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.
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