[personal profile] morganminstrel
Ok, I was warned that this episode...charitably, wasn't the best before I saw it and, well, I have to agree. It certainly wasn't bad, there were some very good bits...but it takes Doctor Who well out of the realm of science fantasy, and firmly into the realm of magic. Moreso than any other one we've had thus far, anyway. Now, as I said, it wasn't bad, per se; I'm kind of looking at it as a bit of a failed experiment.

And now, some spoiler space.

So, ok. I loved the whole feel of the forest, and of the dark memory of mankind. I really liked the kids--I know, I know, I'm sure most of you hated the kids, but I found them mostly pretty all right. Specifically, of course, I liked Abigail Eames as Maebh. Her interaction with Capaldi was great--it's good to see a Doctor interact with a child (Courtney was a bit too old to get that real feel, to be honest) and I think she did a good job. On the other hand...

The whole "magic" of the forest, while slightly enveloped in SF trappings (Oxygen! Air bag! What?) wound up kind of killing the story. Yes, it was somewhat clever, but it didn't really work. And neither did "the trees disappear magically, thanks to the clever fairies nature spirits glowing tree bug things."

Things I liked:
1. The title. Love a good Blake poem, me.
2. The kids. Worked surprisingly well, and gave us another view of Clara and Danny--and gave the Doctor another view of Danny too. (And let us see how, honestly, Clara is in trouble of losing herself...or what seems to be herself?)
3. The wolves and the tiger. Wonderful, primal fear, even if the CGI for the wolves was a bit ropey.
4. About half the plot. Loved the atmosphere, basically great for the first half to 2/3rds of the episode.
5. Clara and Danny's relationship. Really liked how the episode developed it.

Things I wasn't too keen on:
1. The tree spirits. Moffat, to be honest, has done something like this before--surprised there was no reference at all to "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe"--and done it better. It just didn't work very well here.
2. The call around the world. If folks thought the "turn off your lights" from "Kill the Moon" was ridiculous... (for the record, I went with that, but this episode lost me well before this point). And the message was lovely, but not one written by children.
3. The disappearance of the trees. Magic, pure and simple.
4. Missy's appearance. Absolutely unnecessary.

Basically, the episode didn't really work--and didn't work especially as it followed on a run of at least two very strong stories. (I'd say more, but not everyone agrees with me!) As I said, it wasn't bad. Certainly, I was entertained, and there have been much worse Doctor Who stories. (By the by, I do not get the hate for "Fear Her." I thought it was an all right story--why does everyone else seem to dislike it so much?) It was just a step too far for this series. I know Moffat has said he likes to have Doctor Who as a fairy tale, but there's only so far that can be pushed...and this went over that line.

Anyway. It didn't suck and I'd probably watch it again, so that's already two up on "Love & Monsters," right? heh.

NEXT WEEK: It's the beginning of the end--of Season 34 anyway. The Nethersphere! Missy revealed! Clara...revealed? The Cybermen! Holy Zarquon! It's "Dark Water," by Steven Moffat, the first of a two part finale!

Click here for my previous Doctor Who reviews.

Date: 2014-10-28 04:24 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
(Spoo here)
Yeah the heavy fairy tale vibe turned me off to a bunch of the Matt Smith era, and having gotten impatient and read some things online (since my DVR derped again), perhaps I'll just give this one a miss altogether. I have to imagine that people disgusted with the science in Kill the Moon were gonna really hate this one. And again, I'm really expecting to be miffed about the whole Missy thing. I may just skip this one altogether and hope the 2-parter really works.



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