The third episode of season six finds the Doctor and his companions aboard a pirate ship plagued with a siren abducting each member of the crew who becomes wounded.
Knowing there is more afoot here than a simple curse, The Doctor works to solve the mystery in his classic, breathless fashion.
Some might say this episode isn't as strong as other episodes in the Matt Smith era, but I find it to be a throwback to the single episode, swashbuckling adventures of Doctors past that I felt was sort of missing in Matt Smith's run. Sometimes it's nice to take a step back and remember that this show is a pleasurable romp.
And is it just me, or was Amy Pond just absolutely adorable dressed up as a pirate?
But that doesn't mean this episode wasn't without its share of dour connecting material to the overarching story in this season. We caught another glimpse of the sliding peephole and the one-eyed woman from the first story, checking in on Amy and a flashback of the Doctor's death. It serves as an excellent reminder, but I don't get the feeling we're being offered substantive clues, just a pat on the head to wait for what's to come. And the more they string us along like this, the more epic and gut-wrenching I expect the mid-season finale to be.
Perhaps my favorite part of this episode is that there is now a group of raucous pirates in possession of a spaceship, making a better life for themselves. I want to see more of them, that seems like a formula for some incredibly fun science fiction. 1700s pirates thrust into space? Bloody brilliant.
I think the other thing this episode accomplished was to illustrate how much Matt Smith has really come into his own as the Doctor. He has a swagger and a humour completely his own and he looks as though the fate of the galaxy rests upon his shoulders. I'm not looking forward to seeing him move on into a 12th regeneration. And if the episodes we're watching are any indication, it will be heart-rending to see. But that's what I love so much about Doctor Who: if you can buy into the mythology and care for the characters, the show will take you on an emotional roller coaster of entertainment. It will make you laugh and care and cry. It's a tremendous piece of science fiction entertainment and there is nothing out there that can compare to it.
So until next week, here is the trailer of the next episode (written by Neil Gaiman!):
And two preview clips:
I really can't wait until next week....