[personal profile] morganminstrel
So, at last we come to the end of the three episode story. As with last week, it's going to be very difficult to pick my words without spoiling things, but the big question is: Does Toby Whithouse stick the landing?

Remember, part one of this story was written by Steven Moffat alone, part two was by Moffat and Peter Harness, and part three is by Whithouse. (A writer whose work I have enjoyed in the past.) It's a strange way to write a story--and yes, Moffat has referred to the episodes as being "loosely connected," but there's no way this week and last week could work independently from each other. So I choose to think of this as a three-parter.

Well, first of all, the title is magnificent. If Whithouse thought of it, props to him. I wonder whether he got some kind of brief or if he's the one who came up with the story arc, ultimately. I'd love for the latter to be true, but I suspect the former. This is still very much his episode, though, with turns of phrase that are not Moffatish. There's one exchange in particular, most of the way through the episode, that I loved very much between the Doctor and Bill. It's nothing major, but it's just a tiny bit I thought was great. And all of the characters in Whithouse's script are quite good, and written quite well. (Again, who knows how much of this we can lay at Moffat's feet; there's a lot of continuity going on here.)

To be honest, it's character and dialogue that carry this one. The plot...is not as good, really. There are very few surprises once the story gets going, and the resolution is a bit rushed, so we can get to a very, very, very good denouement. But the characters (even the minor ones) and dialogue do carry us through very well.

Of course the real weakness is the antagonists. We do get to know a tiny bit more about them by the end, but they still remain an enigma. (Pun not intended. Well, now that I've thought of it, it may not have been intended, but I'll take credit for it, as it's funny.) To go into detail would be a bit spoilery, but I'll just say there have been some frustrations for me over the weeks regarding the baddies. But I'll let it go.

So, was this equivalent of an old six-parter a good 'un? Well, it's not up there with the classics, but yeah, it was. Not great, but good, and fun. And definitely worth watching.

NEXT WEEK: ICE WARRIORS! ICE WARRIORS!!! And...Victorian explorers on Mars?? It's "Empress of Mars" by Mark Gatiss!
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