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Posts Tagged ‘The God Complex’

I wonder. I wonder, I wonder, I wonder. Hmmm. The time for my wonderings to be aired will come later, I think. Anyway, I didn’t find The God Complex quite as good as The Girl Who Waited, but on the whole it seemed to me to be a fairly effective episode. The surreal Sapphire & Steely atmosphere was quite appealing, for one thing, and there were some very well written and performed moments along the way. (And I think it is well worth mentioning just how consistently excellent Arthur Darvill has been this year, in what’s by far the least showy of the three lead roles.)

On the other hand, we’re talking about the story of an alien minotaur (continuity name-check duly noted, guys, but you needn’t have bothered) living in a (malfunctioning) fake hotel conjuring the nightmares of random victims in order to evoke their faith so it can… well, come on, did this story originate as a bet between Moffat and Toby Whithouse? Because it certainly felt like it. I’m not saying it’s actually a bad story, but the demands of the plot rendered it rather mechanical – there didn’t seem to be one detail or character that wasn’t there to advance the storyline, or a single moment that was really surprising (for instance, the Doctor does have a room with his worst nightmare in it, but we never actually see what’s in it). I expect some people would consider this good writing, but I really missed the extra coating of superfluous quirk and counternarrative awkwardness you often get in the best Who. (David Walliams’ big comedy performance seemed to have been edited in from a different story entirely.)

The story worked as well as it did due to the performances of the regulars, the strength of the last scene, and the quality of some of the dialogue. And – okay. Let the wonderment be unleashed.

I wonder how many other people, come the close of this story, were wishing that the departure of the Williamses from the TARDIS was permanent (the fact we’re still in the grip of the Song storyline, if nothing else, surely guarantees they’ll be back) and that Rita hadn’t died? These days the show is so regular-centric that it’s quite hard for a visiting actor to make much of an impression, rising to almost impossible if they’re not the main villain. And yet Amara Karan was terrific as a believeable everyday person, who I instantly warmed to and in other circumstances would have ‘prime companion material’ written all over her.

‘Yes, I am available for 13 episodes next year!’ If only.

And this leads me in passing to wonder why I’m still so indifferent to Amy Pond as a character. Could it be that, no matter how finely-honed she is as a contributor to the ongoing storyline and a deliverer of Moffat’s comic gems, when it comes to the standard companion prerequisites – likeability, normality, all that sort of thing – as a character she’s sadly lacking? Certainly practically every story these days revolves around the fact that Amy and the Doctor have been skipping through each others’ lives since she was seven years old and have become deeply connected as a result. This does not really help her as a figure of audience identification. I’m not suggesting people are actually jealous of her for her history with him (that’d be silly) simply that she’s… er… just a bit weird.

Obviously Moffat has done some very interesting things as the boss of the show, and there have been many more good episodes in his tenure so far than outright bad ones, but I am starting to notice signs of the series’ format starting to creak under the strain he’s putting on it. We still don’t know just how many ongoing strands will continue on into the next series, but I’m starting to think that fewer will definitely be better.

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