Continuing from last week, if you’re living in a country that hasn’t seen these episodes yet, read with caution but I’m not going to give too much away. If you can watch it first, that’s even better
Nice to know that even Dr. Brian Cox finds himself out of depth with this story as passive black cubes arrive on the Earth. Meet your Yuletide pressies earlier cos I see a merchandise manoeuvre afoot or a box so to speak. Make sure you pick the working model.
There is a reference made to a decade passing for the Ponds before the Doctor comes back but assuming that previous references have been current, then surely this is ten years from now so why is newscaster Sophie Raeworth, Brian Cox and Sir Alan Sugar all looking contemporary?
Back to the cubes. The one thing the Doctor doesn’t do with them is scan them with his sonic screwdriver. You would have thought that would have been the first thing he would have done. Considering he cleaned the Ponds house in less than an hour, he would make a wonderful house guest.
Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart, now head of UNIT, has a wonderful calming influence and we really do need to see more of her in the time-line. Considering that the turnover of people in charge of UNIT is like a turnstile, having some stability here would be appreciated.
Having the cubes give people heart attacks doesn’t explain why Amy, Kate and the computer operator weren’t affected and yet the Doctor was. I would have to say that it might have been because other than the cube in the chamber, the room had been cleared but you would have thought the single cube would have affected them all, not to mention on the way to the hospital when they must have passed cubes out in the streets.
Mark Williams as Brian Williams also brings a stabilising influence as well as some typically British eccentricity.
We also have an explanation why the Doctor is attracted to the Ponds. It’s practically a safety blanket that he doesn’t want to give up. That’s not a spoiler, just an analysis of a scene.
The Shakri as the enemy is too quickly resolved. This is a real problem with bringing in potentially big bads these days. You can’t even inhale a breath or have a heart attack and they’re gone. How can they be true menaces if they can be so easily beaten? It’s making the series like a fast food diet. Quickly eaten. Quickly forgotten. Hopefully, this particular enemy, which appears to be older than the Time Lords, will be back with something a bit more substance (sic) as they did have some potential.
Despite my criticisms, the pace was such that you were carried through to the end but left wondering why it felt so short an episode.