Curse of the Okay Episode
Written By: Liam Walters
Following the two-part series openers ‘The Impossible Astronaut’ and ‘Day of the Moon’, the 3rd episode of Series 6 was entitled ‘Curse of the Black Spot’ and from the trailer, looked to be an interesting action packed pirate episode, with some mystery behind it. Unfortunately, the only mystery is how can it feel like nothing actually happens throughout the whole episode.
Warning: From This Point Onwards, I Will Be Talking Spoilers.
Alright, so I will admit. The concept is good, in-fact… The concept is really good, and it’s because of this that the episode is actually alright. The problem is that the writing is just not very good. The characters are clichéd, such as the father and son aspect. I mean, first we are introduced to the captain. But of course there needs to be a hook, so look who just happens to have snuck on board the ship. And then we find out that our captain isn’t even a very good father, having left the mother some time ago, promising to go back but never having done.
Now I’m sorry, but have we heard this before? I think we have in nearly every other under developed character, when a writer just tries to make a character interesting by giving them flaws. So let’s carry on. The mother has died, so the boy has no where else to go. And then, the boy is sick, and has the black spot. Who didn’t see that coming? Then the doctor works out that the siren (which we will cover soon) actually works with reflections, and so they need to get rid all anything reflective, even the treasure. But no, old captain doesn’t want to do that, but is forced too by the doctor anyway.
A storm brews and all hands are needed on ship… And then shock horror! The boy finds a piece of treasure that the father couldn’t give up. And oh no! The siren comes through the reflection on the treasure, and takes the boy, and it’s all the father’s fault because he did not get rid of the treasure like he was supposed to because he is selfish! I mean… Really!
Lets move on to the disappointment which is the Siren. Once again, we go back to the trope of having the enemy which is actually good and only trying to help. Not that the trope is necessarily bad, if written in a good enough way the story and characters can still be engaging. Of course, we don’t get that, so we just get a character that doesn’t really develop in any way, shape, or form. Also, towards the… Towards where I presume the climax is; when the siren is going after them, why does it suddenly become peaceful when The Doctor realises that the siren is actually trying to look after people. One minute it’s about to attack Amy, then The Doctor just shouts ‘The Siren is a Doctor’ or something along those lines, and it suddenly just looked towards Rory and becomes peaceful again. I mean, do we have a Siren with a short attention span.
The main flaw in the episode is the pace. The pace of the episode does not work, with having the large action scene where Amy fights the pirates just a few minutes into the show, and then having little build up to the reveal from there on out. Even the reveal is not really that shocking, and having Rory start to die again is just starting to get boring and repetitive.
You can’t keep killing off a character and expect to keep the same drama and suspense each time. This is something that annoyed me about the last series. We saw Rory die in Amy’s choice, just to come back when they escape the dream worlds. And then 2 episodes later, which in actual fact is just the next story as it is a two-parter story… We see him die again. When I saw that happen, I actually hoped that Rory would stay dead, each time you kill a character, especially if it’s the same character over and over again, it just loses the meaning to it.
I’ll tell you what though, I was happy that Rory came back because he is one of the better male companions. But I really just wished they would stop killing Rory off as a cheap way to build suspense and drama, when the audience fully well knows that Rory isn’t going to die. And when Amy is trying to revive Rory, it just goes on for far too long, it just really bad writing by drawing out a death scene that has no real impact on the story, because he doesn’t even die at the end. The whole scene is generally bad. Amy just gives up and about a minute later, Rory wakes up coughing a little.
The final scene is a little odd all together. I know it’s generally assumed that there’s a bedroom where the companion’s sleep, but this is the first time, at least in the revived series, that it’s made reference to within the show. The TARDIS has been said to be massive, containing libraries, swimming pools, bathrooms, kitchens and who knows what… But it just seems very odd that the show itself makes a direct reference to the characters within it actually sleeping. This raises even more questions, like does The Doctor sleep? We would think so, so then does he have his own bedroom. Does The Doctor have an alarm clock. Do they have breakfast in the kitchen, or nip out to 1978 to go to an american diner for breakfast! Maybe I’m just being pedantic, but it seems once you’ve made one direct reference like that, it opens up a book of a whole load of different questions.
Okay, so I’ll be fair, maybe part of the reason the episode seems so bad ism that it directly follows on from the action packed thrill ride of the first two episodes before it, so there was no way that the episode could ever truly follow on in a similar fashion. And I will once again give kudos, as the concept was very good, actually helping to make the episode quite bearable, even if I have seen more action in Countdown before. The mix of Pirates and Space work well, and if not for some flaws within the writing and pace of the episode, it could have been a really well done episode.
Oh, and one final note… Alien sneeze jokes aren’t funny… Ever.