Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Beast Below

Never judge a new doctor by his first episode, always judge them by their second. The first is all kind of new and maybe a little weird, the second is when they come into their own. I gotta say, I'm loving Matt Smith. Not my lustful worshipping of David Tennant, but in a quieter, he's goofy and works as a sort of Tom Baker Doctor kind of way. The second episode of a new companion always has to be a huge moment, the moment not when they meet the Doctor and deal with him on their turf, but the moment when he takes them out into his turf. His turf happens to be the British Isle floating in outer space. There are weird menacing mechanical carny booths, think Zoltar, in the 30s, but with a real hidden wicked streak and total control over the ships populous called Smilers. Theirs a complete distillation of all things British into one wickedly fun market, like Bladrunner with bunting. There does seem to be more of a children slant, could it be that they're actually going to not traumatize children forever? No, this episode would so have traumatized me. I already have an unnatural fear of elevators, if one of those Smilers went all evil and dropped me into the bowels of a ship for not doing my homework, I'm sorry, I would have totally lost it. It's that underlying menace of what the Smilers do and that no one stands up to them or even tries to change it that makes the Doctors arrival so important.

So we have an oppressed British people hurtling through space and a Queen, cause there always has to be a Queen, searching for a truth that she is not meant to find and when she does, it's a doozy. But it's the Queen that makes this episode the best. Sophie Okonedo as Liz 10 was a combination of Lara Croft and V. Flowing cap, guns at the ready, and lots of goblets of water laying about as if she were in the movie Signs. The eventual saving of the day happens, of course not from the Doctor but from Amy, who was very Arthur Dent and saved the world in her pajamas. But the Doctor being wrong, and not just slightly wrong, but majorly wrong, was interesting. This Doctor is willing to make harder decisions... he's willing to let there be a looser, versus all winners come hell or high water. But Amy tempers him. Too bad next week we have the stupid overused Daleks, because I like where Steven Moffat is taking us, new villains not the same old same old... well at least that's what I thought till I saw those freakin' Daleks!


I loved how Amy pushed the Doctor's buttons. And how awesome was Liz 10?! The next ep is just off... Steven was not behind this one. Too many gaps, but there's one very interesting thing that keeps me thinking... I'm SO looking forward to the fourth ep.

And I'm loving Matt Smith. He's all that a Doctor should be!

Yeah, I didn't like Victory of the Daleks, as you'll see when my review is up next Sunday. I'm almost completely in love with Episode 4, there were a few things that I didn't quite like, but the opening 5 minutes were beyond awesome.

GAH! My coworker who is my Who dealer said his DVD burner wasn't working last night so he couldn't pass along ep 5 to me. I will have it tomorrow on a DVD or flash drive. He kept saying "It is SO AWESOME, Amy!" and I kept on saying "Stop rubbing it in!" He said the same thing about the first 5 minutes. Can't wait to see it tomorrow night!

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