On the heights and depths in Doctor Who

This past weekend’s episode of Doctor Who brings us into the mid-season break.

(Note: Because BBC America is now a week behind on broadcasting Doctor Who, thanks to Memorial Day weekend, any readers who are following that channel’s broadcasts may want to hold off a week before checking out my opinions below. In the mean time, here are my thoughts from last weekend’s episode, which you just got to see)

While I enjoy that this episode did answer some questions, and I really liked seeing Rory step up a bit more than usual, I can’t say that the episode was particularly fulfilling. The points just went by far too fast, and it all seemed too easy. 

Occasionally, and episode turns out like this. I’m not sure if the writers are just trying to get too much done at once, or what it might be, but the episode moves from scene to scene far too rapidly, and after a half-season full of episodes in which not enough happens in regard to the myth-arc story, we get third one episode where so much happens that it feels rushed.

One of the most interesting things about this episode is the recall of several characters from episodes past, but it feels like they didn’t really take advantage of that idea.

More effectively, The Doctor and Rory could have taken several episodes to build this small fighting force. We could have gotten a lot more out of each of their appearances if at each world, they have to spend an episode solving some problem wherever that person is, before they can be recruited. 

We could have seen the team build slowly, and each one help further with yet the next character’s dilemma. 

This approach would also have allowed the drama to build more effectively. They way they did it here, Amy’s kidnapping is discovered one moment, then she’s already being rescued the very next moment. I regret the loss of this huge potential for fun adventures.

Simultaneously, we could have been periodically flashing over to what’s going on with Amy in the Demon’s run facility.

Everything in this episode, from Rory’s confrontation with the Cyber Men to River’s final revelation would have been more dramatic, and more evocative, if it just hadn’t been so easy. They crammed so much into such a small space, it was a disappointing let down.