The Almost People - the second part to Doctor Who's take on The Thing, or Battlestar Galactica - or whatever.
Last week had some strong elements and a good cliffhanger, but it was all a little bit messy and confusing, like much of this series.
There were hints that something big was going to happen in this episode to set up next week's mid-season finale, so are we going to start getting some answers?
Would we get Battlestar Galactica or, er, Battlestar Galactica?
I though the performances were generally up on last week, with some of the humans/gangers becoming recognisable characters.
Smith Docs - I enjoyed the interplay between the two and Smith's performances - as well as the Doctor being at the centre of the story.
Climax - Obviously something involving Amy - and perhaps Rory too was coming - but this was a great shock pulled off with style by Moffatt.
CGI - CGI is always bloody awful. The scene with the discarded flesh - a scenes that should have been a powerful moment - was just embarrassing in how poor the effects were and the Jenny Monster was another tiresome revisitation of the Utterly Terrible New Series CGI Monster.
Jenny - An annoying and not believable character not portrayed especially well.
Characters acting out of character - In stories where plotting struggles characters begin to act out of a necessity to drive the plot along rather than believable motives. Rory's behaviour was pretty unfathomable in this one - as was some of the Doctors'. Which leads us to...
Noble self-sacrifices - see above. Another familiar Nu series meme.
Smiths - While Smith did well in both parts it was horribly confusing to try and follow who was who (ahem). THis seemed to pay off in the climax, but if the two Doctors had swapped immediately then why was the real Doctor trying to strangle Amy?
Killing Amy - Didn't the Doctor creaming Amy (!) negate the moral core of the previous 90 minutes? Arguably the flesh Amy (!) was simply an avatar rather than a sentient ganger, but it was another muddled point that didn't come off well under analysis.
There was a lot wrong with this, but I still quite enjoyed it. It felt rather unlike any previous Doctor Who - and change is generally to be welcomed.
I'm still unsure about the series arc and the wisdom of leaving so many baffling answer hanging in the air and this story itself was quite hard to follow and didn't really add up.
Still, another intriguing twist in what's looking like the strangest series yet of Doctor Who. Let's hope it all adds up in the end.
Blake's 7, we thought upon seeing the trailer for The Rebel Flesh. No bad thing, but quite a shift in tone to previous weeks.
Would we see a further improvement over the excellent The Doctor's Wife or would be we be back to the shaky start we saw in the first three episodes? Plus that bloke from Life On Mars was back, so was it as bad as Fear Her or was it, well, better than Fear Her?
Gangers - good make-up and quite frightening when they were normal, scared people who might just do something horrible to you.
Location - It's great to see Doctor Who actually venture into the 'anytime, anywhere' format from time to time and show a castle on an island with pink sky and Dusty Springfield.
Doc 11/Smith - Given some rather more interesting stuff to do this week; the emerging Ganger Doctor was really quite creepy. Let's hope something interesting develops here. I really do rate Smith but he's seemed a little lost in the equation of late; I hope the second part puts the Doctor right at the centre of things. And do you really have to go back Arc of Infinity (hello Patrick!) before you find a creepy Doctor doppelganger?
TARDIS scene - These were inevitably awful back n the day, in fact you probably have to go back to something like Robots of Death for a TARDIS scene that stands up on its own and is worth including in the classic series. This was hardly essential, but quite nice. Having said that, I don't know how many times we can watch the Doctor staring at the scanner and frowning in coming weeks.
Cast - I thought most of the guest cast were actually quite poor, from the by-the-numbers no-nonsense female boss to the whiney one to the Northern bloke.
CGI - Doctor Who rarely does CGI well, and we had one of the worst CGI monster examples ever in this one. Is there anything more boring than a CGI monster?
Pacing - Up until the credits rolled I thought it was a one-parter. I've rarely felt the new series has got to grips that well with two-parters, this was another example. Which leads me to...
Two-parters - Do they work that well? The Silurian one last year was a total wash-out; the Silence two-parter this year just didn't make any impact one me at all; those awful Helen Raynor stories; the RTD-gasms arguably just about get away with it, in terms of the form, because there's so much going on but apart from Mofatt's own from Series one, three and - perhaps - four I can't think of too many that are highly regarded.
All told I found this enjoyable enough, but it was only the cliffhanger that brought me back into it. Moffatt's series last year gave a very good impression of understanding what and Who, ahem, it was. This year it feels all over the shop in terms of tone and style and I can't really work out what's going wrong.
Wrong may not be the right word to use here, but I've mainly watched this series with an air of mild bemusement. Difficult second album? Too much time spread between two show? Who knows, but I'm hoping for a more even tone and quality from the second part of the season.
• Caves and Twins? What are you dribbling on about?
Go here: Caves and Twins
A Super Nintendo style recreation of the newest "Doctor Who" intro sequence - I don't understand any of the other words.
I arranged the track in FL Studio using SNES soundfonts from Chrono Trigger, A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy IV and F-Zero. If you're wondering how I got that wizzing sound in the beginning, it was a combination of "Lavos" sound effects from Crono Trigger
How do you get Doctor Who sheet music for a trombone? Does Matt Smith resemble Michael Palin? What fruit does David Tennant like? What is the height of every actor who's played doctor who?
An odd, but reasonably tame insight into the minds of Doctor Who fans across the world. These queries come from Answers.com; a strange aggregator that passes off the questions people type into it as content, with the user-generated answers adding more content.
As such it's kind of a new kind of search engine, where people don't type in regular search queries but actually post their strange queries as they would address to a person. As such, they tend to throw up lots of random and bizarre questions that only real fans could ever come up with.
Lots of questions relating to Doctor Who computer games ( I deleted them - they were boring); minutiae concerning Matt Smith and David Tennant; requests for TARDIS dimensions and specifications; Doctor Who sheet music; and many many more.
Many of these are the sort of questions Doctor Who Adventures is presumably designed for - or Peter Haining books covered - but most will never be answered. Who knows whether David Tennant was in 'richmend hill' church today? How does one go about getting Matt Smith personized? How do you find doctor who theme Latin version? And just how many times are they going introduce a 'last ever Dalek' in the show?
I've rounded up a snapshot of questions below. All are genuine; most peculiar. My favourite?
Where is doctor who theme song sheet music for bagpipes?
How much does Matt Smith weigh?
Does matt smith use an inhaler?
Who is matt smith's grandfather?
Who are Matt Smith's grandparents?
Will Matt Smith or Karren Gillian come to inverness in 2011?
What are the steps to getting Matt Smith's hairstyle?
Will matt smith come to harwich?
How do you get matt smith personized?
What is matt smiths fave film?
What is Matt Smith's favorite song?
How much does Matt Smith get paid?
Does Matt Smith have any allergies?
Does matt smith resemble micheal palin in any way?
Does David tennant like to read?
What fruit does David Tennant like?
Has david tennant ever broken his nose?
What was David Tennants best part of life?
What sunglasses does David Tennant wear in the end of time?
Are you sad that David Tennant is not going to be The Doctor anymore? I am?
When was David Tennant's sister born?
What are David Tennant's like and dislikes?
Was david tennant in richmend hill church today?
What are the cello notes to the Doctor Who theme theme tune?
Where can you get the doctor who theme tune sheet music for trumpets?
Where can you find a doctor who music book for keyboard?
Where can you download the Doctor Who theme sheet music?
Where can you find the sheet music for the Doctor Who theme on trombone?
How do you find doctor who theme Latin version?
Where is doctor who theme song sheet music for bagpipes?
What was the doctor who episode where they where going to Sacrifice the doctors companion you were a kid and it was in the 80s you are sure their was probaly more than one like this?
DOCTOR WHO in the family of blood when the kid opens the pocket watch to show the alien girl and there is a scene of the doctor standing infront of a firey furnace area where can you get a picture?
How many times has the last dalek been used on the TV show Doctor Who when introducing a Delak and exactly how many more times do they plan on using this phrase?
Toys and merch
Do the Eastgate Waterstones have the book Doctor who the pandorica opens?
Does the cape of doctor who figure francesco come off?
Where can you buy Doctor Who party balloons in Australia?
Can you buy the time crash tenth doctor figure separately?
What batteries does the doctor who eleventh doctor's sonic screwdriver need?
Will there be a new doctorwho tardis play set 2010?
Where can you get a cheap sonic screwdriver in England?
Where do you get remote control Daleks in New Zealand?
Where can you find plans for a full size wooden tardis?
How do you build a tardis zipperobe?
What is Rose Tylers favourite colour?
What galaxy is gallifrey in?
Why does the doctor turn into the actor tom baker?
Who gave craig ferguson the tardis?
How many times has the tardis changed?
What is the height of every actor who's played doctor who?
Is karen gillan a catholic?
Who portrayed the daleks in the episode with Churchill of Doctor Who?
Where does arthur darvill from doctor who live?
Will the war chief return in episode 3 of doctor who series 6?
Is billie piper a rajini fan?
What does Billie Piper like?
How can you make your name look like the doctor who titles?
How do you do the doctor who regeneration effect?
Who was the woman singing in Doctor Who the tv movie?
What does Doctor Who say to the thief in the Planet of the dead?
Where can you get karen gillans purple dress from?
Who directed Dr Who?
Where is amy pond's leather jacket from?
What is Doctor Who's favourite number?
In Doctor Who What planet are the krynoids from?
Has the tardis ever been a piano?
What is the name of the final song in The Time of Angels Doctor Who Episode?
How is a Dalek made?
What happend to ace in doctor who?
How many special guests have appeared in Doctor Who?
In what torchwood novel do jack and ianto go out on a date?
Where are the vinegar bottles in K9 Deja Who?
What did Jamie do after the doctor left?
What software do people use to make their own Doctor Who title sequences?
Did Elizabeth Sladen attend John Pertwee's funeral?
What colour are the new series Doctor Who Daleks. Exact RGB colours please
What is the name of the boarding school in Doctor who Family of blood?
How can i build a dalek emperor figure about 10 inches high?
What was the dispute between the BBC and The Met over the tardis?
Will morbins returnin the new Doctor Who?
What draws the tardis to earth in 'Image of the Fendahl'?
What headset did the Doctor use in 'Planet of the Dead'?
Who was Barry Letts original choice for the part of Sarah Jane Smith before he gave the role to Lis Sladen?
Neil Gaiman'a long-awaited Doctor Who episode hit the screens with an annoyingly glib title to give us a set-up that Who fans have long imaged or written bad fanfic about.
Lawrence Miles might be raising an eyebrow, with the first example of a sentient TARDIS I can think of occurring in Alien Bodies. Either that or he's writing 10,000 words on The Power of Kroll.
Anyway, was The Doctor's Wife Neverwhere or was it.... well, I like all Gaiman's stuff.
The Doctor and the TARDIS - Although some of it went into kooky/wacky mode many of these scenes were touching and peculiar. The scenes at the end were almost heart-breaking. Lovely Doctor Who.
House and the planet - Seemingly another echo from a New Adventure. House seemed rather like God in The Also People, unquestionably the best in the range to my mind. An intriguing idea.
Everything else on the planet was fascinating. The set-up and characters and dialogue and actors all fell into place wonderfully - and it looked startling. For all Doctor Who's 'anywhere, anytime' shtick it rarely looks so alien and odd as it did in The Doctor's Wife.
Scary shit - The scenes of Rory and Amy in the TARDIS were genuinely unsettling and disturbing. Well written, well shot and well played.
The regulars - Smith seemed back to his brilliant bonkers best this week after a couple of weeks where he seemed a bit lost. Some quieter stuff from the Doc was more interesting, while Darvill and Gillen were strong too.
That title. A tiresome facet of the new series is the urge to fling out controversial, eye-catching titles. It seems to me to be the equivalent of writing stories about celebrities in order to attract search-engine traffic to your literary website. The result is always the same - the user 'bounces' back off the site the second they realise they've been conned.
Kooky TARDIS - While I generally loved this episode and the thing with the TARDIS I did feel, with a somewhat weary sense of inevitability that the embodiment of the TARDIS was one part haughty Time Lady and one part wacky Doctor-like cypher. Occasionally irritating.
TARDIS corridors - All of time, all of space, all those adventures and the TARDIS is still a collection of featureless corridors? Crikey.
Rory's old make-up - A little whinge, but such a bad hooter. Arthur Darvill looked like Clouseau in one of his disguises.
Any complaints this week can be shrugged off as I felt the episode was an almost unmitigated triumph. It was scary and funny and weird and witty and touching - everything good Doctor Who should be.
I found myself watching The Waters of Mars the other day, the Tenth Doctor's penultimate adventure that was screened during 2009.
RTD had cleverly lowered expectations for the Autumn special with the pleasingly forgettable The Dangerous Planet. It wasn't actually called The Dangerous Planet but that's as much as I can remember about it, apart from the fact that it was utter shit.
Still, Waters of Mars had given us what was perhaps the best trailer of them all from the new series - a proper balls-out terrifying 30 seconds of H2O-based frights - alongside the knowledge that Tennant's run was coming to an end, and all the attendant myfficism.
Expectations were running high, but was RTD through the looking glass by this stage? Was it utter Underwater Menace or was it stupendously Curse of Fenric.
Scares - Only once or twice during its return - The Empty Child, Blink or Midnight, perhaps - has Doctor Who dared to be this terrifying. The Flood-infected members of Bowie Base are a triumph of make-up, SFX and acting. They are designed and played to be bloody frightening, and so they are.
Time Lord victorious - I never warned to Tennant's Doctor, truth be told. He was too shouty, too smug, too wacky. After three years of shouting and try-hard wackiness we finally see something interesting happen with the Tenth Doctor. A Time Lord gone rogue, shades of the Valeyard and the Master, is a fascinating development and an understandable one, given The Doctor's recent experiences in the TIme War and his possibly-unstable Ninth incarnation.
Lindsey Duncan - Playing a bit of an archetype, but brings a believability to a role that the series was crying out for after two halfwit lovelorn goons and a comedy grotesque.
The Doctor's moments with Adelaide at the end of the story are electrifying and quite wonderfully played by Tennant. WHen it is all taken away from him by Adelaide's death and the appearance of Ood Sigma it's equally riveting television.
Cast - Prett much all good, particularly the people playing the flood.
Dalek - An oddly dream-like moment that's probably pivotal to the story
Ice Warrior reference - Nice little throwaway lines that will mean little to 99.9 per cent of viewers, but so much to fans
Barry Letts tribute - Right and proper and lovely
Murray Gold. Sorry to sound predictable, but any action sequences are totally undermined by Gold's Bedknobs and Broomsticks via Scooby Doo music. A couple of sequences that aren't great in the first place - The Doctor and Adelaide riding the Gadget Gadget thing and the Doctor standing around looking solemn while everyone does 'busy' acting are made much worse by Gold's appalling audio.
Graeme Harper - Despite generally good stuff here, Harper is to blame for a few really duff moments. If there was such as thing as a Doctor Who auteur (there wasn't, but bear with me) it was Harper with his interesting angles and superb action sequences. In the new series he was just another hack - in the trust sense of the word.
Gadget Gadget - Is that what it's called? An odd, jarring note in a sombre, ominous story. Even (!) Doc Ten hates it.
Waters of Mars is one of the least typical NuWho stories of the run and, as such, it's a welcome relief. Not since Logopolis has been the slightest angst over a forthcoming regeneration and it shows us a side of the Doctor rarely seen.
That WoM is, in itself, a strong, scary story is also in its favour. Deservedly won RTD and Phil Ford a Hugo award and suggested an epic, groundbreaking climax.
Predictably it was business as usual, like a final, weary wank from Davies following a Queer as Folk box-set for End of Time. Ho hum.
NB. No Caves and Twins for last week's concluding part to the season opener as yet, largely because I still don't know what to make of it
When I saw the trailer for this week's episode, which is called Curse of the Black Pirates of the Caribbean, or something, I hoped that it wasn't going to be an episode I could pretty much envisage in about three seconds with little more than a passing thought.
Doctor Who meets pirates is only a novel and exciting idea if you're about four years old or a 50-year-old show-runner with two spots in the new block to fill.
The whole genre is so familiar and over-ripe that it can't possibly avoid falling into a wretched pastiche, like a join-the-dot 'scripting for dummies' guide connecting cutlasses, planks, sirens, sharks and sirens to one another
Still, this is what we got this week. So was it Captain Pugwash or Captain Jack Sparrow?
Production values - Costumes, sets, dressing. The BBC doing what it does best (I understand it was filmed on location. Eh?).
Hugh Bonneville - Played it straight, unlike everyone else
The sci-fi bit - Hardly novel, but some nice coma-inspired visuals and the story was dying on its arse by the end of the second act.
Amy can sword fight better than pirates - and goes to the bother of putting on a stupid costume. Not even RTD would have pulled that nonsense with this beloved Wose.
Murray Gold's terrible music - Any story that relies some of Murray's patented Hollywood chintzgasm saccharine is in trouble from the get-go. Although that idea that it might send people to sleep seems amusing, it seems more likely that it would make them throw up a little in their mouths.
Captain banter - Whose is bigger, whose is better? Tedious.
Shover me hearties - Unfunny, self-satisfied, 'look-at-us-aren't-we-clever-doing-these-hoary-old-dialogue-cliches?' dialogue.
Rory dies #533 - Seriously, how many times has Arthur Darvill had to play a death scene now? And why can't The Doctor do CPR? Manipulative, nonsensical tosh.
Story arc stuff - Already irritating
In the latest DWM, Moffat reveals that the author of this episode pestered him for ages to be allowed to write an episode. Why, then, turn in 30 minutes of the most hackneyed drivel seen this side of Vampires of Venice followed by a pot pourri of Moffat greatest hits?
Doctor Who has always done pastiche, but here it just felt lazy. Things got a tad more interesting when the spaceship turned up, but then it turned into a Moffat pastiche. Weird.
This has been an extraordinary start to the series, but I'm afraid I've not been convinced by it at all thus far. And while I hated many of RTD's efforts, and other stories on his watch, I never really felt nonplussed by it - until now.
Is the show-runner doing too much? Is Who fatigue setting in? Has The Moff misjudged his Nu Who a tad? Or am I just being a miserable bugger? Tune in next week...
• Caves and Twins? What are you dribbling on about?
Go here: Caves and Twins