The God Complex (2011)

The God Complex continues the impressive run of stories in this second half of the 32nd series. The story is written by Toby Whithouse and is set in a hotel with a difference. Every room has a fear of the people we meet (including the Doctor). Whilst this is going on there is a strange creature roaming around and before people get killed they say “praise him”. The story is a very creepy one and within the first 10 minutes I had come to the conclusion that this episode was going to be completely off the madness scale. The room of those dolls all turning their heads was quite a spooky moment but that was just the start of it. The idea of a hotel where every room holds a horrible thing in it something that is believeable credit has to go to Whithouse for what he has managed to accomplish in such as short space of time. It’s quite clear that the budget cuts that the show has had to take on board are having an effect but its not getting in the way of a good story being told and in fact is actually a positive because it means that people have to be more creative than if they had money to through at something.

The regulars do their usual good stuff and whilst Karen Gillan wasn’t on the same level as she was in the previous episode, she was very good. Arthur Darvil was quite serious at times during this episode and gave the first hint of Rory’s desire to leave the TARDIS. A departure is always good when the its laid out for the audience in advance. Matt Smith is good and seems to be enjoying himself throughout which is never a bad thing. The supporting cast is really strong and the most noticeable name in it was that of Mr David Walliams who as this episode was being transmitted was getting over having spend 8 days swimming in sewage infested Thames. Had he spent longer in it then he would have looked like his character Gibbis who is a cowardly alien and at one point I thought it was going to be revealed that his gentle guy image was all an act but it didn’t happen. Walliams gets all the funny lines and comes as a bit of light relief to the heavily dour story. The rest of the human guests were all very good and in another instance where there is such a small number of characters its amazing how strong the performances were.

When the Doctor opens the door to his room (rather amusingly numbered 11) we hear the cloister bell but we don’t actually see what he sees so it’s clear that we will find out about this in two episodes time. The story has a theme about faith and fear and its this sort of drama that is interesting. The bit where the Doctor tries to break Amy’s faith in him is taken from the bit in ‘The Curse of Fenric’ which sees the Doctor try to brake Ace’s faith in him. There was a lot of stuff in here for long time fans. There was a link to the Horns of Nimon which is quite odd because I don’t think the Horns of Nimon is a particular fan favourite but hey this creature looks more scary than the joke Nimon that we had in the 1980 story. But as the story reaches its conclusion we are told to change our opinion from seeing the creature as a baddy but to a hurt soul who is effectively freed by the fact that the Doctor makes Amy lose her faith. The final scene started off like a scene from Tron but it was another informative scene that was well played by all concerned. Walliams almost stole the scene with his brief line.

The God Complex is another solid story that was high on tension and low on stupidity. Unlike Torchwood, the padding in these episodes is distincivley less noticeable during the episode and is also done better. I think that The God Complex shows that you don’t have to spend hundred of thousands of pounds to get a good story. All you need is a great writer, some good actors and a director who can get a handle on the material. Everything else is less important. Only thing that spoilt this episode was in the ‘Next Time’ trailer we saw a clip with James ‘unfunny’ Corden. Boooo!

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