View Poll Results: What did you think of The Beast Below?

Voters
42. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10/10: I'm a smiler because it's so good

    5 11.90%
  • 9/10: I'm Voting 9/10

    7 16.67%
  • 8/10: Up among the stars

    12 28.57%
  • 7/10: UK hooray!

    9 21.43%
  • 6/10: Slightly above average

    5 11.90%
  • 5/10: All surface, nothing below

    0 0%
  • 4/10: I'm underwhelmed

    2 4.76%
  • 3/10: Not much beaneath the surface

    1 2.38%
  • 2/10: Below Parr

    1 2.38%
  • 1/10: Beastly

    0 0%
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  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: The Beast Below

    What did you think of The Beast Below?

    As always please don't rate the episode until it's broadcast. Thanks.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    I enjoyed it, but it was lacking something. Amy on top form, but I didn't buy the Doctor's decision that he lacked any other choices. 7/10

    High expectations for next week though!
    One Day, I shall come back, Yes, I shall come back,
    Until them, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties, Just go forward in all your beliefs,
    and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine!

  3. #3
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    Brilliant brilliant! Loved it!

    (apologies for being over-emotional).
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  4. #4

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    Hmmm... I can't vote at the moment on it. I don't think it was as high as my last vote though. I was underwhelmed by it. The cast worked but something didn't. In fact it would make a good Doctor Who episode where he tries to solve the mystery of why this episode was a bit shit? A big build up, a difficult decision and then... hmmm. Maybe the "New Earth" of the new series anyone?

  5. #5
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    Not bad at all. Some trends are continuing from last week: Smith's eccentric and very un-Tennant like Doctor - I love him, although I have mild paranoid worries that he's too school teacher-ish and not sexy enough to capture the mainstream audience - the fairytale nature of the series, the surprising shift to Moffatt writing a lot simpler stories. The future humans being menaced by a sinister, overbearing power was not an original idea ("The Long Game" anyone?) and neither was the Space Whale which is similar to an old episode of the original Star Trek and even an un-made eighties script (such that Big Finish were forced to re-title their version when they turned it into an audio recently). It also reminded me of the Ood Hive mind.

    I also found it was a little harder to follow; quite surreal, at times not logical (they seemed to cut straight from about to be vomitted up by the creature into being in a metal corridor which I didn't quite get). In short, and this is both a good and a bad thing, it's probably the Doctor Who I'd have asked for if it was up to me, but perhaps not the one I'd be 100% confident giving to the general public!

    On the (more) positive side: the Smilers were suitably sinister, and a great idea, Amy shined a bit more this week, Sophie Okenado was great, and I absolutely loved Churchill ringing up the TARDIS and the Doctor answering with "Hello dear!"

    It was also maybe proof that the New Series can be quite cheap and still really quite good.

    Si.

  6. #6
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    The ideas were superb, and I absolutely adored the image of a giant space whale riding through space with the UK on its back. What a thoroughly wonderful image- a very Doctor Who juxtaposition.

    Matt Smith is just amazing. I don't think I've ever been as dazzled by a Doctor since childhood, as I am by him. I love this Doctor! He's like a mad professor, interested in everything around him, looking at things ins trange, unknowable ways, and at times he's really channelling Patrick Troughton, especially so when he was explaining the future history to Amy. Wonderful and he broke out of the tenth Doctor's shadow this week and was something new. Old and young all at once.

    I enjoyed the story too. I think we're seeign what Steven Moffat is really capable of now- much more than just the "scary" writer. He's proving to be rather versatile.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  7. #7

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    So what part of the system set up by Good Queen Bess required that children who score poorly in school tests have to be fed to the whale? But only if they dare to ride in a lift instead of walking. It might make sense if the whale needs to eat, and you might as well feed them the thick people, but seeing as they know it won't eat children anyway, they're essentially just locking children in dungeons for the rest of their lives for doing badly on a test, for no apparent reason whatsoever.

  8. #8
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    And who spotted the crack in the UK, like the crack in Amy's wall at the end?

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  9. #9
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    It wasn't hard to spot Amy's crack.

    Erm, I mean it wasn't hard to spot the crack in the ship


    I voted for a solid 9/10. A pretty good episode with some holes in it - I can't remember what they were so I'll let you know after I re-watch it

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    And who spotted the crack in the UK, like the crack in Amy's wall at the end?

    Si xx

    they certainly seemed to make a big thing about it - although I enjoyed it I have to say it was a bit of a nothing episode for me in that not a lot really happened. Both matt and Karen, continue to impress and just like with RTD, moff is throwing in the in jokes about current politics with his quip about Scotland wanting their own ship a little nod to develoutiin..

    so just 7/10

  11. #11
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    I really enjoyed it - it didn't look like the most expensive episode of Doctor Who ever made, but it still held me for 45 minutes. Amy & the new Doctor both got a chance to shine, and I was far more convinced by Matt's angry acting ("Nobody human has anything to say to me today!") than I was by David T in his first year. I liked the bit with the water, and the 'impossible ship' briefly made me wonder whether it was going to be a bit Full Circle-y. I guess the scene at the big window near the end was a deliberate 'compare & contrast' with the scene at the end of The End of the World.

    Very enjoyable indeed, maybe not as immediately 'showy' as last week, but Smith is still very captivating in a slightly bizarre way - little touches like leaping over the back of the seat, delight at being vomitted up by a giant space whale, etc, really endeared him to me.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    And who spotted the crack in the UK, like the crack in Amy's wall at the end?

    Si xx
    Well to be fair, you couldn't miss it!

    The Smilers good design, really should have stayed seated though.

    Liz 10: The idea our future monarch is black is wonderful for making Nick Griffin's "Good" eye turn colour itself! Even if it was "The Obama effect" and that's so 2009! But the whole memory wipe thing... isn't that what clever english lit people call a "poetic folly"?

    This story wasn't as good as last weeks, but it wasn't the worst ever Doctor who episode. It'll be hard for me to get any more excited for it than a 6.
    But still, the better days are yet to come!

  13. #13
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    What a great tease for next week as well - a shame we knew it would be Winston Churchill (well, most of us did) but so fantastic to see the shadow of a Dalek creeping into shot!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Probably a 7.5 for me, but feeling generous I've rounded it up to an 8! I'm glad we got a nice one-off episode with no returning characters or anything and Moffatt is continuing the tradition that RTD has established that, even when you're not on Earth, you kind of are!

    The Smilers were a great idea, and looked great, and I was surprised to see them mobile but to my surprise proved not to be the focal point of the story. I was reminded of the famous garbage chute sequence from Star Wars, and also the bit in Empire where the Falcon was inside an actual creature, so what with that and End of Time's nod to the cockpit blasting scene, there's more than a few nods to Mr Lucas at the moment!

    Very impressed again by both Doctor and Amy, and enjoyed the darker side of the Doctor manifesting itself - ready to dump Amy for her one mistake and his general anger at humans - harking back more to the 9th than the 10th in that respect, and a welcome reminder he is an alien.

    I'm really liking the little nods to things we've maybe never conisidered before - like the Doctor saying he should rename himself if he's not making things better, and the fact that there should be a phone ringing in the TARDIS given that it is a phone box! And as Si said, I loved the idea of any Prime Minister in history getting on the phone to the Doctor - exquisite!

    Lovely lead in to the next episode, I'm all in favour of more of that, very reminiscent of the Hartnell era.

  15. #15
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    Did anyone spot Magpie Electricals from the Idiot's Lantern?

    Really enjoyed this episode and loved the fact that William has been doing angry Smiler impressions since seeing them.

  16. #16
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    I thought it was an excellent episode, a really imaginative, unsettling and thought-provoking tale with a more satisfying story than the opening episode. Matt Smith was electrifying, and I am really, really enjoying his Doctor very much - I don't think any actor, other than Paul McGann, has nailed the part so early on, like Smith: he reminds me particularly of Troughton and Davison, yet he gives such a unique performance, I really think he has made the part his own. Karen Gillan also continues to shine, and she forges a great team with Smith.

    Sophie Okenedo was spot-on as Liz 10 and it was wonderful to see Terence 'Demon Headmaster' Hardiman finally appear in 'Who' (he's one of those actors whom I was always convinced had been in the series already). However, I have to say I found the Smilers a little disappointing - they appeared to be trumpeted as the big, scary monster of the story, but, although sinister, they were rather underwhelming, and underused, which is puzzling, considering this was a Steven Moffat script (our two boys didn't find them at all scary). But The Moff is really hitting the right buttons so far, and this was a wonderfully layered script, with loads of great ideas (admittedly, not all worked, mind), nods to the past, and a perfectly timed critique of democracy and the process of voting, and making the right decision......

    I'm going to press the '8' button for 'The Beast Below'!

    (Oh, and I loved the lead-in to the next episode too - Inspired!)

  17. #17
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    The Smilers good design, really should have stayed seated though
    I have to disagree, although they turned out just to be like men in dresses, it was a real 'shock' moment when the Doctor said "What are you going to do then?" and they got up. That's a very nightmarish thing to do, when the inanimate horror then starts chasing you. That said, although I'm not a child, I was waiting to be scared a little bit by them and wasn't - maybe, as ever, it all needed to be darker, quieter and a little bit more tense.

    I still think Murray should have gone before this season began - he wasn't any better or worse this week than any other, the music just reminds me of a Doctor Who that has passed into history. Throughout the series eras and characters come and go, and the music feels like part of the Eccleston/Tennant era that is just hanging around.

    By the way, I also liked the moment when the human bloke in the hood turned into a Smiler. Who cares if it made sense, it was really unexpected and "Cripes!"

    Si.

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    Did anyone spot the Queen Vic public house signage in the background too?

    I'm not convinced that there'll still be a UK in the 29th century!

  19. #19
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    It was another episode which felt like an RTD/Tennant episode but done that bit better in every way. The silly bits never became too silly, the embarrassing bits never became too embarrassing, the belief that everything in the distant future will still be exactly like it is now was never too obvious. The pacing was better, Smith's range from eccentric to angry was that bit more believable and the subtexts and agendas were a bit more subtle.

    The only thing I thought they got wrong was having a black actress playing the Queen. It turned "Blimey - Liz is the queen and she's got a gun" into "Blimey - the queen is black" thus devaluing the surprise. It's entirely possible the queen - were there to be one in a thousand years time - could be mixed race. But the only reason they kept her identity a surprise was so they could do the big reveal and it diluted the surprise.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  20. #20
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    Thinking back over the episode, was the 'Amy pieces it together' montage near the end intended as a deliberate 'echo' of the Doctor's "what did I see" bit last week? It certainly seemed, in general, an episode that was looking to highlight Amy at least as much as the Doctor.

  21. #21
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    Are these "solar flares" the same ones as The Ark in Space or not, then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon R View Post
    I'm not convinced that there'll still be a UK in the 29th century!
    Dammit Butch, I'm a mineralogist, not a future historian...
    For every fail, there is an equal and opposite win.

    ...Oh, who am I kidding?

  22. #22
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    Are these "solar flares" the same ones as The Ark in Space or not, then?
    Seems likely, doesn't it? I think the dates fit.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  23. #23
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    The Doctor was a bit harsh on Amy wasn't he? As she pointed out, she took a gut decision to press a switch on her first TARDIS trip after being bamboozled with shocking truths and images, and it was something thousands of people before her had done... yet he was set to drop her off back home! Also I have to say I agree with whoever said the Doctor should have "found another way". Even if it did allow Amy to have her moment, the Doctor seemed very quick to summarise the choices a, b or c and then get on with murdering the damn Whale. I couldn't help but think - this is the moment when the Doctor will think of "d", but he didn't. I think allowing the companion to shine meant they had to devalue the Doctor a bit - maybe better if he had revealed that there HAD been another way, but he'd let her think of it.

    But bless them all. Rather than this being Moffatt doing RTD but better, I feel the opposite sort of. I can see the gist - this is certainly everything being done differently, a little less flamboyantly, a little less tackily even, and certainly a little more fantasy-ish (as I mentioned earlier, all directions I'm keen on) but there's also a charming sense of the new team finding their feet; everything still feels a little faltering, a bit hesistant, the plots have been quite simple and nothing groundbreaking, the guidelines being followed are all RTD's formula (note: historical Week 3, two parter 4/5, the little story arc hint each week). They're still learning. Which is great - imagine what this team will do on their second year, when they hit their stride.

    I do sincerely hope the figures stay up. I know I worry about this every year, but the Radio Times support has diminished a bit (no Behind the Scenes pages each week, the new editor showed an anti-Who bias in a previous life in his first editorial) and the budget cuts hitting every show at the moment were really apparent this week. I hope they can keep the show's profile high.

    We hope Tuesdays RT cover will be Daleks and not Susan Boyle.

    Si.

  24. #24
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    Is Gary Russell still working on Doctor Who? No sign of him on tonight's credits.

    Si.

  25. #25
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    Just beautiful. 10/10

    Maybe a "10" is jumping the gun for only Ep2, and it wasn't perfect, but they have delivered with inteligence and a wonderfully gothic fairy tale feel. The RTD era was terrific and exciting entertainment, but here you had a sense of watching an expertly crafted story unfolding before you, sucking you in, making you think. There seemed to be something to savour in each scene.
    Matt Smith is phenomenal. A Troughton/McCoy style, genuinely appearing to be centuries old, whilst displaying a bouncy, exurbarant energy. Rubbing his hands, his walk, his mannerisms make him a delight to watch. Amy was superb (very Arthur Dent), her wonderment of her new experiences and her questiioning of the Doctor and her eventual realisation of what he does and why and he's so lonely. Sophie Okendo wa great and Terrance Hardiman was suitably creepy, while the Smilers were quite scary.
    The Doctor's dismay and anger near the end maybe signals that he won't suffer fools and can be dangerous.




    Someone mentioned that he may not be sexy enough, but I would hate to think we only previously got high ratings because of David's Teninch

    the Doctor seemed very quick to summarise the choices a, b or c and then get on with murdering the damn Whale. I couldn't help but think - this is the moment when the Doctor will think of "d",
    "d" for David? I think that is exactly what we would have got if this was still the Tenth Doctor's travels. He would have dashed around in time to Murrays bombastic music and then gurned to the camera; "I'm brilliant!!!!!"

    It sounds like I'm having a bash, but I'm just pointing out this is a new Doctor and a new team. If they treat their audience with intelligence and respect, they'll keep 'em. Plus it was a nice nod to Donna; "Some times I think you need someone to stop you...."


    I loved the bit at the end when Churchill phoned, but am not sure we should still have the "next time" bit.

    Can't wait for next week!

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