This weeks review Episode 8: The Haunting of Villa Diodati."
The Doctor and pals go to 1816 to meet Mary and Percy Shelley and Lord Byron in an episode that tries to be spooky.
Good: Spooky at times, one great dialog, no sermon this week.
Bad: The episode dragged. Useless special effects for no reason. Poor acting (worse than usual).
Plot: The gang go to visit a mansion in 1816 on the night that was said to inspire Frankenstein. Weird things start happening, including a bony hand, a couple of ghosts, vases flying on their own accord. The house starts playing Portal
; they walk out one side of the room and come back on the other. And Percey Shelley has disappeared.
They stumble around aimlessly for a while.
Then (surprising no one) a cyber-man appears. He is looking for "the Guardian". The Cyberman flirts with the Doctor... she comes on to him (as in let's run away together), he tries to shoot but comes up limp. Then he gets struck by lightning, get's his power back up and the Doctor runs.
Then we have exposition through stilted dialog, and exposition through the (increasingly common) Vulcan mind meld trick, and then exposition through flash back, and then some more stilted dialog.
It turns out the "Lone Cyberman" (as named by Jack Harkness) is looking for Cyberium which melded itself with Percy Shelley. The Cyerman ends up finding him and the Doctor and wants it back.
Mary Shelley tells the cyberman that she sees he still has a soul (she wrote Frankenstein... so what else could she do). The Cyberman basically tells her to f*** off.
The Doctor dithers, torn between saving Percey Shelley and stopping another cyber-war. After some more stilted dialog and a rather tortured monologue about the power of the Word she decides to save the poet.
The Doctor first takes the cyberium and declares she will never give it up. Then five seconds later she gives it up and the Lone Cyberman
rides off into the sunset with his trusty Silver (sorry, I couldn't resist).
Points of the week
- I enjoyed the dialogue between the Doctor and The Cyberman. It was the best written scene of the week. When the Cyberman tell her "You annoy me" it made me laugh (and was good tell that he isn't fully emotionless yet).
- Many scenes with Whitaker fell flat this week. I don't know what she was doing when she was supposed to be agonizing about whether to sacrifice Shelley. She relied on exposition... the acting was not good.
- The Spooky scenes were good for about 10 minutes or so. They dragged on. Some of the special effects, such as the hand attacking Graham, added nothing.
- The Doctor's monologue about "Words having meaning" was quite excessive. I said there wasn't a sermon, maybe there was.
- This episode had the Lone Cyberman. There are many loose ends and only two episodes. They still need to address the Master, Gallifrey, the Retcon Doctor and the Timeless Child....