We had some friends over tonight for a bit of a movie marathon containing The King’s Speech, which was amazing, and tonight’s episode of Doctor Who, which was once again a mind-screw. I’ve kept away from giving too much of my opinion on the episode as I wanted to watch both halves to make a better decision on the matter, so here we go.
First thing of note in the episode was that BBC America decided to ditch the introductory preamble from last week and brought back the “time tunnel” commercial breaks. I think this looks better especially in the commercial department as last week’s episode would seemingly cut out in the middle of scenes. This was especially jarring considering it was sponsored with “limited commercial breaks” from BMW, a fact made more confusing by the butt-load of commercials. In fact, this week had less commercials as far as I could tell. I actually liked the little preamble thing, reminded me of Life on Mars or Ashes to Ashes a bit, but oh well, I guess folks complained too much 😛
My only real quibble with this episode came from the resolution of the cliffhanger and the seemingly rushed opening moments at this point. It was weird seeing the apparent “heel turn” of Canton Delaware only to find out that he has basically been tasked with a secret mission by Richard Nixon. This was cool, but I really don’t think that it was handled as well as it could have been. I generally like the whole “time jump” trope if it is used well in some shows, but it was almost tiresome in this episode. It almost seemed as if the production staff wanted to use all of the great location footage from the desert that they had taken instead of keeping us in the loop with what was going on.
One thing I forgot to really mention last week was my opinion of this shows portrayal of Richard Nixon. As historical figures go, this new series has definitely hit the nail on the head multiple times with the likes of Churchill, Dickens, Van Gough and now Nixon. You can tell the actor had prosthetics and makeup on, but his version of everyone’s favorite fallen president was at least believable unlike versions I’ve seen such as the one in Watchmen. It is funny that Nixon appears to be a companion of sorts as he traveled in the Tardis on two occasions (that we know of). Maybe my dream of seeing the Doctor and a fist fighting Abe Lincoln will come to fruition at some point.
This episode did have two incredibly huge WTF moments found within. The first of which occurred when Amy was traveling around the abandoned orphanage looking for evidence of the little girl, or the silence. We are treated to an eerie scene where a “window” suddenly opens on the surface of a metal door and we see a VERY futuristic metallic eye patch lady say something similar to “I think she’s dreaming” and slide the window shut. This scene was at complete odds with what was going on in the rest of the scene and was made that much more disturbing in this way. Obviously this is some sort of foreshadowing for a future episode, but what could it mean? Was Amy asleep at the time, and maybe this person was helping the silence, or is there some sort of Ashes to Ashes shenanigans afoot? Time will tell?
The ending…..yeah…..HOLY CRAP!
I wish Moffat would just tell a good story instead of teasing us all the time.