31.02: The Beast Below

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Lenny, Apr 10, 2010.

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    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

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    Amy Pond takes her first trip in the TARDIS when the Doctor whisks her away to the distant future and they discover Britain in space. Starship UK houses the future of the British people as they search the stars for a new home. But when Amy explores she encounters the terrifying Smilers and learns a deadly truth inside the Voting Booth...

    Doctor Who - The Beast Below
    Doctor Who Confidential - All about the Girl

    -----

    An interesting episode. I thought that the idea of an entire country as a spaceship (with high-rise apartments for each county... though the joke about Lancashire? Matt Smith has family in Lancashire! Tut tut.) was brilliant, and could maybe have been developed more. As for the story, not much happened (I must say that I found the story rather flat, to be honest), but we did see more of the personality and character of the Eleventh Doctor - still got some of Tennant's childish glee for things, but he's a lot quicker to anger and doesn't seem to like people getting in his way and doing things for him (even if it is his companion).

    Did anyone notice the "Magpie Electricals" sign? A nice reference to one of Tennant's episodes - The Idiots Lantern.

    EDIT: I'm going with this being S31, by the way - in my mind, the four specials were part of the last series.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
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    thaddeus6th

    thaddeus6th Active Member

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    Interesting episode. Quite liked it, and was pleased to see the Doctor's character developed a bit.
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    The Ace

    The Ace Aye fur Alba

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    Glad we weren't part of it.:)
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    PTeppic

    PTeppic Reetou Diplomatic Corp

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    A couple of Star Wars references in the bag. I've also seen "I've got a bad feeling about this" very recently in an episode of something... was it last week's Dr.Who?

    As for "The Beast Below", I enjoyed it. Don't know specifically why, but for the second week in a row the script felt technically competent and well-written.
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    PTeppic

    PTeppic Reetou Diplomatic Corp

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    And, in the closing fly-out, the soon-to-be-in-our-very-dreams distinctive shape of the "crack in the wall" in the carapace of the city/ship.
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    GrownUp

    GrownUp New Member

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    Loved the set-up, the space-ship. The claustrophic, slightly sinister sense of the place. It was reminiscent both of Dark City and and the world in the Happiness Patrol.
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    chopper

    chopper still alive

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    I immediately thought of "Cities In Flight" by James Blish. The final "money" shot made me think also of the Discworld....

    But a good, tight episode all the same. the idea that nobody wants to know the truth is an effective one. I'm getting a feel for Moffat's style now; I've noticed that he seems to have a penchant for CSI-style collage shots (last week with Smith in the park, this week with Amy in the Tower) and I hope this won't get too annoying.

    Continuity: yes, they mentioned that Scotland had another ship, but then they said that there was only one Starwhale..... what did the other ships have, if there were any at all? (you could imagine that the survivors did not want to remember that they were alone....)
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    thaddeus6th

    thaddeus6th Active Member

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    Unconfirmed rumours ( :p ) reach me that the Scottish ship was powered by the last Star Haggis :D
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
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    chopper

    chopper still alive

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    yes, i left that one kinda set up, didn't i? :D
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    pyan

    pyan Fortiter et recte! Staff Member

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    All the other ships were powered by conventional engines, and didn't need starwhales to power them.

    It was stated that this was the last ship built, and the engines didn't work. (There's a scene where the Doctor opens power-coupling boxes to show they're all disconnected, but they were built for a reason.) The starwhale saw their danger, came too close and was trapped...

    And me - the design of the ship is almost identical to the cover-art on my copy of CiF...
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    There was the "Help me Doctor... You're my only hope!" and the whole trapped-in-the-recyclable-waste-chamber-with-possible-strange-beast scene.

    Never read "Cities In Flight" but the "Encounter at Farpoint" Star Trek TNG similarly tortured a space-faring-beast for gain.

    But they ate it (fried it)!

    Real Life meant that I wasn't really watching this carefully this week, but it seemed more of a 'filler' episode for next week's outing.
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    Brian Turner

    Brian Turner Brian G. Turner Staff Member

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    Not a great episode but not a bad one - reminded me of the Ecclestone episode where there was a beast at the top of the space station and Simon Pegg was trying to placate it.

    Had some nice psychological touches as expected from Moffat, and I liked the twists towards the end.

    Didn't feel Matt Smith looked entirely comfortable - sometimes he looked like he wasn't sure what to do with his hands, and he didn't seem too strong on angry.

    However, it's early days and overall it was an entertaining episode, though not as strong on the different levels as the opening episode "11th Hour". No foul though. :)
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    Talysia

    Talysia Lady of Autumn

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    I didn't think that this was as strong as the opening episode, but I still enjoyed it. I liked the twist at the end, and I'm glad I wasn't alone in thinking of the Discworld on that final shot.:)

    Looking forward to seeing the next episode.
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    SJAB

    SJAB The storyteller

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    Not bad;

    Just wish I had the self-cleaning clothes :eek: and could get the muck out my hair, and blow dry it by just walking a few yards down a corridor.
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    elfdragonlord

    elfdragonlord New Member

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    I didn't like it as much as 11th hour (that's starting to sound like a refrain now, isn't it - "altogether now...")

    but it was ok.

    I'm still totally entranced by Karen Gillan's face and appreciated the big close-up of her when she was fiddling with the padlock and talking to the little girl.

    Something about the storyline left me a bit flat though. I don't know why.

    Did they just torture that beast for nothing then? It seems strange that it never occurred to anyone before that maybe the starwhale came to them out of kindness.

    Liked the doctor getting angry though. Quite a shock really.
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    HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Iago with a Blackberry

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    Hooked me from start to finish. I'm going to say that I think I enjoyed it more than the first episode.
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    GrownUp

    GrownUp New Member

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    Yes, me too. It was claustrophobic, a little sad. And best of all an original summary of the nature of the Doctor. Okay, I realise he keeps saying 'this is what I do' etc, but the illustration with this metaphor was just ace. I felt 10 again, really.

    And I was so pleased to see the return of quirkiness. It worked for Tom Baker, Peter Davidson, well, all the Doctors, and I've missed it.
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    daveac

    daveac Science fiction fantasy

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    A solid episode rather than great. It gave the companion a chance to shine - 'Bonny Scot brings down the English monarch' :)

    Seemed a little like Gridlock (inverted) where there the 'creature' (Face of Boe) was above - keeping the Humans safe below.

    Cheers, daveac
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    Lioness

    Lioness New Member

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    I missed the first one :)O), but rather enjoyed this one. I'm liking Matt Smith. At times it seemed like he was trying to copy Tennant's style, and it wasn't quite working, but then he got back to his own again. He's certainly growing on me, and I like Amy.
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    Nesacat

    Nesacat The Cat

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    I loved this episode. It had me hooked from the beginning.

    And this has been nagging me ... the repeated line about children crying. The Dr was there because a child cried. The star whale came because the children cried. I'm sure I've seen that in a book and I've asked several people and they feel the same only no one can pin it down. Does anyone know? Or am I totally wrong?

    I do know there is an Elizabeth Browning poem with this but I cannot remember a book.

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