The Eleventh Doctor & Co take a minor tour of an 80s hotel.
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Aiming for the place with the 600-foot aliens with the big hats, the Doctor, Amy and Rory instead arrive in a man-made Murderous Marriott with nice curtains, except it’s a holodeck floating around space and the windows are all bricked up.
Joining them in the Haunted Hilton are three humans and the cowardly rodent alien they don’t seem to think out of place.
Everyone has a room in this Terrifying Travelodge, it is said, and in that room rests the manifestation of their deepest, darkest fear.
Best not go into any rooms then, eh? Except for one minor detail, namely, the horned beast patrolling the corridors and lobotomising the patrons of this Petrifying Premier Inn.
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The God Complex Mini
Things I liked:
• The title!
• The creepy Shining hotel and the ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, erm, I mean ‘Praise Him’.
• Twin Peaks weirdness. Particularly the ventriloquist dummies.
• Cheeky Weeping Angels cameo.
• David Walliams’s cowardly alien!
• Best line – Rory; “Every time the Doctor gets pally with someone, I have an urge to notify their next of kin”.
• Space Minotaur! Scary and awesome looking.
• Pathos ending.
One lonely Beef:
• What happened to all that ‘the image of an Angel becomes an Angel’ bollocks?
Observation: The Doc deliberately reducing his companion’s faith in him was also done (albeit much more brutally) by the Seventh Doctor in ‘The Curse of Fenric’.
Question: Who is behind the Doctor’s door? Davros? The Master? The Kandyman!? (Definately the Kandyman. The Seventh Doctor’s look of terror at seeing the Kandyman the end of Episode One of ‘The Happiness Patrol’ is unrivalled!)
Summary: My second favourite Matt Smith episode. Scary, weird, funny and poignant.
Rating: 4.5/5 maniacally laughing people who have seen their worst fears and then been faith sucked to death by a space Minotaur in a Star Trek holodeck, or something (I hadn’t a [email protected]#@ing clue what was going on but it was awesome).
First things first: the actor in the Minotaur costume is Spencer Wilding, the same actor who wore the Vader armor in Rogue One. Since you’ve probably just finished singing the Imperial March, I thought it appropriate to mention the connection.
Two more things I liked: Rory’s line, “I’d forgotten not all victories are about saving the universe,” and the way they brought in Younger Amy, when the Doctor spoke of seeing her as she really is.
On the other hand, this was a very sad episode.
I found Rita a very enjoyable character, and I would have loved it if she could have been kept as a second companion (Third? Does Rory count?), instead of just killing her off. But wait, there’s more sadness! It’s established in the story that faith in a person (like Amy’s in the Doctor) counts as a belief inside the hotel, and that Rory has absolutely no beliefs. It’s tremendously sad that Rory has no faith in Amy. He’s not even counting on her love for him. He just… walks through this episode, not wanted by anybody, not even the monster.
It’s about as tragic as those poor, ill-fated goldfish, and just as ignored by the episode itself.
It would have been nice to either see the Doctor’s fear, or find out what he believes in.
2.0 out of 5.
Ok, another Matt Smith episode without any connection to some convoluted Moffat storyline. Things are looking up!
What were they thinking with the man in the gorilla suit at the beginning?? I genuinely thought the first girl’s fear was of men in gorilla suits, not actual gorillas!!
Some quite nice visual set pieces. I love it when the minotaur’s horns are scraping the ceiling and the visualisation of some of the rooms is great as is David Walliam’s cowardly Gibbis. We all know the nurse is dead meat as soon as the Doctor takes a liking to her though..same old same old.
I’m really starting to get tired of the weird ‘statementing’ of Amy’s name..enough please! Rory gets hurt and falls to the floor and Amy literally steps over him like he’s a piece of carpet, leaving the others to check if he’s ok. I’m utterly sick of these two..glad the Doctor leaves them behind.
And it turns out that the minotaur feeds off boredom or some unimpressive abstract waffle. Typical Moffat era epic visual build up to a lacklustre and half explained resolution.
Hey guys. I’d like to open with a question, maybe several. Is it weird that I’m stuck on the title? Does it reference their belief in God and the building which might be called a complex? Does it reference Doc 11’s tendency to act as God, and the disillusionment of Amy necessary to save their lives? Or does it reference the beast and its need to be ‘praised’ before it can feed? Should I just be happy it’s not called “The Something of the Daleks”?
Moving on! The concept of worship being consumed as food, coupled with the eater being itself a prisoner really feels unique here. It’s a premise I find myself returning to think about long after the episode ends. This is quality sci-fi.
Another great thing this episode gives us is this fantastic complement of characters. I particularly like the portrayal of Howie. Amongst so much creepiness, he somehow brings it up a few creepiness clicks. I’m so repulsed by him as he sermonizes in worship of the beast, yet so drawn to his tragedy.
There’s so much loss in this episode, which culminates in The Doctor breaking up with Amy (there is no other way to describe this). Ostensibly it’s for her own good, but I don’t buy that. In order to successfully escape the beast’s praise dungeon, he needed to sever his connection with her. He forced himself AND her to believe he couldn’t take care of her and shouldn’t be trusted with her life. Sending her away in the private realization that their relationship was based on a false premise, is both premature and a disservice to her. Perhaps the truer answer should have been for them to see each other with new eyes, for her to find her power and him to rely on her. But Eleven, (or the writers) can’t do that, at least not right now. Maybe Doc will be ready in a couple hundred years?
Rating: There’s no summing up. All I have is more questions! Damn you good sci-fi!!