Saturday, September 6, 2014

Doctor Who: Season 8, Episode 3

Doctor Who
Episode: “Robot of Sherwood
Channel: BBC
Director: Paul Murphy
Writer: Mark Gatiss
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 45 min
Rated: TV-PG
Original Air Date: September 6, 2014

With most shows, you know what you're going to get. There is a certain thread of consistency that you can count on. Excellent shows maintain a standard of excellence, and mediocre shows wallow in their own mediocrity, seldom does a show known primarily for one of those qualities stray into the other. Doctor Who has the dubious distinction of being such a show. When the Doctor, his companion, and the adventure line up it can be a great viewing experience. There are times, however, when absurdities stack up, humor falls flat and characters seem hollow.

Robot of Sherwood” is such an episode. Sometimes the Doctor can meet a historical figure and the story can be fun, charming, and carry a message with it; as in “Vincent and the Doctor.” That particular episode, while a touch sappy carried with it an emotional investment from the audience. “Robot” does not succeed in replicating that accomplishment, and thus left me feeling as if my hour could have been better spent.

Tiny hints at the season long plot are not enough to make an episode good. I know we were supposed to see 'The Promised Land' and believe we were being let in on part of this season's secrets, but we weren't. The robots that we've seen trying to get to this promised land are incapable of operating their spaceships for long enough to accomplish their mission, how should the audience believe that they're going to be a threat to the Doctor of the magnitude of the Silence, Weeping Angels or the Master? As presented, we can't.

Conclusion: Please give Capaldi a script that he can work with! I still have no doubt that he can be a great Doctor, but his episodes so far have been lackluster, if I'm being nice. Hopefully Steven Moffat can step in and give us some substantial episodes soon, something to move the season's narrative forward.

Rating: 5.5/10

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