For a filler episode it wasn’t bad but it didn’t have a very great story. I’m not a big fan of League Of Gentlemen regular Mark Gatiss’s “Who” writing to date.
Last seasons Gattis episode “A New Paradigm” about Churchill and the rebirth of the Dalek’s was the worst Smith episode. Gatiss’s ideas are interesting – but poorly executed, and frustratingly never followed through to their natural conclusion.
Featuring alongside some of Moffat’s emotional rollercoasting episodes they are shown up for what they really are : Doctor Who paint-by-numbers.
Lets see, I need a old dark haunted house – check, some creepy dolls to harrass the doctor – check, a kid with all of the childhood fears – check, a scary cupboard – check. Lets link it all together with tenuous plot devices about a powerful alien called George who ‘calls’ the Doctor over space and time, to come to its aid.
This episode seemed a pointless retread of the 2006 Tennant episode “Fear Her” involving the powerful child and the thing in the cupboard.
Some nice early episode tension buildup of Amy and Rory exploring the dolls house was lost when the explanation of what was happening started to come out.
The ‘peg’ dolls themselves looked the part to begin with, with small fleeting glimpses until they presented themselves in their full glory. And why would they want to hurt the George at the end? He was keeping them alive with his powers and imagination!!
This for me is the central problem and most annoying aspect of Gatiss’s writing, he creates interesting setups but doesn’t deliver them through to their conclusion. He leaves far too many loose ends as his story lurches about. It was explained that the kid was infact a powerful Alien and that was that, no tying up of the kids background.
Why was George here? What was his true Tenza form? Why was a powerful alien so frightened of everything? I don’t want to be spoon fed but some tieup’s would be nice. A final scene of George flicking out a tentacle or eating his earth parents (when no one was looking) would have been a nice shocking end.
Disappointing, especially after last weeks great reopener episode “Let’s Kill Hitler”.