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Review: Doctor Who: "The God Complex" (Episode 11 Season 6)

Posted By: Matt McGloin
Sun, 09/18/2011 - 07:30

picEpisode 11 already, and I'm betting some of you that watched it are still this morning saying: What the das't was all that about! In many ways this was my kind of story. Doctor Who's answer to Twin Peaks coupled with Steven King's The Shining.  

The idea of a hotel where the rooms contain your worse nightmares and phobias is certainly entertaining - from Amy's encounter with Weeping Angels - who turn out to be the morbid fear of mole alien Gibbis (played brilliantly with an undercurrent of menace by Little Britain's David Walliams) to the dining room full of ventriquilist dummies laughing manically. Added to that the exploration of other contemporary fears such as Rita's Muslim upbringings, sensitively handled - although I wasn't convinced about the terrifying gorilla. 
The whole concept was neatly held together by director Nick Hurran, who, like last week's "The Girl Who Waited," didn't hold back when he used novel directional effects such as subliminal "Praise Him" messages scrawled in typeface, to black and white CCTV shots as the "god" watches every movement his victims make. 
The Minotaur was brilliantly realized considering it was a cousin of the Nimon - one of the worse Doctor Who monsters ever introduced, yet here - magnified by its imposing size and stature was very impressive. It was a great reveal that it was a deity that had essentially been dumped by its followers, trapped in a holographic prison maze, determined to die, yet unable to stop its craving for worship and sustenance. Great touch from writer Toby Whitehouse. 
At the core of the story was the exploration of how Companions have faith in the Doctor, their belief they will always be saved no matter what - which gets turned on its head in a great scene with Young Amy staring lost and lonely out of a window to the Time Lord that never came back. Great performances by the regulars. 
However, the last few minutes of the episode gets grounded back into reality as the Doctor makes the hard decision to let Amy and Rory go, not before setting them up in a plush house and giving Rory a nifty red sports car. Sad departure for the Ponds? Don't bet on it. Just rewind your DVD and go back to "The Impossible Astronaut," and watch the opening sequences and you'll see what a genius Moffatt is. That temporal time loop to Lake Silencio is closing in fast folks, inevitably as the darkness enveloped the lonely Doctor at the end.