Just when you thought things couldn’t get anymore bizarre than last week’s exceptional The Girl Who Waited, Toby Whithouse (creator of Being Human) takes things to a whole new level in the emotional and fear-filled episode, The God Complex.
Once again, the TARDIS decides to take the Doctor and company on a random ride to an 80’s-like hotel, where there’s a group of survivors (including BBC America’s David Walliams as the cowardly Gibbs) stuck there with a monster roaming the halls. As the Doctor and the folks try to find a way out, the floors keep changing while the rooms try to draw each of them to confront a personal fear. If one meets their fear, they become cheerful and willing to die at the monster’s hairy hands. As the body count rises, and the Doctor begins to lose himself to the frustration of his ‘God Complex’ of trying to lead and save everyone, the survivors piece together that the monster feeds on a person’s fear…or so they think. It’s not long before the Doctor learns what the monster’s true intentions are, and just why they’re all there, leading him to reveal something to Amy that will shake the very foundation of their friendship.
This is definitely the most freaky episode I’ve seen in quite awhile, especially with the infamous Weeping Angels making a ‘cameo’ appearance. I enjoyed how the Doctor viewed escaping the hotel as a game/challenge at first, only to become more and more angry as folks began to willingly die one by one. It was also funny how he quickly admired one of the ladies trapped there, and jokingly told Amy she was fired as his companion, as he liked the new lady more. David Walliams was able to get off a few great one-liners, especially concerning his own race (the most invaded planet in the universe), leading to their official motto: “Resistance is exhausting.”
The minotaur monster was really well done, as it was someone in a suit versus the dreaded CG of the series. I would even go as far to say it was one of the best looking monsters to ever be featured on the show, as it looked like something straight from Guillermo del Toro’s world of Pan’s Labyrinth. And while last week’s The Girl Who Waited episode was packed with emotion, this one really tugs on the heartstrings, as well as the special bond the Doctor and Amy share. The final resolution is sure to cause most fans to shed a tear or two, as it features an event we all knew was coming sooner or later.
But it’s not all gloom and doom, well maybe it is in next week’s “Closing Time”, which sees the return of James Corden (Gavin and Stacey) as Craig from last season’s “The Lodger”. This time the Doctor takes some time off by getting a job and staying with Craig again, only to have the Cybermen come to town and mess things up. It’s the first real appearance for the brain-stealing foes, and looks to be a fun and scary adventure for the Doctor, as he draws ever closer to his fate and the end of the season.