Saturday, May 14, 2011

Doctor Who: The Curse of the Black Spot, Review with Spoilers

Ah yes, I almost forgot to review The Curse of the Black Spot, the episode in which we learn that wedding rings are universal and that Starfleet isn't the only organization to build Invader Friendly Operating Systems(1).

There really isn't a whole lot to say about The Curse of the Black Spot. I found it amusing enough, on the whole, but definitely could have done without Rory's prolonged and pointless "death" scene.

Mostly, it was a light and amusing show. The Doctor and the Captain played off each other well for the first half and a bit, sharing some sharp back and forth dialog as they out-captained one another. Amy's sword fight, while implausible, was fun, and I was ready to buy it.

So, yes, I was reasonably entertained.

Even though...

It never quite pulled through. The evil pirate captain suddenly developed a son and with him a conscience (sort of), and Rory was "killed." Again. He got to lie there unconscious to the strains of heart-rending music while Amy tried some of the least-convincing CPR ever. And, really, if the problem was water in his lungs, shouldn't he have done some gagging and throwing up on reaching consciousness?

The minor silver lining here was the Doctor's distress. He really does seem to care for Rory, which puts the ex-Roman in better shape than poor Mickey-the-idiot (Whom I liked but who never really got to belong on the TARDIS).

The siren was a reasonably creepy villain who turned out to be a holographic doctor, just doing her best for the new crew she'd found. On the one hand: I didn't see that coming, so it was a surprise twist (for me. I think everyone else had it figured out). On the other... Please explain to me just how she realized Amy was allowed to take Rory out of her medical care? Are wedding rings the new mauve? Universal symbols? And, if so, what did the pirate captain (whose name I'm afraid I never caught) show to get all of his men and his son out of sick bay? And was she really bored, grabbing everyone who had even a minor scratch? Or was the crew of the original ship a bunch of hypochondriacs who programmed her to treat the slightest sniffle?

Then again, the Doctor did say they died of a cold, so maybe they needd to be.

And then the ending. Are we supposed to believe that the pirates are reformed? Because I don't. This captain was willing to hold onto a shiny crown, just in case, after he'd been told to get rid of all shiny objects (though to be fair, muffling it in something dark was really quite sensible; it was forgetting where he'd put it that was stupid) lest they bring the siren in. Why would he have changed his ways simply because he'd had a bit of a scare? And even if he had become a reformed character, what about all the others? So: Now we have pirates in space.

On the other hand: The eleventh doctor, the one who just casually condemned the Silence to death, is the Doctor I'd vote most likely to hand a bunch of pirates a spaceship(2) without really thinking about it.

So, in summary, a slight show, not one of New Who's best, though far from its worst(3).

Signing off...and eagerly awaiting my chance to see The Doctor's Wife(4)

(1)Also known as IFOS. Thank you Nitcentral!
(2)The ship running the aforementioned IFOS, since it took the Captain no time at all to figure it out.
(3)That would be The Lazarus Experiment, in case you were wondering.
(4)Which is by Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman and Doctor Who. Enough said.


  1. Argh, I haven't seen this one yet! I'm supposed to watch it with my sister but we've been having a hard time organizing our schedules. I will be cross when Rory keeps fake-dying AGAIN MORE, and I am so, so tired of it.

  2. There is a theory that Rory keeps fake dying so that when he really dies, we'll be really shocked.

    I'm not sure that will make up for the annoyance.

    Anyway, take heart. The Doctor's Wife is totally worth watching.