As with the last few episodes, this isn’t going to be a plot run-through, but it will reveal things you might not want to read if for some reason you haven’t seen the episode yet. Or, as I prefer to put it:
This was in interesting episode in lots of ways. While there was indeed an actual threat to humanity from a very strange source, that was very easily seen off. The real heart of the story was the relationship between the Ponds (including Rory’s dad Brian, making a welcome return) and the Doctor. And how the Ponds are finding it harder to balance “real life” with “Doctor life”. And how, while they can’t be quite sure, they think it’s been something like then years for them since they met the Doctor. Now we know that in the next episode, the Ponds will depart, so this seemed to be some sort of lead-in to that, but that turned out to be a bit of typical Moffat era misdirection.
Another interesting element was the number of nods to the show’s past – the shots of TV news bulletins were straight out of the RTD era, plus there was the return of UNIT, and their “secret” HQ under the Tower of London, not to mention a throwaway Zygons gag. But the biggest of all these was UNIT’s head of scientific research, Kate Stewart, superbly played by Jemma Redgrave. Oh, and when I say Kate Stewart, she was originally Kate Lethbridge-Stewart. Yes, the Brigadier’s daughter is now running things at UNIT, which was a lovely reveal. Kate turned out to be an excellent strong character, and I hope we’ll see her again.
Oh, and there was a lovely little cameo from Professor Brian Cox. And there was one dark and disturbing scene featuring one of the most terrifying beings ever seen on Doctor Who: Lord Sugar. I’m really not sure that sort of thing should be shown before 9pm….
Anyway, all good fun, particularly the bits where the Doctor gets frustrated while waiting for something to happen.
Next week is the final episode in this run, which sees the return of River Song and the Weeping Angels. In New York!