Doctor Who Series 5 Episode 2 review: The Beast Below

Posted: 2 May 2010 in television
Tags: , , ,
Very old and very kind, and the very very last…
Doctor Who - The Beast Below
As the last of their respective races the Doctor and the Star Whale have ever right to rage against the unfairness of the universe and the aggressive nature of the human race in particular, but the one thing that neither of them can do, whatever pain and torment is inflicted upon them over the centuries is watch innocents suffer. The Doctor is still recovering physically and emotionally from his recent “death” caused by his self-sacrifice for a man who represented the best parts of humanity, and the Star Whale is willing to sacrifice its freedom to roam the stars unfettered because it couldn’t bear to hear the children of Earth cry out in terror. The compassion of these two aliens should make people weep with joy.
If Matt Smith’s sophomore story had any faults then it was the restrictive nature of the 45 minute format to accommodate the surfeit of ideas that Steven Moffat had in his head for “The Beast Below”. Starship UK…Smilers…Liz Ten…Star Whale…
There was enough genius here to easily fill one of the 4 episode stories from the Classic Series, perhaps even a 6 parter. Let’s face it even a rushed script from The Grand Moff is a piece of work…
Matt Smith’s Doctor fires on all cylinders from the moment he appears in the TARDIS doorway (he’s a Time Lord of great age so I’m sure he wasn’t looking up Amy’s nightdress) with 5,000 ideas bouncing inside his head and 5 steps ahead of everyone. Until he nearly makes one of the greatest mistakes of his long, long life and needs his very identity as the Doctor saving by his new human friend Amy Pond.
“Pond” is building towards being one of the best companions to ever grace the TARDIS thanks to great material and a brilliant performance from Karen Gillan. Feisty, compassionate, intuitive. Or simply “Scottish”. No mopping around like a love-sick bunny for her but throwing herself in where angels fear to tread…especially ones wearing nightwear and slippers.
As the TARDIS leaves Starship UK under the reign on Liz Ten and helmsmanship of the Star Whale another crack in the universe appears… “The Pandorica will open…” Are they following the Doctor, the TARDIS, or Amy Pond???
No compassion from aliens on the agenda next week it seems…Effectively a cliffhanger ending with the Doctor being summoned to London in the 1940s by Winston Churchill – who appears to have a different style of beast to contend with if the shadow on the wall is anything to go by…

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