Reviews Doctor Who “The Beast Below”

The Doctor and Liz Ten in the Beast Below
The Doctor and Liz Ten in the Beast Below

The episode felt like the first one with Eleven. This is a good sign as both Moffat and Matt Smith get to their feet about who Eleven is. There was very little Ten here.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Starship UK. There were so many odd old-tyme things that it really set the stage. Their budget may have been cut, but the props department really worked their creativity on this episode. The set reminded me a lot of “The Idiot’s Lantern,” but darker, drabber, and aboard the Starship UK. The spying Smilers were creepy, and I think anyone who’s ever seen Big — especially if seen as a child — is weary of talking dolls in machines.

Everyone’s clothes worked wonderfully as well. The Doctor and his silly bowtie blended right in. However, poor Amy, even after getting drenched in Star Whale bile, still wore her nightie.

(When the Doctor held onto her foot and she floated, Jason informed me the Doctor was just looking up her pjs.)

I loved the populace’s seeming ignorance of Liz Ten. Her family’s history with the Doctor tied in perfectly for bringing in RTD’s run without seeming derivative. Liz quoting Star Wars played whimsical here, especially when she seemed very capable. Brilliant acting here. I also loved the history of the mask. I wish Moffat’s writing would’ve played more with the theme of masks in this episode.

Mostly because I found the reminders again and again of crying children and the anvilicious Doctor and Star Whale comparisons to be overplayed. I got it when they were in the “engine” room. I didn’t need to hear it again when Amy and the Doctor hug before going off in the TARDIS. Subtly is important. And I think bringing in the masks would’ve been nice. For instance, the Star Whale is what you assume the “Beast” is and you assume it eats children/people at the beginning. Beast generally having a negative connotation in Western society. Only to find out, the Star Whale came to save the children (and consequently, the adults) from destruction. Masks could’ve been paralleled with the voting process as well. Voting as showing your true nature.

I did like the Doctor making the hard, yet ultimately bad choice here, and Amy being the one to really “see” the Star Whale responding to the children. One of my favorite Donna qualities was her ability to see what the Doctor could’ve because she was human.

So far, Moffat seems to have an obsession with the young, especially children. Specifically their innocence. In a way, Eleven is not only played by the youngest actor, but he also seems more child-like. (Ten always had a child-like curiosity, but he also had his dark, emo lonely god times too.) And Amy certainly isn’t mature enough to be getting married. Her imaginary friend did come back, and she ran away with him. However, I did like that Amy, as an adult voter, reminded the Doctor that Amy isn’t 7-years-old anymore. Likewise, Liz seemed young and spry as she insisted she’d only been ruler for 10 years. You see her age when she watches the video of herself.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this episode and am looking forward to more of Eleven and Amy. That said, they’re really bringing in the Daleks already?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *