Wednesday, February 24, 2016

NuWho Reviews: The Curse of the Black Spot, The Doctor's Wife, The Rebel Flesh, The Almost People

The Curse of the Black Spot

Remember last time we were on an old, old wooden ship with the Doctor?

Yeah, it got pretty silly.

This time, a pirate cuts his finger and promptly gets the black spot. Davy Jones doesn't allow paper cuts on his ship!

A woman starts singing and McGrath grabs a pistol, prepared to fight for his life. He disappears, of course.

But there's no time to worry about that, because the TARDIS is stuck down below (must not fnar must not fnar) and the Doctor, Amy, and Rory are stuck. The Doctor and Rory are promptly sent to walk the plank while Amy is locked up. She breaks out in full Kiera Knightley cosplay and wielding a sword. They are all scared of Amy, but that's because the slightest drawn blood causes the black spot to appear. She cuts one pirate, then Rory manages to hurt himself by trying to catch a sword blade first, because Rory may have spent 2000 years as a centurion but he still doesn't understand sword safety.

I don't catch it in my palm...?

A siren appears. Rory and the pirate act rather drunk, and the pirate poofs away. Amy gets jealous of the creepy supernatural being, as you do, and the siren gets very angry.

Then another pirate gets bit by a leech, and everyone tries hiding in the hold, but the siren gets in there too. The Doctor gets a hat, and presumably that helps him realize that the siren is moving via water. Amy sees Eye Patch again, and everything is confusing. There is a little boy hiding in a barrel-oh, it's only pirate captain Avery's son. He has the black spot, but doesn't have any cuts, just a cold-so the siren is going after anyone with a health problem.

The Doctor and Avery go to the TARDIS in the hopes of getting everyone away before they all get injured somehow. Toby tries to stop a mutiny and injures another pirate, and the TARDIS has trouble locking onto the ship, throws a tantrum, and dematerializes. One of Avery's men tries to steal some treasure in the chaos, burns his hand on a candle, and summons the siren. But there's no water in the treasure room! But there are lots of shiny things...which means it's time to dump the treasure! Avery isn't too pleased.

However, later on during a storm, it is revealed that Avery tried to keep a crown out of the treasure, and the siren emerges to take Toby away. Rory falls overboard and possibly dies, so you can add that to the "Rory dies" count.

"You bastards."

The Doctor decides they should all prick their fingers and try to reason with the siren...

And everyone wakes up on an alien ship, which exists on a different plane in the same spot as the ship. The injured are all in stasis in sickbeds. Turns out, the siren is a medical hologram, and the black spots are all samples taken for testing. But Toby isn't just sick, he is dying of TB, and letting him out of the sickbed will lead to his death. Rory is also dying, but they unhook him and let Amy do CPR. It all ends in the pirates absconding with the alien ship, and the TARDIS still being unsure about whether or not Amy is pregnant...

The Doctor's Wife

Or, That Time Neil Gaiman Made Everyone Squee With Joy. (One of the times. He has this effect in general, actually.)

Our heroes are going...somewhere, it doesn't matter where, when there is a knock on the door. This doesn't make sense, for obvious reasons, but when the Doctor opens the door, the knock turns out to be a cube of light.

Yeah, THOSE cubes of light. Remember them? The message is from a Time Lord known as the Corsair, and it is an SOS. They follow the signal and pop into another universe, onto a sentient planet called House.


The TARDIS loses power...because somewhere on the strange planet, an old couple has just transferred her soul into the body of a woman named Idris who seems to be trying very hard to look like Helena Bonham-Carter. (Fun fact, she was supposed to play this part.) The old couple, known as Auntie and Uncle, go out to greet the travelers, accompanied by an Ood called Nephew. Whether the Other Mother is creeping around somewhere is not known. Idris is excited to see the Doctor, and kisses then bites him, because biting is just like kissing, except there's a winner. She then tells Rory the meaning of petrichor, and tells the Doctor (who she calls her thief) that she chose him because he seemed mad enough to want adventures.

Which actually explains everything we needed to know about the Doctor's past, so there's that.

The Doctor decides to search for any lost Time Lords, and sends Amy and Rory back to the TARDIS so he can lock them inside safely. Once he finds a lot of cubes filled with Time Lord SOS messages, however, he discovers that Auntie and Uncle have been cobbled together from dead Time Lords. That's when he notices Auntie has one of the Corsair's arms. The House? It traps TARDIS souls into bodies (mainly the Time Lords) then consumes the husks.

So, basically, we're in nightmare central. THANKS NEIL GAIMAN.

No, really, thank you

Meanwhile, Rory and Amy are not having a good time of it, because House has possessed the TARDIS husk and is toying with them.

The Doctor has a talk with Idris, who reveals that the Doctor refers to her as "Sexy", and that he keeps opening the doors wrong. Then they cobble together a TARDIS from the pieces left over, and Idris animates it.

Meanwhile, Rory dies.

Psych! It's just House messing with Amy. Both are still alive.

Idris tries to send the password to raise the shields to the "pretty one" who turns out to be Rory. One part of the password is the meaning of petrichor. Idris' mind does not work well with linear time, and we must all be thankful.

Once inside the TARDIS, the Doctor introduces everyone, Amy asks him if he wished really hard, and Idris tells them that "The only water in the forest is the river." WHICH IS REALLY IMPORTANT REMEMBER THIS. Then Idris' body dies, finally able to tell the Doctor "hello", and returns to the TARDIS.

Upon which she continues her trolly, trolly ways.

The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People

In science news, solar tsunamis are a thing, and it's a solar tsunami that blows the TARDIS to a 22nd century factory. This factory is run by people who create dopplegangers (who, incidentally, look like Odo) to do dangerous work. There is nothing horrifying about this at all. At least, the people involved don't seem to find it horrifying. Everyone else who has seen any sci fi ever does.

The Doctor is strangely uncomfortable with Amy and Rory coming with him, but they insist, so they all investigate. The factory, for the record produces acid that destroys the Doctor's shoes, and also the ground around the TARDIS. The Doctor tries to convince the workers to leave before a second tsunami wave arrives, but this is an Evil Business, we can't have that!

And...and you all still think this is a good idea? No downsides at all?

After an electrical strike hits, the workers find themselves out of their control beds (which they use to operate their "gangers") and finding that someone has gone through their things.

And then we find out two of the workers, Cleaves and Jennifer, are actually their gangers. The dopplegangers, as expected by literally everyone except the characters, have gained sentience. Rory is nice to JenniferGanger, who almost isn't a jerk as a result, but the rest of them just want to kill all humans. Part of that is because they can feel what is happening to their previous "incarnations", which are just lying around the factory decaying, and yes, you are not the only one wondering why this company ever thought this was a good idea ever.


And to make it even more ridiculous? We have a DoctorGanger too.

The presence of DoctorGanger is enough to stop a huge fight from happening. The ganger has some issues dealing with all the past regenerations, but once that's over both Doctors enjoy know...Doctor-y.

They tell Amy to breathe, for some reason, and the Doctor dismisses Amy's concerns about Eyepatch randomly appearing to her.

Amy, despite finding DoctorGanger to be freaky, confides in him about the Doctor's eventual death.

Rory tries to help JenniferGanger, who decides to be a jerk and trick him into trapping everyone else into the acid storage chamber.

DoctorGanger continues to be Doctory, by having JimmyGanger call his son for his birthday, because the Gangers have all the memories and feelings that their originals do. CleavesGanger is dying of the same disease, and it's getting too sentimental for CrazyJenniferGanger, who turns into Odo that time his adoptive dad was a jerk. Gangers and humans work together, it's all very nice, and

Oh DoctorGanger was actually the Doctor all along. Amy finds this rather awkward, since he wasn't supposed to know about dying in the future. Real DoctorGanger accepts Amy's apology. Then tells her to push, "but only when she tells you to".


The Doctor stabilizes the Gangers so they can live full lives, and gives Cleaves the cure for her condition.

And Amy starts having contractions.

So why doesn't she look pregnant?


Amy wakes up in a control bed, about to give birth, with Eyepatch telling her to push...

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