Quite a bit late with these, I apologize (again). New York Comic Con last week, and being bed-ridden ill this week, I haven’t been very productive. But what a cracker of a two parter that was! It may have its faults, but the story was unique and mostly sound. The Doctor arrives at an underwater base in Scotland in the year 2119, a base the TARDIS specifically wanted to head to. Ghosts. Real ghosts. To fix the issue the Doctor attempts going back in time, only to find he creates his own Bootstrap Paradox. This will be a flash review, as it’s so late I feel I should just jot down some brief thoughts.
The ghosts were a good scare. Well, not THAT scary. But in the context of the show they served their purpose well. Hollow, sunken eyes. Cracked, dead skin. Wispy. The mix of CG layering and proper prosthetics did this two parter wonders.
The addition of a strong deaf character was a huge bonus. Having someone reading lips and translating is something rarely utilized on television, and a first for this series. Plus, it wasn’t just flavoring. It became an essential part of the actual plot when the twist that the ghosts had a silent message became apparent. Well done. It was also a nice touch seeing how they handled the silent perspective of the deaf character, versus what was actually happening.
The Fisher King wasn’t nearly as menacing as the ghosts were, and the revelation that he was just sending out a signal was a pretty lackluster one.
I occasionally enjoy the U.N.I.T. fangirling over the Doctor. This is one of those occasions.
The scene where the Doctor broke the fourth wall to explain the Bootstrap Paradox before the intro theme was odd, to say the least. I’m on the fence on whether I enjoyed it or not. I feel that Capaldi has such screen magnetism that I don’t mind anything he does, under the guise of the Doctor. But I could have noted the usage of a causal paradox regardless. It’s been done before on the program, in Blink and Time Crash, but this time the writer needed it to be in your face. Probably could have done without it.
Overall a solid base under siege story. The first part was, to me, far better. Never once did I question the location of the base, as the setting was extremely atmospheric. I quite liked it.