HADS (HOSTILE ACTION DISPLACEMENT SYSTEM) WARNING: While great care has been taken to avoid huge plot points and major spoilers there are still story details that are discussed below. If you have not seen this event yet and wish to remain spoiler-free, then this article may not be your cup of tea. You have been warned, proceed at your own risk, tip your waitress, free TARDIS valet parking.
TARDIS SCANNER – What Happened?
Three months after the previous episode the Doctor is a prisoner at Area 51. Amy, River and Rory are being ruthlessly hunted down by Canton Delaware III, with Amy and Rory being shot in Utah and River leaping off a skyscraper in New York. The Doctor is being imprisoned inside a room constructed of bricks made from zero-balanced dwarf star alloy, a perfect prisoner. Canton brings the bodies of Amy and Rory to the Doctor’s prison and then seals them all inside. Cue the credits and then the fun begins. OK, there is a bit of timely resurrections, a secret alliance and a rescue with a swimming pool, but that all still happens before the theme tune. And yes, it is all that awesome.
What follows is a rousing action/adventure story that veers into the realm of uber-creepy and stays there for most of the episode. There is also perhaps the Doctor’s most brilliant plan ever to drive off an occupying group of aliens and ensure they never ever return to Earth. Really, it is about nine kinds of brilliant all rolled into one. Oh, and there is the final, definitive answer as to who Amy’s true love is and it’s particularly awesome. Then there is the the final scene which is particularly mind-blowing and could imply all sorts of things. Hang on to your brains, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride for the next five weeks.
PERCEPTION FILTER – Analysis
I thought The Impossible Astronaut was a real brain twister, but this one tops that and then some. There are a couple of odd things that happen that are completely unrelated to the central plot and very much serve to keep you invested in what happens for the rest of this series. I love how Steven Moffat can give us a very satisfying ending to an episode and then go on to make your jaw meet the floor. The lady with the eyepatch talking about someone dreaming and the little girl regenerating at the very end have already lit up the Who message boards with speculation that threatens to run rampant. The fun bit is that no matter how elaborate and amazing sounding the theories get, I’m guessing that Moffat’s ultimate solution leaves all of those in the dust.
Two things I want to say right now – First, make Canton Delaware III a full-time companion right the hell now. Mark Sheppard is awesome and his magnificent portrayal of Canton deserves to be on TV each week. Second, please find a way to have River Song show up more often. The chemistry between Alex Kingston and Matt Smith is a joy. I absolutely love the way that River can seemingly infuriate the Doctor, yet also make him seem so happy at the same time. Kingston and Smith have a physical and verbal ballet in this episode that is the stuff television awards wins are made of. I’m already looking forward to River’s return later this year.
So, are the Silents gone? If so, who appropriates their spacesuit exoskeleton to do the bad, bad thing in last weeks episode? And where did the dire graffiti in the orphanage come from? I had thought Dr. Renfrew was responsible, but the more I think about, I’m not so sure. I think perhaps more pieces will start to fall into place depending on the clue and/or continuing theme we get next week. And speaking of next week: Pirates!
TARDIS INDEX FILE – Things of Significance
River returns to the Stormcage rather than have the Doctor take her any place else. I find that interesting.
There is a surprise regeneration.
Both the TARDIS and Amy seem to be unsure as to whether or not the latter is pregnant.
There is a reference that someone, a she, is dreaming. There may be other clues.
The Doctor is at least partially responsible for Nixon’s continued use of a tape recorder in the Oval Office, which contributed to his eventual downfall.
CHAMELEON CIRCUIT – Unanswered Questions
Is Amy pregnant or not?
Where in River Song’s timeline does this occur?
Does Canton get married and are he and his husband still together in 2011?
Is the little girl at the end a Time Lord? Was the end of the regeneration not shown because she gains a familiar face?
Why did the Silents need an automated spacesuit and why did they need a little girl in it?
Who was the woman with the cyborg eye who appeared in the slat in the door that turned out not to really be there?
How does the spacesuit get reactivated and wind up in Utah to kill the Doctor and who is in it?
Can the death of the 1103 year old Doctor be avoided?
How, exactly, did the time engine get from this episode to the non-existent flat above Craig Owens in last year’s The Lodger?
TRANSLATION CIRCUIT – Answered Questions
Now we know where the time engine above Craig Owens’ flat came from (but see above).
We now know that Rory “sometimes” remembers being a plastic Roman soldier guarding the Pandorica for 2000 years.
Canton Everett Delaware III is more progressive and much cooler than we initially realized.
We now know why President Nixon had a tape recording system in the Oval Office and why he continued to use it after the events of this episode.
The TARDIS is marooned on onboard a 17th-century pirate ship whose crew is being attacked by a mysterious and beautiful sea creature. Becalmed and beset by cabin fever, the pirates have numerous superstitious explanations for the Siren’s appearance. The Doctor has other ideas but, as his theories are disproved and every plan of escape is thwarted, he must work to win the trust of the implacable Captain Avery and uncover the truth behind the pirates’ supernatural fears – and he must work quickly, for some of his friends have already fallen under the Siren’s spell…”The Curse of the Black Spot” airs May 7 at 6:15 PM BST on BBC One in the United Kingdom, 8:00 PM E/P on SPACE, 9:00 PM EDT/PDT on BBC America and May 14 at 7:30 PM on ABC1.