I thought I would like this one more. Last week, I wasn't excited about casting the episode as a western (never liked westerns), but enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
This week's episode promised something more to my taste, but I was faintly disappointed. I thought maybe it was the lack of coherence that other people mentioned, but I've loved previous episodes that had me scratching my head wondering what actually just happened. I am generally an uncritical viewer, so lack of coherence is usually not a dealbreaker for me. There was something more intangible about this episode that made me feel unsatisfied. I'm having trouble putting my finger on it.
Currently I'm focusing obsessively on the role of the Ponds in the story. Partly because the Ponds are leaving, but really because I just enjoy watching Arthur Darvill pay Rory. (Donna used to be my favorite companion, but Rory has taken her place). At the end, I couldn't make sense of the Ponds' decision at the end to go with the Doctor in light of what was being said about liking 'normal' life. Were they giving that up? Or did they think that they could travel with the doctor and still be fully invested in their home life? I thought it was a lovely glimpse of a mature couple - paying attention to their friends and their careers. Was that being flushed down the toliet? I'm so confused. I think one of them should have had a line that clarified what was going on there. (Other than Amy's voice over telling us how awesome the three of them are together - which I didn't mind because I agree.)
Bits I didn't like:
1) Leaving all those people on the ship - I have to fanwank that Rory THE NURSE checked them out and determined that they couldn't be saved or taken off the machines. (You'll notice that Rory's dad was still on the stretcher.)
2) Storywise taking people on the ship didn't make any sense - that bit should have been dropped.
3) I wish the Doctor had a quiet conversation with Rory similar to the conversation with Amy. In the Rory thread, someone mentioned that the dynamic between the Doctor and Rory was a new one - one in which the Doctor seemed more attached to the companion than the companion was to him. This episode shows that Rory does really love the doctor and the adventures - I'd have like to see some acknowledgement of how this came about.
Bits I loved:
1) Rory kissing the doctor (see #3 above). it was a really sweet gesture and so beautifully played by both actors. Matt Smith did a wonderful job as portraying the Doctor's reaction as both comical and poignant (he was amazed & delighted & stunned). Arthur Darvill did a good job conveying Rory's shyness in that bit. I was a little surprised that Karen played it with such little reaction.
2) It was lighthearted with lots of beautiful character moments. Brian was awesome.
Edited by DeirdreMom, Sep 24, 2012 @ 11:36 PM.