November 15, 2015
Normally, I don't like posting spoilers - I try not to, mostly because I enjoy the challenge of writing about something with some constraints. However, much like Gene Siskel in his review of Friday the 13th, I'm going to spoil last night's episode of Doctor Who. Heavily.
Because it sucked. Possibly the worst episode of the entire season so far.
Much of the problem is that Mark Gatiss stuffs this episode with too many ideas that never seem to go anywhere.
If the only driving idea were "found footage", with a lifeform that hacked into the human brain....that's actually clever - it would make this like Series Three's 42: an experiment in using contemporary television/movie styles in Doctor who.
If the only driving idea was the need to sleep and personal balance....it would have worked. It's what Who does best: take something normal and turn it into a menace.
If the only driving idea were a futuristic pandemic....it would have worked.
But this episode takes all three....and mixes them together into an incoherent mass. Nothing about this episode feels like it makes sense, and the surprise "Jason-springs-from-the-dead" ending feels like a cheat. It's a shame when the luxury car ads that play during the episode provide some relief (and assorted jokes about BBC America's media buyer not doing their job properly).
But Gordon, some of you are thinking, Many other sites are giving this a good review. I liked it. How can you be so harsh?
Simple - sometimes, you can like something on initial viewing and then realize the error of your ways.
Or sometimes, you can see something for what it is first time around, and go with your immediate reaction. I'm choosing the latter.
This is a real stinker, all around.