Friday, July 1, 2011

Doctor Who S05e02: The Beast Below

In the Beast Below we suddenly find ourselves in the 30th century, with crying children, booth box dolls trying to kill you and Starship U.K.

Going to be honest. Not sure if I really like this episode much.
Don't get me wrong, it isn't necessarily a terrible episode. It is a good one, I watched it a second time. There was just something off I felt. Maybe the plot felt a tad rushed, or maybe it was because I'm still new to this and the Doctor seemed a bit off. I'm not sure. Needless to say we're introduced to the first episode where we get to see the Doctor and Amy off on a adventure.
But first, a very nervous little boy clutching his book bag. The children seemed to be lined up in front of their teacher getting their grade for the day? NO! NEVERMIND! CREEPY PORCELAIN DOLL FACE MAN! Carnivals are ruined for me now...
Timmy is apparently told he has done a bad job and that is... awful? I don't understand, does he get like detention or something? No, he apparently he has to walk to London. Erm. What? But no, he takes the elevator and the floor opens up and EATS HIM OH MY FUDGE AND CRACKERS!! 
Although no matter how the rest of the episode went, the beginning of this episode had me watching in child-like awe. The beginning with Amy was beautifully done I thought. With Amy floating in Space just, looking. Admiring everything that you may have ever dreamed to see all around you. The things you never thought you would be able to touch, the sky and stars, are around you. This scene just filled me with such admiration, and little bit of longing. I also loved how the Doctor was just hanging onto her by her ankle as she floated there.

Also, Amy asks what she is breathing and the Doctor tells her he expanded the air shield. I love random fact tidbits! 

The Doctor tells Amy that this is the Starship U.K  in the 30th century. The earth burned up from solar flares so humanity took to the skies. Oh pleasant. Oh little girl crying. 
I love how the Doctor is like: "Now Amy, we mustn't interfere. We just have to watch." Amy of course is busy agreeing with that and comparing it to animal documentaries and HURRY UP POND! The Doctor is already busy meddling. 
Heh. ♥
At this point the Doctor makes an interesting statement that Amy needs to start practicing her sense of observation to see what is wrong. Of course, I'm with Amy going: Uhm.. what? I see that the U.K. is a spaceship now and that Earth burned up. That's a problem. Other than that is just looks a tad... slummy. 
No apparently there's a 'missing fish'. Doctor, why are you putting water glasses on the floor? It goes on the table. I don't know what they do back on your planet, and seriously what is going on!
Obviously something sinister and plot related because now ominous robed figures are watching the Doctor and calling other ominous people asking water glass related questions about the Doctor while they watch him. Excellent. 
The comment the Doctor makes about children crying is rather astute as well. Saying children cry aloud to get attention because something is wrong, they're hurt. They cry to themselves when they can't stop, and everyone else is noticing. Yet no one goes near this little girl, and now I am like: What ritualistic crazy things are going on here?! Because it's totally got to be some sacrificial thing! And Anthropology go away, I'm watching tv. 
Amy: Are you a parent?
Yeah Doctor, are you?! Because that would be cool, and a little mind melting. 
Also, yeah Amy. Stay away from the booths! They are *~not nice~* Now let us split up! Because that's always an ingenious plan. Sweet mother of pearl
So off Amy goes to follow this poor little girl, who clearly clever and notices what's going on. Catching Amy following her. Wait, no the Doctor is just a bad pickpocket. Somehow that is really funny to me. He can do so much else, but he can't seem pick a little girls pocket properly. 
Ooo. Ominous tent. Pick the lock Amy! Pick it! Yeaaaaaaah. Amy Pond isn't afraid of ominous things. She's too fierce
They don't speak of Below? You mean where TIMMY GOT EATEN?! Although seriously, what is down there? Why would you be totally okay to just sent children down elevator shafts into the Below? 
Maybe they use them as fuel.
As Amy crawled into the tent I was worried the ground was going to give away and she would plunge into this dreaded 'Below', but no. Instead it's just a silly, old, SHARP, POINTY, TAIL... THING... FLAILING AROUND! LIKE I AM DOING! 
What in the everliving is going on, on this ship? Seriously people! Also, the booth guy does not look happy. Neither do the dudes in hoods who have now taken Amy. Awesome. This is why you don't split up guys. 
However, I suppose if Amy were tagging along then the Doctor couldn't do his super secret stuff. Which apparently involves running around in an engine room. I know it's an engine room, because every engine room (or room within the vicinity of an engine room) has steam pouring everywhere like it's a bloody rave party. Oh look, ominous woman with a velvety red cape. Velvet is totally stylish. No
Wait, she knows he's the Doctor. So she knows him? Owen says the Doctor gets around though, I suppose being a time traveler you would. Look though! There are no engines! It's all fake and hollow! That's why he used the glass of water, clever Doctor! It didn't ripple from vibrations, and OH MY WORD! THEY ARE USING CHILDREN AS FUEL OF SOME SORT! what is going on
Btw, no worries. You're friends is totes safe. Here's a tracker to find her. We just looked scary and knocked her out. No worries!
Your execution could have been better. Just sayin'. 
This part of the episode really just threw me off though. It felt a little confusing. As Amy is in a voting booth (with a creepy smiley guy there! eek!) and in front of her sits three buttons. Protest, Record and Forget. A presentation starts running, and you would think in the future they would have better tv's, she is told that if even 1% of the population chooses to remember; they will all suffer the consequences. 
Uhm. What did you guys do?
The presentation runs and all I could make out was a brain and a child. Amy immediately hits the Forget button and a Recording of herself starts playing, pleading with her to get the Doctor out of there. 
Seriously. What is going on? Is it something that they might feed the Doctor too? I have no idea. Whatever it is, Amy promptly hid's it from the Doctor. Turning off the Recording as he walks in. They soon learn everyone over 16 can vote, and everyone always chooses to Forget. Why though? If it is something so awful, wouldn't someone Protest at some point? Or would it threaten their whole existence? These are the questions I had. Apparently the Doctor had them too, but the voting booth won't let him watch because he isn't human. So of course he totally hits the Protest button, and this man is sheer brilliance. Except the floor is now kind of OPENING UP TO EAT YOU! I sense that was a bad life decision! 
Which, I am promptly proven right as the Doctor and Amy are shot down a tube into a trash compactor? Or something? Oh gross. I feel bad for Amy, who is still in a nighty! All covered in nastiness. As the Doctor helps her up though and looks around, they realize that they are not in the garbage.
They're in a freaking mouth.
We appear to have been nom nom'ed
The Doctor deduces that, allow seeing the stomach would be fabulous, the only way out is to make the creature sick. Oh how...lovely. Using the Sonic Screwdriver (which apparently does anything), the creature spews them out, and I love the fact that the Doctor yells Geronimo! Hah. 
Now out of the monsters mouth, the only way out of the chamber is to 'Forget'. This is some serious business if apparently the only option you really get is to 'Forget'. I'm pretty sure 0% of the population remembers, as they probably got eaten. Lovely. Just, lovely. 
The booth guys get a whole lot creepier as the Doctor insists he will not Forget and they climb out of their booths! Don't worry though, ominous lady to the rescue! And she shoots them down like a total bamf. 
It also turns out that she is Liz X. What?! Yup, she's Liz 10 or Elizabeth the 10th. 
Owen had a problem with this part. She didn't seem to have that aire of royalty. I mean in the manner of talking really. I just thought she was some cool chick who totally kicked trash. When she was like "I'm the bloody queen mate." It was, "That's cool" and "That's odd" at the same time. It was just mannerisms. Then again it's the 30th century, I dunno. 
Also, heh the Doctor and the 'Virgin Queen'. Oh Doctor. 
As they arrive at Liz X's, with water glasses everywhere to remind her. I thought that part was actually kind of nice, she cares and actively seeks out what is wrong. When the creepy hooded guys show up though to detain all of them, and then turn out to be smilers, I was like NO THANK YOU. Do not want heads that turn 180 degrees. 
From here on out I think is when the episode became weird to me. As they are taken to the lowest level, which is the Tower of London (lol) we discover what is actually going on and what Amy chose to forget. Those tentacle things are around there too, caged in. As well as A BRAIN. That they are shooting painful amounts of energy through! What have you people done? 
We are then told that, apparently, Britain had a lapse in preparation as the sun began to flare. As everyone else took the skies, they were still there. Their sun betraying them, their children crying and then "like a miracle" a starwhale comes. The last of it's kind.
And you build a ship around it, caging it, and now shoot lasers through its brain so you can fly off. 
Wow. Just. Wow.
At this point, I was basically going: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU?! No seriously. How could you do that? However horrified and slightly miffed I was, paled in comparisons to the Doctor as I actually see him mad for the first time. And excuse me but it is a little frightening. Liz X is also apparently 300 years old, just so you know, and every time she investigates she ends up there. Hits the Forget button and goes back in a loop. 
You also feed you people to this thing! Just.. ah.. ugh.. whyyyy
 Perhaps what threw me off about this episode was the Doctors anger. It seems like he's almost trying not to blow up in rage. Most of it though seems to get directed to Amy, as he's so furious with her that she would try to protect him from this and forget about it. He's angry she would try to make that choice for him. I get why he is so mad, the anger was just so sudden I suppose. So the Doctor is now faced with three options: release the starwhale which will kill all humans, let the starwhale continue in agony as they torture it, or basically make it a vegetable with a high blast. Allowing them to still sail, but the starwhale will be basically dead. 
Seriously depressing. 
It was also kind of ...awkward? As Amy keeps telling the Doctor she doesn't even remember hitting the Forget button. While the Doctor replies that she still did it anyway and he's taking her home, all she can reply with is that she's human and he totally ignores her. 
Thank heavens for Amy though, as she uses her observational skills to realize something. Then grabs Liz's hand and hits the Abdicated button like a total champ, releasing the starwhale. 
Oh guess what. It doesn't leave! It freaking wanted to help! 
Oh my gosh, you people are idiots for what you did. Seriously, hang heads in shame. 
With the starwhale in control, the pick up speed and yay!
Now, another thing about this episode. I get that a lot of people like this quote:
The Star Whale didn't come like a miracle all those years ago. It volunteered. You didn't have to trap it or torture it. That was all just you. It came because it couldn't stand to watch your children cry. What if you were really old and really kind and alone—your whole race dead, no future. What could you do then? If you were that old and that kind, and the very last of your kind, you couldn't just stand there and watch children cry.
Amy talking, of course, about the starwhale and the Doctor. However, just something about that quote just doesn't sit with me. I think it's the repetition. I'm fussy with things like that I suppose. Though not in my own writing evidently.
So now Starship U.K. has a better pilot at the helm, and the adventure has resolved happily. As the Doctor tells Amy she could have killed everyone on board I love how Amy just simply states, "You could have kill a starwhale." Both were just as bad, and I love that she says that. Amy Pond you are lovely.
So off they are in the TARDIS. Amy apparently contemplating her case of cold feet, as she ran off with a madman the night before her wedding. I find that humorous. The Doctor shows up at the weirdest of times. Also, phones for you it's Winston Freaking Churchill! Because, you know, he's totally drinking buddies with the Doctor. omg awesome
As Amy and the Doctor are off, the Starship U.K. keeps sailing with it's starwhale pilot.
With a crack in the hull!

Ahh! What is it!
Obviously a reoccurring story arch plot point. But still!


Oh, and also. This:  

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