The Doctor: “Yo ho ho! …or does nobody actually say that?”
Avery: “I’m confused…”
The Doctor: “Yeah, well, it’s a big club, we should get t-shirts.”
Hatch Lady: “It’s fine… you’re doing fine… just stay calm.”
Amy: “Good night, Doctor.”
The Doctor: “Good night, Amelia.”
Amy: “You only call me ‘Amelia’ when you’re worried about me.”
The Doctor: “I always worry about you.”
The Doctor: “Go to bed, Pond!”
Avery: “Take the doxy below to the galley. Set her to work, she won’t need much feeding.”
The Doctor: “You know, you shouldn’t feel threatened, your ship is much bigger than mine…”
Rory (to Amy): “I love the get-up, that’s great! You should dress as a pirate more often!”
The Doctor: “And the guns are back, you’re big on the guns. You know, Freud would say you’re compensating…”
Amy: “I’m his wife, for godsake, why can’t I touch him?”
The TARDIS lands in the hold of a becalmed pirate ship, the crew of which is slowly being picked off by a beautiful Siren who only targets the freshly injured. If one is even so much as nicked by a loose nail, a black spot appears in their palm, marking them as the next victim for the Siren to disintegrate. After Rory gets marked, The Doctor quickly takes command of the vessel in order to stop the Siren, before Rory dies for the third time in the new series (poor Arthur Darvill – always wondering if his next death scene will be his last!).
I didn’t expect much out of this episode, if only because the 2-parter season opener was so good, and kick started so many interesting seasonal arc subplots, the prospect of watching a filler episode about pirates seemed a slap in the mouth. Fortunately, Curse of the Black Spot turned out to be a delightful romp, which includes a plot turn that, though it’s arguable that it regurgitates concepts from previous Doctor Who episodes (The Girl in the Fireplace meets The Doctor Dances, with a dash of pirate – aaaargh!), was still a satisfying twist.
Once again, performances were good by all. Hugh Bonneville plays Captain Avery with appropriate gravitas. One definitely can sense that Captain Avery comes from a distinguished Navel background, rather than having risen through the ranks of a pirate ship. Also, it must be mentioned that Lily Cole, as the Siren, did a fantastic job as well, even though she didn’t have any spoken lines beyond singing pretty (which, in all likelihood, was dubbed anyway). Nevertheless, she did a fine job with the material she had, lighting up the screen (so to speak) whenever she appeared. Besides being absurdly hot, Lily Cole has a lot of natural charisma, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she landed a bigger role in future episodes (just like Karen Gillan landed the role of Amy Pond, after playing a nameless soothsayer in The Fires of Pompeii – going even further back, just like Freema Agyeman landed the role of Martha Jones after her bit part in Army of Ghosts).
While the episode is mostly very goofy, what with Amy somehow managing to deftly sword fight with pirates, and then the silly “pirates-in-space” ending, a fun episode like this turns out to be just what the Doctor ordered (hehe) after the emotionally heavy season premiere, and what showrunner Stephen Moffat promises to be an even more emotionally intense mid-season finale.
Plus, if there’s anything that can be taken from this episode, it’s that The Eleventh Doctor can add “Pirate hat” to his growing list of quirky hats he’s worn over the course of his run.