Doctor Who – The Beast Below

WARNING: spoilerish

The introductions are over now, and “The Beast Below” is left to scream it from the rooftops that Doctor Who is back. This episode has everything: a sense of menace in the familiar, sci-fi dystopia, and real moral dilemmas of a sort that the last few series have been rather bereft of. Through it all, there was a real monster tale, at least at first appearance.

I have to say, I thought the star whale was quite nicely realised, being menacing when it needed to be whilst still managing to come off sympathetically in the final scenes. For that matter, the whole spaceship was very well-realised, maintaining a very modern sense of familiar Britishness at the same time as Orwellian menace and futurism. And if you weren’t creeped out by seaside automatons before seeing “The Beast Below”, you should be now.

The plot worked well, both in itself and as an allegory of what the new Doctor is about. For all that the script had evident hangovers from David Tennant’s dialogue, Matt Smith’s portrayal does have a unique (and quite old-fashioned) style. Somehow, he seems older. In fact he almost has Bill Hartnell’s sense of age about him, especially as he started re-wiring the console for the electric spike.

I was most impressed with the resolution to the final horror. The episode really did keep me guessing as to what could be so awful that everybody pressed the “forget” button, but so disastrous that they wouldn’t protest. And Amy’s realisation that there was a less horrifying solution didn’t feel like the cop-out it could have been. Altogether, I really enjoyed this episode and I think that it has solidified the new Doctor and the new production team. If this is the future of Doctor Who, it’s everything I hoped for.

~ by Scary Rob on 14 April, 2010.

One Response to “Doctor Who – The Beast Below”

  1. I’d agree with you, the new Doctor is turning into a beautiful hybrid of old fashioned Doctor with his own eccentric leanings.

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