyberwoman Chibnall… will he rise to the occasion as Simon Nye has?