Oh, come all ye faithful
[Spoilers ahead] Hurrah! Things are looking up on Doctor Who. The problem of Amy and Rory’s passivity with regard to their baby still exists, but the plot of ‘The God Complex’ was interesting enough to make me set that to one side. The dated hotel, with its all-pervasive muzak, was suitably bizarre and creepy, while the resident monster was nicely alien and ridiculous-looking. So far, so good.
The beginning set the scene well, giving us just enough information to feel intrigued, but not giving the game away. I also liked the style of the moments of ‘worship’, with their flood of imagery and words, that this scene introduced us to. I liked the way that the scenario was set up so that it seemed totally obvious that the main element was confronting people with their fears, but then once the tables were turned it suddenly wasn’t the main element after all. It worked that the Doctor was exhorting people to cling to their faith to fight the fear, being the obvious and rational response, and therefore made the moment of realisation all the more powerful.
In general, I wouldn’t quibble about the plot, although there are a few points that didn’t seem quite consistent. Firstly, if the Weeping Angels were in Gibbis’ room, which they all went into before Amy found her room, then why wasn’t Gibbis next on the Minotaur’s lunch menu instead of Amy? Clearly Amy being next was more dramatic than Gibbis, but it was still illogical. Also, if the Weeping Angels weren’t real, why did they initially behave like them and why were fake Weeping Angels someone’s fear? If an image of a Weeping Angel can become an Angel, surely nightmare Weeping Angels can become real? Mind you, I suppose real ones would have cluttered the place up no end. Lastly, why did the TARDIS translator suddenly appear not to work (other than to allow the Doctor to have some dramatic conversations with the Minotaur, forcing him to translate and so provide the ambiguity necessary in their last exchange, obviously)?
Another point that I was unclear on was whose room they were in at the end? I assume it was Amy’s although to my mind it would almost make more sense for it to be the Doctor’s. I think it was made clear that the Doctor’s was next to the Minotaur when he was dying after stumbling out of the other room, but why was Amy’s greatest fear her initial wait for the Doctor? He came back — she herself admitted that even when she thought he wasn’t going to always came back. If that was her faith, then why was she so fearful of something that had already turned out alright? Especially when there are so many other things that she could have been scared of. I mean, Rory or her baby dying should surely be high on her list? I also wondered whether the room numbers had any significance. After all, Amelia Pond was seven when she met the Doctor and her room number reflected that. So what significance does eleven have for the Doctor?
The ending was somewhat muted for such an enjoyable episode as Rory and Amy are left on Earth to get on with their life together. It makes sense in a way that, at this moment, Amy would finally choose to let the Doctor go. He has just destroyed her utter faith in him, in order to save her from the Minotaur, and yet surely that in itself would almost make that faith stronger. Perhaps it just made it stronger in a different way — he became less of a hero and more of a trusted friend, an equal rather than someone to be blamed or adored. Although, in a way, I was sad to see Amy and Rory go, as they have been great fun to watch most of the time. But it was also something of a relief because of the slightly stalled storyline that they had been left with. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Doctor does to amuse himself next, but I’ll also look forward to the return of an Amy and Rory with more energy and purpose at some point in the future, because I can’t believe we’ve seen the last of them yet.