Screencaps for The Curse of the Black Spot are posted. Review is below. I distinctly remember writing about this episode before, but didn’t find a review anywhere. That bothers me.
Monsters and Wank
Monsters: yes – allegedly a siren
Emotional Wank: 2 out of 10 – trying to save one’s best beloved
Intended Destination: pursuit of distress signal
Actual Destination: pirate ship in becalmed waters, 17th century
Rory Death #4
In answer to a distress signal, our friends arrive on a becalmed pirate ship whose crew is being picked off one by one by a siren rising out of the still water to take away the sick and the wounded. These victims become marked with a black spot on the palm before they are taken, and the siren’s singing has a narcotic effect on them. The Doctor tries to discover where she is coming from and how, while crew members continue to be taken as his theories prove wrong.
Rory is injured trying to catch a sword, and the pirate captain’s son is suffering from typhoid fever, so they are shut away under guard while the captain and the Doctor try to retrieve the TARDIS to evacuate the ship. The TARDIS experiences difficulties and must be abandoned before abruptly vanishing.
The Doctor finally realizes that the siren emerges from reflections, so they must be rid of all polished things, while waiting for a wind upon which to sail away. A storm blows up, but as they are working the sails, a crown that the captain hid falls to the deck and the siren emerges, taking his son. Rory is knocked overboard, so the Doctor summons the siren to take him, on the bet that she’s not actually killing people.
The Doctor, Amy, and the captain injure their hands to be taken as well, and wake up aboard a spaceship that is existing in the same location as the pirate ship. They discover the space crew dead, but the pirate crew (and the TARDIS) are in a sickbay, being cared for by the siren, who proves to be a medical hologram. They obtain her release for Rory and get him aboard the TARDIS for some CPR (he had been drowning) and save him. The pirate captain, his son and his crew take over the spaceship and have adventures.
- A sailing ship. I love this stuff.
- The hoard of gold should be stored away of course, but I find it gorgeous as it’s laid out here.
- That we get a hero shot of Avery before we even know who he is. The guys on the Doctor Who Podcast mentioned this as well.
- The Doctor not taking their predicament all that seriously at the start. Well, of course not, he’s been in worse situations.
- Swashbuckling Amy. I’ve said it before, I’d love to have an action figure of her.
- Brilliant pirates, brilliant beards.
- Kitchen that way and a choice of three bathrooms. Love it.
- Love shots of faces through the time rotor. I heard someone (Cameron at Blogtor Who?) say it was first done in the TV movie and had to think about that a bit. I know it was done; the Doctor and Grace have a whole argument through it. But I don’t know if that’s the first time. They could be right. Earlier time rotors were pretty short. Of course, it’s been done several times since, the earliest being Father’s Day when it’s Rose’s face.
- So very grateful that pistols fire once apiece. It really bothers me when they magically reload themselves in TV and movies.
- The Doctor standing alone on the deck of the ship right before the conversation with Avery. There’s something emotional, something big and sad and beautiful about that shot that I can’t quite lay my finger on. Maybe it’s that he’s a lonely traveler on a ship gazing at stars, as he always is.
- Avery as a tragic figure.
- The Doctor’s bow tie goes completely wilted after the rain. This is a nice detail.
- The part of the spaceship where they come aboard.
- Dead crewmember – love the look of it. Skull seems to say rat face with a sort of reptilian head crest. I’d love to see one alive.
- Really like the look of the sickbay. Reminds me a bit of Coma, although I remember nearly nothing about the movie.
- Consent form. Sensible. Doctor Siren sticks by the book, she does.
- I like the idea of 17th century pirates in space. They have some cultural catching up to do, but you could imagine a whole series around that.
- The first guy that we encounter the siren taking tries to go out fighting, not buzzed and seduced. I don’t like the inconsistency.
- The Doctor does not look good in a tricorne. Or maybe it’s just this tricorne – these do vary wildly.
- Annoyed that the first we see of Toby polishing the mermaid is right when the Doctor is realizing it’s reflection that’s the problem. If he’d started rubbing it as soon as his dad got it on him, that would be a bit more believable.
- So glad that Sandy of the Blogtor Who podcast noticed this too, and for a much better reason than I – he actually has sailed in a tall ship! The Doctor is facing astern fooling with the wheel.
- These are the times of HD – you cannot have Amy miming the pulling of a stationary rope along with squeaky wheel sounds and expect this to work. We can see the rope not moving.
- They make a point of saying there’s only one barrel of water on the ship, and then we get to see at least two.
- Mulligan does not have the supplies, WTF.
- Avery just stands there while the siren is after Toby.
- Cockpit of the spaceship. Boxy, cheap-looking 80s sort of set. Not cool.
- The bogeys would not still be goopy after all this time.
- It was not obvious to me that when the Doctor talks to Avery in the sickbay, this is when Rory is telling Amy how to do CPR. Other people caught on to that and mentioned it in the commentaries, as justfication for how lousy she is at it. By the way, shame on him for not teaching her sooner. Shame on her for not taking first aid classes. Tsk!
- Flying into, around, and then into Sirius again. Some really wrong-looking graphics there.
Comments, Questions, Speculation
- At first I cried shenanigans on the leeches in saltwater, but then I looked it up. The darn things do exist! They’re just more common in stagnant fresh water.
- By now everyone has noticed that the first mate goes missing in editing after Toby nicks him with a cutlass. We may never know how he was supposed to go.
- First time I saw this, I was deeply shocked when the siren took Toby. Of course this told me that she doesn’t kill people, so I was less shocked when the Doctor had her take Rory as well.
- DIHS on the dead crewmember’s suit. I had some fun speculating that HS was for Hospital Ship, but on a subsequent look at the sickbay, that’s really small for a hospital ship.
- Ah Schrodinger’s baby. I was completely fooled. It never occurred to me that Amy might not really be there.
Raw Caps: approximately 1077
Finished Caps: 180
- Didn’t get any of the shots I wanted of the Doctor not explaining what various gadgets on his console were for. Way too much blur.
- Didn’t get Avery’s smirky look when the TARDIS wasn’t taking off. Same problem.
Watch on Amazon
Listen to the Blogtor Who Commentary for The Curse of the Black Spot