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Old 10th April 2010, 07:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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31.02: The Beast Below

Amy Pond takes her first trip in the TARDIS when the Doctor whisks her away to the distant future and they discover Britain in space. Starship UK houses the future of the British people as they search the stars for a new home. But when Amy explores she encounters the terrifying Smilers and learns a deadly truth inside the Voting Booth...

Doctor Who - The Beast Below
Doctor Who Confidential - All about the Girl

-----

An interesting episode. I thought that the idea of an entire country as a spaceship (with high-rise apartments for each county... though the joke about Lancashire? Matt Smith has family in Lancashire! Tut tut.) was brilliant, and could maybe have been developed more. As for the story, not much happened (I must say that I found the story rather flat, to be honest), but we did see more of the personality and character of the Eleventh Doctor - still got some of Tennant's childish glee for things, but he's a lot quicker to anger and doesn't seem to like people getting in his way and doing things for him (even if it is his companion).

Did anyone notice the "Magpie Electricals" sign? A nice reference to one of Tennant's episodes - The Idiots Lantern.

EDIT: I'm going with this being S31, by the way - in my mind, the four specials were part of the last series.

Last edited by Lenny; 10th April 2010 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Added iPlayer links for those who missed it.
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Old 10th April 2010, 07:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

Interesting episode. Quite liked it, and was pleased to see the Doctor's character developed a bit.
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Old 10th April 2010, 07:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

Glad we weren't part of it.
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Old 10th April 2010, 08:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

A couple of Star Wars references in the bag. I've also seen "I've got a bad feeling about this" very recently in an episode of something... was it last week's Dr.Who?

As for "The Beast Below", I enjoyed it. Don't know specifically why, but for the second week in a row the script felt technically competent and well-written.
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Old 10th April 2010, 08:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny View Post
Did anyone notice the "Magpie Electricals" sign? A nice reference to one of Tennant's episodes - The Idiots Lantern.
And, in the closing fly-out, the soon-to-be-in-our-very-dreams distinctive shape of the "crack in the wall" in the carapace of the city/ship.
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Old 10th April 2010, 09:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

Loved the set-up, the space-ship. The claustrophic, slightly sinister sense of the place. It was reminiscent both of Dark City and and the world in the Happiness Patrol.
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Old 11th April 2010, 07:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

I immediately thought of "Cities In Flight" by James Blish. The final "money" shot made me think also of the Discworld....

But a good, tight episode all the same. the idea that nobody wants to know the truth is an effective one. I'm getting a feel for Moffat's style now; I've noticed that he seems to have a penchant for CSI-style collage shots (last week with Smith in the park, this week with Amy in the Tower) and I hope this won't get too annoying.

Continuity: yes, they mentioned that Scotland had another ship, but then they said that there was only one Starwhale..... what did the other ships have, if there were any at all? (you could imagine that the survivors did not want to remember that they were alone....)
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Old 11th April 2010, 08:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

Unconfirmed rumours ( :P ) reach me that the Scottish ship was powered by the last Star Haggis

Last edited by thaddeus6th; 11th April 2010 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Typotastic error
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Old 11th April 2010, 08:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

yes, i left that one kinda set up, didn't i?
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Old 11th April 2010, 08:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

All the other ships were powered by conventional engines, and didn't need starwhales to power them.

It was stated that this was the last ship built, and the engines didn't work. (There's a scene where the Doctor opens power-coupling boxes to show they're all disconnected, but they were built for a reason.) The starwhale saw their danger, came too close and was trapped...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopper
I immediately thought of "Cities In Flight" by James Blish.
And me - the design of the ship is almost identical to the cover-art on my copy of CiF...
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Old 11th April 2010, 10:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTeppic View Post
A couple of Star Wars references in the bag.
There was the "Help me Doctor... You're my only hope!" and the whole trapped-in-the-recyclable-waste-chamber-with-possible-strange-beast scene.

Never read "Cities In Flight" but the "Encounter at Farpoint" Star Trek TNG similarly tortured a space-faring-beast for gain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thaddeus6th View Post
Unconfirmed rumours reach me that the Scottish ship was powered by the last Star Haggis
But they ate it (fried it)!

Real Life meant that I wasn't really watching this carefully this week, but it seemed more of a 'filler' episode for next week's outing.
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Old 11th April 2010, 11:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

Not a great episode but not a bad one - reminded me of the Ecclestone episode where there was a beast at the top of the space station and Simon Pegg was trying to placate it.

Had some nice psychological touches as expected from Moffat, and I liked the twists towards the end.

Didn't feel Matt Smith looked entirely comfortable - sometimes he looked like he wasn't sure what to do with his hands, and he didn't seem too strong on angry.

However, it's early days and overall it was an entertaining episode, though not as strong on the different levels as the opening episode "11th Hour". No foul though.
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Old 11th April 2010, 03:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

I didn't think that this was as strong as the opening episode, but I still enjoyed it. I liked the twist at the end, and I'm glad I wasn't alone in thinking of the Discworld on that final shot.

Looking forward to seeing the next episode.
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Old 11th April 2010, 04:23 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

Not bad;

Just wish I had the self-cleaning clothes and could get the muck out my hair, and blow dry it by just walking a few yards down a corridor.
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Old 12th April 2010, 11:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: 31.02: The Beast Below

I didn't like it as much as 11th hour (that's starting to sound like a refrain now, isn't it - "altogether now...")

but it was ok.

I'm still totally entranced by Karen Gillan's face and appreciated the big close-up of her when she was fiddling with the padlock and talking to the little girl.

Something about the storyline left me a bit flat though. I don't know why.

Did they just torture that beast for nothing then? It seems strange that it never occurred to anyone before that maybe the starwhale came to them out of kindness.

Liked the doctor getting angry though. Quite a shock really.
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