Overall this was a solidly-paced, fun episode.
- The old cybermat to the throat.
- Great odd couple dynamic. Craig makes a fun companion, and it's a pity we didn't get to see him take a regular stint in the TARDIS.
- Craig making the straightforward point that the Doctor doesn't so much BRING danger, as save people from danger which already exists.
- The power of love saves the day. Again. I need some more "the power of science and ingenuity saves the day" episodes or "bravery and determination saves the day". [And not the power of the magic sonic screwdriver that can do anything.]
- The Doctor visiting his companions before he dies. Again.
- The audience totally knowing that there's no way the Doctor is going to really die.
I was a bit 50/50 on the advertisement with Amy. It certainly echoed Amy's waiting theme. But it's also a perfume ad, linking her back to "the goal of the girl is to find her man and get married".
Then, of course, we move on to River Song - a youngish River Song who has lost all her ability and chutzpah in the process of obtaining an archeological degree. And then on to next episode, and it finally occurs to the Doctor to have a look into who these people who are trying to kill him are, and why they're doing so.
Why he didn't do this in the two hundred years he's apparently been travelling, I couldn't guess.
I am presuming this will be a timey wimey cyclical episode where the Doctor's investigation into why these people are trying to kill him will actually be the primal spark which causes these people to try and kill him (because otherwise we haven't really seen the Doctor do anything nearly epic enough to justify all this). Not even the moon landing hypnotism to kill the Silents can be the explanation, since their kidnapping of baby Melody predates that.
There's no doubt that the Doctor will find some way to not die for real this time for sure, even though this is supposed to be one of those fixed moments in time (just one he happened to be ignorant of). There's no tension in that part of the story, so what we are waiting for is the how and the why. Why do these people want to kill the Doctor, and how will he stop them? Will he make a big speech about how scary he is, causing his enemies to hesitate at a critical moment? Gather all his allies to make a big distraction while he sneaks in the back? Get his flesh copy to die in his stead?
My biggest problem with this season is without doubt the fact that Amy, Rory and the Doctor are no longer desperately searching for infant Melody, that they're okay with her living a torturous infancy being brainwashed by the Silents in an orphanage, and then living on the streets before inserting herself into her parents' childhood, simply because that leads her to grow up to be River (after, mind you, a life of crime and defiance which can no doubt be linked directly to how she's been raised).
My one hope for this season is that the Doctor will actually regain some of his competence and recover baby Melody. Which will mean that River, the River sewn through the last three-four seasons, will cease to exist.
And, you know, I'm good with that.
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