Sunday, May 8, 2011

Doctor Who: Curse of the Black Spot


The Doctor + pirates + an apparently homicidal siren. What couldn't be great about that?

Unfortunately, "The Curse of the Black Spot" didn't quite work for me. It seemed to be (forgive the pun) treading water.

Coming off the craziness of 1960s America, the Doctor, Amy and Rory decide to ignore all the questions raised by that adventure and instead follow a distress beacon to a pirate ship adrift in calm waters. The ship's crew is dwindling; every time anyone gets so much as a hangnail, a black spot appears on their palm and a green glowing siren shows up and poofs them into nothingness. Much pirate wackiness ensues. The Doctor walks the plank. Amy puts on a tricorn and swings around a cutlass. Rory is "marked for death" with the black spot. Argh! In the end, it turns out the "siren" is a holographic doctor from an alien ship that is trapped in the same space as the pirate ship, only on a different plain. She's transporting humans to her sick bay because all of her alien crew are dead. None of the humans ends up dead, although Rory comes close (again). The pirates commandeer the alien ship - thus becoming space pirates - and the Doctor and Co. continue on their merry way.

Only two plot points connected to the season opener: Amy's sort-of pregnancy hasn't gone away, and she again sees the eye-patch woman, who this time tells her she's doing fine and to stay calm. If it turns out that Amy is in a psychiatric facility (or some equivalent of that) and her adventures with the Doctor are not real, I will curse and throw things at the television.

This episode struck me the same way the sophomore effort of Season 5 (The Beast Below) did: Lots of interesting elements that didn't quite gel together the way they should. An entertaining hour (if you don't look too hard at plot holes large enough to sail a pirate ship through), but not mind-blowing in the way the season opener was.

Next week: an episode I've been looking forward to watching for a long time because it's penned by Neil Gaiman. I have high expectations.

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