TV Review – Doctor Who 6.3. The Curse of the Black Spot

The Curse of the Black Spot

After the brain twisting opener of The Impossible Planet and Day of the Moon, it was nice to get back to some good old Who-fluff with Curse of the Black Spot.

Pirates, Sirens, Black Spots, people buckling their swashes, a young stowaway… as Moffat said in Dr Who Confidential, there are some things you just have to do with a pirate story. Bearing in mind this was written by Steve Thompson who wrote the hugely problematic Sherlock episode “The Blind Banker”, I wasn’t sure how happy I’d be with how this played out.

However I have no issue with Amy dressing up as fearless sexy Pirate because a) she was wearing a cardigan and b) she used to be a kissogram, it does actually make some kind of sense. Of course I would have LOVED for her to actually be excellent with a sword (we find out she used to be a geeky LARPer or something, that would have been hilarious), but similarly the fact that we know that her actions could cause the deaths of any of the sailors (something she isn’t aware of) makes the action both humorous and thrilling.

And what of the Siren? Beautiful, ethereal, silent, well ok we are going with Siren mythology here so a siren song is more important than words I guess. At least we discover finally that she’s a doctor and not a nurse (although I do wonder if that was in the first draft).

But despite those niggles I did really like the episode. It had a great sense of fun, Hugh Bonneville’s captain was excellently realised, and it’s still pretty damn dark to have in a family show a character apparently cause the death of his son through his greed and love of gold.

And let’s just talk about family for a moment shall we? Because the more I watch this season of Who, the more I think that it’s going to be key to the main storyline.

So far we’ve had

– Amy’s positive/negative pregnancy
– a mysterious lost orphan girl
– a pirate not managing to look after his son

From stills I’ve seeen from later in the series there’s more parenthood on the way. This intruigues me, just another thing where I wonder what on earth Mr Moffat is up too. In a good way of course.

With the overall story arc in mind, it was great to see Frances Barber again as the woman with the eye patch through the slit in a door/wall. There’s already been speculation about what sort of story is going to come out of this. Barber is a fine British actress, so it’s safe to say that we’ve not seen the last of her and when we do see more, she’ll have a key role.

While some people have felt this episode was too lightweight, I’d still rather have by the numbers pirates than Adipose or Slitheen. It is clearly filler, but worked well.

However, remember I asked how many times Rory can die? Can we knock that on the head now please? Poor guy is turning into Kenny in South Park. Having said that, once again Arthur Darvill was fantastic and the relationship between him and Amy really does feel fleshed out and well-realised.

Smith as ever was excellent, in his anger at Avery’s greed as palpable as his fears watching Amy try and rescusitate her husband. It’s had to believe this is only his second season in the Doctor’s shoes as he has captureed the Gallifreyan perfectly.

Next up is the episode fandom has been all a-quivver for, written by Neil Gaiman. I think we can guarantee a lot less fluff and a lot more sterling acting from Matt Smith.

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~ by moviegrrlreviews on May 13, 2011.

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