Post Game TV Recap: DOCTOR WHO S6E11
Something is stalking the halls of a mysterious hotel with no doors and windows, and The Doctor has to find a way out before people's fears reduce them to gibbering wrecks who look forward to death. Follow me, and don't open any strange doors. THE GOD COMPLEX
by Toby Whithouse
Directed by Nick HurranThe TARDIS lands in a mysterious hotel, empty save for some people (including one alien) who can't recall how they got here, only that there's rooms full of nightmares and a monster stalking the halls. The rooms show you your worst fear, and the shock makes you wish for death, and rather than fearing the monster, the victims begin worshipping it. Too late, The Doctor realizes it's not fear the beast needs, but the faith. The people selected are chosen for having strong belief in something, whether it be luck, religion...or The Doctor. When Amy finds her room and begins praising the monster, it's a race to get her to do something she never thought she could...stop believing in The Doctor. A great episode packed with emotion, and yet another strong female character you wouldn't mind seeing hang around. Drawing liberally from both The Shining, Greek mythology and a delightful sci-fi horror film called The Cube, Toby Whithouse once again pulls off an emotional episode that both provides a great hour's entertainment but also opens more doors in The Doctor's personality. GUEST STAR REPORT David Walliams (Gibbis) is all but unrecognizable in his makeup, but he wears quite a bit on his regular job as well. With comedy partner Matt Lucas he created Little Britain, a sketch show that featured Tom Baker as its narrator. Some years back, Walliams and Who-scribe-to-be Mark Gatiss produced three comedy sketches for the BBC's Doctor Who Night: The Web of Caves, The Pitch of Fear and The Kidnappers. Before the new series, both he and Lucas performed in separate Big Finish audio plays, as have many actors who went on to appear on the new series, including Gatiss. Walliams has moments of brilliance in his performance - check the wistful look he gets when asked to envision a box of kittens, or the idea of being subjugated is mentioned. Amara Karan (Rita) co-starred in the three-part BBC mini series Kidnap and Ransom, Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited, and is yet another actor to have appeared in both Doctor Who and St.Trinian's. Spencer Wilding (Minotaur) has been getting steady work as large impressive people thanks to his 6' 7" frame. He played the White Walker in Game of Thrones and is playing yet another minotaur in the upcoming Clash of the Titans 2. Nick Hurran (Director) gets back-to-back episodes for his first work on Doctor Who, and really makes his mark. In addition to getting to use a lovely set work with (those shots up and down the staircase are lovely) he also makes great use of the camera, especially a trick known as a dolly zoom, and in some circles as the "Scorcese stretch" after the director who uses it so well. The camera starts out far away from the actors, but zoomed tightly in., The camera them dollies forward, adjusting focus and zooming out at the same time, so while the framing of the shot does not change, the seeming depth does. The result is the world seems to shift around the actor; rooms seem to flatten, and hallways shorten. THE MONSTER FILES - The Minotaur is rather a tragic creature, if savage. It was the god of a culture that simply advanced past the need for one. Rather than let it die, they built it a ship and shot it into space, randomly picking "worthy" sacrifices off of passing planets to feed it. He's been reduced to a creature of instinct, unable to stop himself when one of the sacrifices lose control and offer themselves to it. This isn't the first Minotaur we've seen The Doctor fight. They made the connection to The Nimon, the parasite race with a penchant for posing as deities as seen in The Horns of Nimon and the Big Finish adventure Seasons of Fear. The second Doctor met a fictional minotaur in The Mind Robber, and in his next incarnation, a real one, guarding the Kronos Crystal in The Time Monster. In The Creature from the Pit, The Doctor claims to have supplied Theseus with the ball of string he used to navigate the Minotaur's maze in ancient Greece. Gibbis isn't exactly a monster, but he's more on his own side than out to help his brothers in strife. His planet, Tivoli, is the most-invaded planet ever, but is also the home to one of the oldest cultures. That can't be done by simply lying down when the aliens come. Their cowardice is a crafty one, based on the idea that if they fight back, many will die, but if they make it nice for the invaders, they'll eventually get bored and leave. Cowardice as a survival trait is not new in science fiction — Larry Niven's race the Puppeteers raise self-preservation to an art form. It's interesting that in Night Terrors, George is taught to put his fears in the cupboard, but in this episode, Gibbis puts himself in the cupboard to escape his fears. Also back from Night Terrors, the Rubik's Cube, and once again, Rory wields a tatty mop as a weapon. BACKGROUND BITS AND BOBS (trivia and production details): IN MY HOUSE THERE'S A PICTURE ON THE WALL - If you don't blink, you'll see past guests of the hotel include:
- A Sontaran named Halke (a tip of the hat to long-time Who writer Malcolm Hulke?) whose fear was "Defeat"
- A Hoix (seen in Gods and Monsters, another episode that had a lot of running down halls)
- A Catkind member of the Sisters of Plenitude
- A Silurian
- A Judoon
- A Tritovore from Planet of the Dead
- Royston Luke Gold (who's afraid of Plymouth) who is played by DW Producer Marcus Wilson. Odds are most if not all of the rest of the photos are also members of the production team.
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