selenak: (Brig and Tardis by Ellisbelle)
[personal profile] selenak
This was the first Doctor Who episode since "The Caretaker" I disliked thoroughly, albeit for different reasons.

Well, okay, I liked three elements - the early Bill and Penny scene, and the Doctor and Nardole interaction (almost) throughout. (The "almost" is for the Doctor not considering that New Menacing Bacteria/Virus/Gas might get through whatever air shields the TARDIS throws up before even leaving it. But then, everyone was stupid in this episode.) The wry mutual snark now feels also (mutually) affectionate, and thus is pleasing to me. Oh, and I liked Erica! Very much so. Hopefully she'll make it out of this three parter alive and might come back.

Other than that, though. Where to begin? Oh, right at the beginning, with the Doctor reccommending a "show of strength" via bombing the pyramid. What the hell? Yes, I get the Doylist reason (i.e establishing early on that the Monks can't be defeated by military means so that's out of the way), and yes, the Doctor knew via the last episode the Monks were set on conquering Earth, but still, this feels very ooc. He has no idea what's inside the pyramid other than a few Monks, whether there's some kind of Doomsday device, whether there's a civilian population, he just doesn't know. The Doctorish thing would be to infiltrate and explore, especially since the show DIDN'T tell us he can't get inside that thing with the TARDIS. (Which is usually established when the episode wants the Doctor not to have that option.) Since when does he reccommend bombing as an opening gambit?

That the Monks' idea of consent is that of Baron Scarpia doesn't bother me, because well, anyone set on conquering planets wouldn't have a good idea about consent anyway, but the clumsy way the episode ticks off its plot boxes so that Bill is manoeuvred into a situation where she grants world conquering "consent" to save the Doctor does. Re: the Doctor regaining his eyesight this way: I'm withholding ire on this particular count because I suspect he'll lose it again once the Monks are gone at the end of Part 3, and that it will be part of the price paid for their defeat.

I thought the "President of Earth" thing was stupid when Moffat first introduced it, and I still think it's stupid now, but it also feels redundant, since there aren't any actual powers coming with it (i.e the General Secretary and the generals completely ignore the Doctor when it suits them). Look, if the Doctor still was treated as a scientific advisor only, several of the problems I have with the episode would go away - it would be the military's and/or human politicians idea to try the bombing early on, too.

Lastly, on a trivial note: look, the Pyramids of Gizeh look the way they do today because they've been used as refined quarries for millennia until very recent modernity put a stop to it. If the Monks created a pyramid, why would they imitate that effect rather than recreate the way it original looked?

In conclusion: Part 3 better be good again.
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