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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Doctor Who Review - Episode 6x11: The God Complex

Dialogue Triumphs

The Doctor: “They’re not doors, they’re walls – walls that look like doors. Door walls, if you like, or ‘dwalls’ – walls even, though you probably got it right when you said they’re not doors. I mean the windows are… (Pulls curtains to reveal brick wall) …right! Big day for a fan of walls!”


Rita: “It’s not just that. The rooms have… things in them.”

The Doctor: “Things? Hello! What kind of things? Interesting things? I love things, ask anyone!”

Rita: “Bad dreams.”

The Doctor: “Well, that killed the mood.”


Rita: “It’s no more ridiculous than Howie’s CIA theory, or mine.”

The Doctor: “Which is?”

Rita: “This is Jahannum.”

The Doctor: “You’re a Muslim!”

Rita: “Don’t be frightened.”

The Doctor: “Ha! You think this is Hell?”


Amy: “Don’t talk to the clown!”


Rory: “Not all victories are about saving the universe.”


Rita: “Why is it up to you to save us? It’s quite a God complex you have there.”

The Doctor: “I brought them here. They’d say it was their choice, but offer a child a suitcase full of sweets, and they’d take it. Offer someone all of time and space, and they’d take that too. Which is why you shouldn’t… which is why grown ups were invented.”


The Doctor: “I can’t save you from this. There’s nothing I can do to stop this.”

Amy: “What?”

The Doctor: “I stole your childhood, now I’ve lead you by the hand to your death. The worst thing is, I knew – I knew this would happen. This is what always happens. Forget your faith in me. I took you with me because I was vain, because I wanted to be adored. Look at you… glorious Pond, the girl who waited for me. I’m not a hero. I really am just a mad man in a box, and it’s time we saw each other as we really are. Amy Williams, it’s time to stop waiting.”


Amy: “Even so, it can’t happen like this, after everything we’ve been through Doctor... everything. You can’t just drop me off at my house, and say good-bye, like we shared a cab.”

The Doctor: “And what’s the alternative? Me standing over your grave, over your broken body, over Rory’s body?”

Dialogue Disasters


Double Entendres/Sexy Talk


The Review

The TARDIS lands in what appears to be a replica of a hotel from the 80s. The Doctor, Amy, and Rory meet with a disparate group of people who have been transported to the hotel from different timezones and planets. The hotel is quickly revealed to be more than meets the eye after it swallows up the TARDIS within its constantly changing, mazelike hallways, leaving the Doctor and his companions trapped along with everyone else, and at the mercy of a mysterious creature who seems to pray on people’s fears, before possessing them, and then killing them one-by-one. It’s up to the Doctor to find a way out of the maze before he, Amy, and Rory are next on the menu.

It’s episodes like this where Doctor Who is truly at its best – when the Doctor is thrown into a mystery that even baffles him for a time, before he finally figures it out… but not after a considerable death toll. I’ve never liked how previous showrunner Russell T. Davis, and now Steven Moffat, would get into the habit of portraying the Doctor as some kind of omnipotent being who never loses a confrontation, nomatter how poor the odds. That was the most interesting feature of the episode “Water of Mars” – for once, the Doctor was in a situation where he was powerless to help, and his attempt to help only made it worse. I like episodes like this because we get a chance to see beneath the happy-go-lucky veneer the Doctor so often uses to hide his true nature, nomatter the incarnation.

So it goes with the cleverly titled “The God Complex”, which aptly describes the setting, the plot, and an unfortunate personality trait that has always been the Doctor’s worst failing. The episode deals with the latter aspect really well, as the Doctor ends up having ot humble himself before Amy in order to save her life, which is a sobering moment for them both. Matt Smith and Karen Gillan have always had a great chemistry in scenes like this, and the scene in last year’s season finale with the Doctor’s monologue to a sleeping Amy Pond to never forget him as he fades from existence.

I liked the setting of the episode, as the hotel was very reminiscent of the creepy hotel from The Shining. The characters that are trapped with the Doctor are all interesting in their own ways, especially Rita, with whom the Doctor flirts with the idea of picking up as a new companion. The Doctor and Rita’s interactions are great, especially the scene in which he laments on how guilty he feels about constantly exposing Amy and Rory to danger, then offers to take Rita traveling with him in the nearly the same breath. It really shows the reckless, impulsive nature of this particular incarnation of the Doctor, which I imagine will ultimately be his undoing whenever his number is up.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable episode, though it must be said, that the monster was kind of lame. There is a cool, throwaway classic Who reference regarding the monster at the end of the episode (that his species is related to the Nimons, a race of aliens that the 4th Doctor confronted in the episode “The Horns of the Nimon”), but other than that, it’s your average Doctor Who “Monster-of-the-week”. However, I do appreciate the effort to come up with new monsters besides the traditional stand-alongs, such as the Daleks or the Cybermen…

…speaking of which, the next episode I’ll be reviewing… Closing Time.

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