TV Review: Doctor Who - The God Complex [BBC iPlayer]

on Saturday, September 17, 2011
'Doctor Who' Series Six, Episode Eleven: 'The God Complex' (SPOILER-FREE) // Words: Saam Das

SYNOPSIS: "Sci-fi drama. The TARDIS lands in a hotel where every visitor's room contains their deepest, darkest fears. What lies in wait in the Doctor's room?" (

I'm really not sure it's worth discussing the first 95% of this episode. If you haven't seen it, you probably think I'm just being flippant. Luckily for you, I'm not about to spoil the ending but it was one of those dumbfounding moments that overshadowed what had come before.

We returned once again to the monster-of-the-week school of sci-fi writing, essentially entirely ignoring last week's 'The Girl Who Waited' and its powerful final line. We were back to playing happy families - well, at least, until the trio find themselves stuck in a mysterious hotel - along with an already stuck group.

This is no ordinary hotel. Its structure allows it to morph meaning rooms, corridors and TARDISs disappear. Speaking of the hotel's rooms, they contain "bad dreams" - the worst fears of the trapped characters. We soon discover this masquerade is the responsibility of a minotaur-esque creature, who feeds on the energies of the terrified prisoners, under the guise of a godlike status.

They might not have proved terribly important but it was nice to see some strong secondary characters for the first time in a considerable while. Minus the disappointingly stereotypical blogger. Yes, we're all potty and have terrible social skills. Writer Toby Whithouse (most famous for his work on 'Being Human') clearly has an extremely low opinion of us.

Anyway, back to those secondary characters. David Walliams' cowardice brought the best out of Matt Smith - a Doctor whose emotional depth is perhaps unparalleled. But it was Rita (Amara Karan) who provided the greatest spark in this episode, as resolute and resourceful as any of the main characters.

In the midst of 'The God Complex', Rory (Arthur Darvill) hints at what is yet to come. It's something that's easily forgotten as the minotaur creature runs around eating people but when that's all over with and the 'Tron'-lite special effects are put out of their misery, it comes back to the forefront. Can this really be it? Almost certainly not.

Next week, we return back to old pal Craig (James Corden) - from 'The Lodger', one of the most enjoyable episodes in recent years. Hopefully we'll get to see much more of The Doctor attempt to pass off as normal as he gleefully did in that aforementioned episode. Perhaps more will be made of his death, River, the TARDIS blowing up and whatever else has been swept under the carpet...

Watch 'The God Complex' on BBC iPlayer until 18:59, 8 October '11. Click for more of our 'Doctor Who' reviews.

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