Saturday, May 1, 2010

This Week in Doctor Who - 4/24/10

Despite this being one week late, the episode actually premiered in the UK four weeks ago, that's basically a month. But, thanks to my lack of being able to type up a review, I've been able to watch this episode arounnd 10 times now on BBC America, let's see if repeated viewings have altered my opinion.

Episode 2 - "The Beast Below"

This is Steven Moffat's second episode as lead writer, and Matt Smith's first real episode as the Eleventh Doctor. I know, I know, last week was his first full episode, but he said it himself, he was "still cooking". This is his first full episode in his own costume, so for me this is the first episode to show off what Eleven is really like when he's not in some super-heroic special. And, I have to be honest, the episode just felt like another one-off episode from the previous Russel T. Davies' series (if you disregard the new series' far superior camera angles, production quality and special effects).

The episode starts off right after "The Eleventh Hour," with Amy still in her "nighty" and trying to adjust to her new surroundings, but it'll take more than just adjusting when the Doctor brings her to 29th century England, now a floating space colony known as Starship UK. But not all is well on Starship UK, there seems to be an odd amount of ignorance by the people in their strange setting, and the mysterious Smilers and Winders aren't exactly helping solve the creep-factor.

As I said, in terms of plot and writing, this episode felt very much like something that either Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant could have been in. There really wasn't too much of the Doctor to be seen in the episode, and Matt Smith really didn't stand out until the final moments when he gets super-pissed at everyone and it's like, "whoa, whoa, calm down Matt, this is family programming". It was definitely a different side of the Doctor, but if anything, it was Amy that saved the day this time, and it's looking she'll end up being far more important to the Doctor than we may have thought. Regardless, a good start, but I'd definitely like to see something more fresh.

Overall Score: 8/10

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