18 September 2011

Doctor Who: The God Complex (Spoilers)

Very atmospheric and creepy with an unexpected tie-in to larger themes revolving around Amy's faith in the Doctor.

Good points:

- Creepy!
- Rita.  Great character.
- The link to the Nymon - nicely done.
- The suggestion that the TARDIS/loss of the TARDIS was what was in the Doctor's room.

Bad points:

- A policewoman who shrieks.
- Rita.  She was so good it was inevitable she would die.
- Putting the untrustworthy character in a position of trust.  It would have made infinitely more sense to leave the guy tied up there alone.
- "Amy Williams" used as an affirmation that Amy's faith in the Doctor is now broken.  As if Amy wouldn't have stayed Amy Pond even if the Doctor wasn't a factor in her life and that without a "second man" to confuse their loyalties all women would automatically change their names to that of their husband.
- Rory's jokes about Amy hitting him.  Not funny.  If she is seriously hitting him, then he should leave her.
- THE BABY THE BABY THE BABY THE BABY!!!!!!

The made-up-as-you-go-along explanation for River Song's origin destroyed this episode.  I'm sorry, but Amy has complete faith in the Doctor because the Doctor has never failed her?  Not only does this come off the back of an episode of the Doctor failing Amy, but making Amy okay with losing her baby because she one day turns into River is...just not on.

The Doctor failed Amy massively.  He failed to stop her kidnapping.  He failed to stop the baby's kidnapping.  He failed to retrieve the baby.  But because the baby one day grows up to be River Song, we're supposed to believe that Amy still maintains complete faith in the Doctor?

No.  Suspension of disbelief has gone SPUNG.

Additionally, the theme of faith in the Doctor is undercut by the Doctor's actual history with his companions.  The Doctor has always been an incredibly arrogant guy, who has a tendency to leave his companions behind when they bore him, and sometimes snaps into self-righteous judgmentalism (of the genocidal level) which is part of the reason he needs his companions "to tell him to stop".  But he now for some reason seems to be genuinely acting on the belief that most of his companions die.  Unless he's had a whole heap of companions "off scene", then this is far from true.  For the most part they have gone on with their lives enriched by a precious experience - sometimes very annoyed with the Doctor, but with an overall net of exciting adventures.  Often they only had lives at all because he came along at an opportune moment and saved them.  And, big picture there, SAVED THEIR WORLDS.  And yet the Doctor is tormented by his endless failure for all those companions whose lives he transformed, enriched, broadened, and kept whole?

I feel like I've been watching "Doctor Who and the Endless Guilt Trip" for two seasons (and several specials) now. 

1 comment:

  1. Exactly right!

    So many of the problems in the narrative of this episode stem directly from the writers having no idea of Amy as a character, as I discuss in more detail here:

    http://theoncominghope.blogspot.com/2011/09/doctor-who-god-complex-aka-characters.html

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