Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Beast Below: What Did You Think?

The fifth series of Doctor Who continued earlier tonight with it's second episode, entitled The Beast Below. The episode saw Amy Pond take her first journey through time and space in the TARDIS, and discover the horrific truth behind Starship UK. To mark the broadcast of this episode, The Gallifrey Vortex has set up a post where you can post your views regarding the episode. Did you enjoy the episode? Do you think the episode lived up to last week's expectations for the new series? What did you think of the episode's plot? Did Matt Smith and Karen Gillan portray their characters well? Please feel free to comment on your views on The Beast Below.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was ok but not as good as The Eleventh hour. The next Episode (Victory of the Daleks) looks alot better

Micah Likes Chickens said...

I thought it was better than the first episode anonymous, I really enjoyed it!

Sylar said...

Was cool, seemed a bit short though! Anyone else notice the crack at the end? :O Next episode looks cool :)

Anonymous said...

I noticed the crack - and it did seem short. Did anyone else noticed Magpie electricals?

Matthew said...

Was enjoyable, but not nearly as good as the Eleventh Hour! (I guess it felt shorter because this was 45mins compared to the first episode's hour runtime!) :) The crack in the ship was another hint to an overall season plot, but it did seem a little tacked on (was this just me?!) unless the message Amy sent herself about getting the Doctor off the ship came through the crack... (that whole Amy message to Amy confused me... but she was in her nightie giving the message...). Also seems to be a running reference to ZERO this series... Prisoner Zero, then the elevator will take you to floor 0... wonder if this will crop up again? :)

Outcast Timelord said...

The Smilers were not that scary as they looked in the trailer but the episode was just as good as the eleventh hour

Doctor Who Hideout said...

It was good. Next weeks looks brilliant.

Patar said...

it was just as good, but they both seemed a bit.. detached. I still prefer RTD and David Tennant

VORTEX said...

The Beast Below

The Beast Below is set on a giant space ship, designed as a homage to Great Britain. This story taps into Dr Who’s own mythology and was inspired by the 1974 the Tom Baker story Ark In Space which was also about the need for humanity to leave planet earth due to solar flares.

There are ecological undertones, the spaceship blighty is driven through the solar system by a cosmic whale, an allegorical symbol of our mother Earth. The message is a valued political statement about the way we currently treat this planet, just like the cosmic whale hyperdrive unit in the story, humanity does not really fully understand the creature’s nature and keeps harming it further for their own selfish reasons. Politics and corrupt hierarchical systems rears their ugly heads in a topically way with Queen Elizabeth X, beautifully portrayed in cockney style and her Prime Minister with sinister hench men known as ‘Smilers’ – interestingly last episode we had the smiling apple – is this to be a poetic theme? The deeper message here is – do we really know what governments are doing – do we care? – the Doctor notices when emerging on to the spaceship that humanity is blissfully unaware and happy in it’s ignorance gleefully shopping amongst the stars.

On the surface one of the main initial influences is from the acclaimed Lucas film ‘Star Wars’ 1977. It is not difficult to spot dialogue references ‘you are our only hope’ and the scene where the Doctor and Amy are ejected into what appears to be the refuse disposal unit which turns out to be the tongue of the cosmic whale, a joint reference to the film. There are defiantly shades of childhood stories, Peter Pan, Pinocchio and some literary influence from the master writer of surrealist fantasy Roald Dahl.
There is also clear reference to the 1976 film ‘Logan’s Run’ after the destruction of civilisation humanity lives in a community where they have forgotten what true freedom is and ignorantly follow the commands of the elders.

Moffat’s writing is wonderful for his companion Amy Pond the realisation scene at the end shows the equanimity of her character, through this calmness of mind she is able to resolve the terrible dilemma. How dreadful of the Doctor to come up with a solution which was inhumane- (ingalifrane).
The casting of the new Doctor and his new companion is consolidated as an outstanding success.

The drawback for this story is that it is far too British, the wonderful use of British iconography portrayed in The Eleventh Hour is overdone here. The sets although beautifully crafted are filmed in an unflattering way, some of the scenes glimpsed by the cameras in Doctor Who Confidential show the designs in a better light, props and extras are not used to their full potential. The bowler hated men inspired by Magritte looked really interesting and should have been used to greater effect.
The set design concept we have seen before in the Davies era and a few old props even turned up from other stories.
The Tardis interior is fantastic but also still harps back to the Davies era a complete redesign would have been a true marvel. When futuristic outer space is visualised the images that are conjured up are of something other than the Queen Victoria public house exterior, budget constraints were all too apparent here, please try to come into a new decade with exciting new visuals Mr Moffat.

AndrewGear111 said...

I think it was not as good as THE ELEVENTH HOUR, and thought it was really short! Was it 45 mins???

Anonymous said...

I really liked last nights eppy

Meg said...

It was cool, and cleverly written but I don't think it was AS good as The Eleventh Hour. Absolutely love Matt Smith as the Doctor and really cannot wait for next week's episode, they're definately living up to my expectations!