So the bastard BBC decided to put this week’s Doctor Who on 15 minutes later than usual so the tiny window I previously had for actually getting to watch it live as it goes out got too small even for me to be comfortable with. So now I have to wait till I get home and hope it’s on iplayer. To make matters worse this is a pirate episode. Set on a pirate. With pirates and everything. I love pirates me. All through my adulthood I’ve enjoyed a romp with a pirate. I mean a pirate romp. When I got 100% for my animation module at uni it was my pirate cartoon that sealed the deal. And when someone suggested I should have a pirate wedding I thought it was the best idea since my dad let me as a baby dip my finger into a pint of Guinness giving me a lifelong taste and love of alcohol. But I know it wouldn’t be worth mentioning to the wife. She flatly said no when I asked if our first dance could be BJ Snowden’s In Canada.
So I had a lovely gig that night and was on the bill with Tommy Campbell who was on last week’s episode Day of the Moon and is an awesome comedian. Like a fan boy I got my photo taken with him to show I don’t just make this crap up. Angus the guy that works the door took the photo and because he’s a camera man and a perfectionist he kept saying, “can we take one more?” till there was a queue of people waiting to get back into the gig as the sign was in the hallway back into the room of mirth.
After the show I had a beer with Tommy and Mike Manera and Tommy told us a bit about the filming and how he’s already been stopped in the street and has been sent things to sign. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy and then we sat talking about married life. I got home a little late, was tired and had a few beers in me so I decided to watch it the next day as I had an early start.
Did I get a chance to watch it on Sunday? Did I Frak. I had to cook Sunday dinner round my mums. Roast beef dinner actually and it was most excellent if I say so myself. Then after dropping my brother off I had to go home, pick up my ukulele and head to a gig to try out some stuff for my Edinburgh show. By the time Sophia met me and had a drink I was again too tired to watch it and give the episode my undivided attention.
Monday came and I was given a list of things to do by the wife. The minute she went out of the door I sat down at the computer with a pot of coffee and a steak pie with baked beans and finally got around to watching episode 3. Thank god for that, I was about to explode with a yo ho ho.
WARNING, SPOILER ALERT.
Doctor Who meets Pirates of the Caribbean. What could be better? Instead of Curse of the Black Pearl, this was Curse of the Black Spot. This episode was fun fun fun. After all the seriousness and confusing plotlines from the last two episodes it’s great to have a traditional Saturday night family Doctor Who.
I adored the way the Doctor wanted the pirates to be more like pirates you see in movies and getting them to laugh more. His bantering with Captain Avery about who was in charge was fun and Avery knowing rudimentary knowledge of how the TARDIS works because one ship is fairly similar to another was a great plot device to be used later. Amy looked sexy in her pirate outfit and the special effects for the siren and the look of the set were fantastic. John Avery going off into space was a nice way to explain what happened to him after he disappeared in real life. As far as I know he finished pirating and disappeared with a ton of loot never to be heard of again.
However there were a lot of problems. Overall it was an overused plot device. People disappearing with an abandoned computer still running its program is basically the same plot as The Lodger.
Avery flying off to new adventure with his newly acquired spaceship is a little bit too much like the ending of The Doctor’s Daughter. I got the impression with both stories it was a blatant attempt to start a spin off series or be a plot device to come and save the day during the final episode.
It’s a little uncomfortable that they made Avery a nice pirate as he and his crew were anything but in real life. He never served for the navy and he and his crew took great pleasure in killing, torture and rape on a horrific scale.
Also can we not have Rory dying and not dying, he’s starting to become the Doctor Who equivalent of Kenny from South Park.
The Siren was a lovely idea and really well performed, but to simply have her as a computer program left running was a bit of a disappointment.
And I know it just wasn’t me, but good friend and fellow Doctor Who fan Dave Hicky also noticed the glaring error of the disappearing and reappearing crew member. Also the black guy predictably gets it near the beginning.
And finally, do we need to have the repeat of the face of the lady with the eye patch and the Doctor not being able to tell if Amy’s pregnant again? It didn’t add anything to that recurring plot line at all.
So all in all I really enjoyed it, but there were far too many flaws in it for my liking. Next week a story by Neil Gaiman and it looks like there’s another Timelord out there.
7 out of 10