Television Review: Doctor Who, “The God Complex”

The episode “The God Complex” was heartbreaking in its simplicity of story telling and its ending. The Doctor and his two companions, Rory and Amy land inside a hotel which looks like a hotel on earth but the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver says otherwise. The crew runs into other people running around the hotel scared to go into the rooms, because there is a room designated for everyone with their worst nightmare living inside it. As one of the people trapped in the hotel explains, “You don’t know what’s going to be in your room until you see it, then you realize it could never have been anything else.” There is even a door for The Doctor, appropriately marked 11. But we don’t get to see what is behind the door. Instead, the Doctor runs around trying to save everyone and figure out what is going on, but his first guess which he tells everyone to believe in turns out to be wrong. To top it all off a monster is chasing them into the rooms of their nightmares and the Doctor’s confrontation of the monster turns out differently than expected. Which seems to be the theme for this episode. On a show that revels in the unexpected, and while the reason for the hotel did not throw me off guard, the ending did. Which is saying something.

Screen Still from Doctor Who

This show had some of the best dialogue yet. I’m sure much of the Doctor’s tidbits of funny will be invading the web for years to come. Examples: 1) “So what have we got? People snatched from their lives and dropped into an endless shifting maze that looks like a 1980s hotel with bad dreams in the bedrooms. Apart from anything else, that’s just rude.” Indeed it is Doctor, indeed it is. 2) “Look at you. Glorious Pond. The girl who waited for me. I’m not a hero. I really am just a madman in a box.” Indeed you are Doctor, indeed you are. 3) “I brought them here. And so it’s their choice. But offer a child a suitcase full of sweets and they’ll take it. Offer someone all of time and space and they’ll take that, too. Which is why you shouldn’t. Which is why grown-ups were invented.” Indeed you should Doctor, indeed you should. But the Doctor wasn’t the only one with the quotes and quips Rory had a few zingers of his own that were indeed heartbreaking. The guest cast was amazing and really brought a brilliance to an episode that would have fallen flat if they had not lived up to the energy and pacing of the show.

Screen Still from Doctor Who

I thought this was a fabulous episode, it made me laugh, it made me think, and it made me tear up. Not much more I can ask from a television show. I’m not a fan of the ending, well, because I’m not. Tomorrow night is the episode “Closing Time”, the season finale airs October 1, 2011 and I hope it the two remaining episodes are epic. Because then this long journey, this bumpy ride is over. And while the Christmas episode will obviously come out at Christmas time per usual, we wont have any more Doctor Who until next fall. Which is a big sad face on my part. I’m crossing my fingers that what conspires tonight and next week leaves enough food for thought until then. [quotes found on and Television Without Pity, video via io9]

Read a more in depth and spoilery review here and here.

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