Spike: We’re down a member of the crew this week, Ben is ducking this episode out, which is a shame because I feel like this is the episode in which Ben’s knowledge of the older run would have been pivotal.  There is a lot going on in this episode and it is difficult to work out where to start. I think the most impressive thing about ‘The God Complex’ is how it feeds off the momentum of ‘The Girl Who Waited’. Last week Kristina was talking about how ‘The Girl Who Waited’ signalled a moment in which Rory and Amy should leave the TARDIS and this episode built on that and finally separated the Ponds (or is it Williams?) from The Doctor. Usually this kind of momentum and plot development is used for season finales so it was a pleasant change to have this plot wrapped up when it felt appropriate rather than stringing it along for another two episodes.

Even without this plot momentum ‘The God Complex’ was an episode I kind of adored on its own merits and whilst it definitely had its place in the overall meta-plot I felt it worked as a contained, one off episode, thanks to some great performances and confident, arresting, direction by Nick Hurran. The episode also ran into a stumbling point that this half series has consistently met and that is the Ponds/Williams’ general ambivalence towards the fate of their daughter. We discussed this last week, but Amy’s casual request to the Doctor to ask her daughter to visit at some point just came across as kind of incredibly callous.

So crew, am I overreacting to that line?

Casey: Alright, first off: APPLES! I am going to say something is up timey, wimey like with the Doctor and two coats. The apple was the final thing that told me we are looking at two Doctors or at least two time streams. Something is going on.

As for Amy and Rory and being parents, I look at it as the fact they are traveling through time and space and they have come to realize nothing is normal for them. I don’t see it as callous so much as just learning to accept this is how it is going to be and sitting around moping about it isn’t going to change a thing.

The only thing that bothered me with this episode was I wanted to see more of Rory mad at the Doctor. Yet again they had somewhere and wind up somewhere different. And while we know why it happens that way (the TARDIS take them where they need to be, not always where they want to be), i wanted to see more of a pissed of Rory. I did like the fact that Rory was the one who didn’t believe in anything.

Apples. Really.

Adam: God, I LOVE that Rory didn’t believe in anything. The cheap, mawkish move would have been to say “HE BELIEVES IN AMY!!!!” but that’s a button that the show has pushed so many times, and anyway, it’s not correct: love and belief are two different things. So kudos to Toby Whitehouse for not going to that well.

Anyway, apples. Interesting.

Spike: Yeah the Doctor munching down on that apple at the beginning does seem like it could be a clue that this isn’t the same Doctor who realised that apples weren’t his favourite in ‘Eleventh Hour’. Hadn’t even picked up on that until now; nice job Casey.

Casey: As soon as I saw it, i had to repress yelling at the screen: that’s not our Doctor! Really, I wanted to wake everyone up and start reviewing and discussing it then and there.

Anyone else get a bit of a Shining vibe as well to the whole thing with just the look of the hotel?

Spike: I thought the episode was conceptually very like elements of the Shining (particularly the stuff surrounding Room 237) and there was a definite attempt to replicate the kitschy banality of the Overlook Hotel.

I’m kind of a massive dork for Kubrick’s The Shining (I’ll glad go about the film’s Native American symbolism at the drop of a hat) so as soon as I saw the hallways I was grinning like an idiot

Adam: I actually disagree, I think other than being set in a creepy hotel there wasn’t any particular reference to The Shining. Hotels are just naturally kitschy and creepy. And cheap places to shoot.

Kristina: Thank God that other people are put off by that nonchalant mention of Melody/River.  I’ve been saying it for the past few episodes, but that line was just the final insult.  I thought that it was incredibly off-putting that they were just having a laugh about it.  “Hey, remember when my baby was ripped from my arms, but I thought I’d gotten her back, and then she turned to yogurt?  Remember how I was robbed of the experience of being a parent?  Wasn’t that hilarious?!”  I can’t say that they have 100% dropped the ball on this story, as it hasn’t concluded yet, but their handling of this has really put a bad taste in my mouth.  I’m not a mother and have no desire to be one, but if I was taken from my parents only to be returned at the age that I am now, I know with absolute certainty that they’d be emotionally wrecked, and that’s because they love me.  It feels like Amy and Rory could not care less about the baby they were crying and cooing over just a few episodes before, and it makes them look like cold-hearted wankers.

As far as the final scene goes, I was a little spoiled going in due to seeing some pictures online from filming.  Everyone was saying that it looked like a companion farewell scene, but I wasn’t entirely convinced.  Once I heard Rory refer to traveling in the past sense, I noticed their clothes and remembered that they were the same from the pictures I’d seen months ago, and I knew what was coming.  It’s interesting that even in a moment where he’s meant to be heroic by letting Amy go, he still came across to me like the selfish man that he said he was just a scene earlier.  He wasn’t letting Amy go because he truly cared and was worried for her safety.  If that were the case, she would have been home ages ago.  He simply dumped her before she dumped him because he can’t bear to be rejected.  You could practically see his ears prick up when Rory spoke of traveling in the past sense, and he knew right then and there that they were leaving.  Rather than end up in a position where his companions held power over him, he made the decision to ditch them first.  Everybody knows that whoever does the dumping in a relationship holds all the cards.  So strange how in the span of a few episodes, I’ve gone from having such affection for him to being utterly repulsed by him.  It’s a real testament to Matt Smith’s acting that his actions have made him repulsive to me, and not in the annoying Tenth Doctor way.  I’ve lost faith in him right along with Amy WILLIAMS.

Adam: Well, I think it’s clear at this point that disillusionment with the Doctor is officially the theme of this season. But I also think you’re being too harsh–I think this is a relationship where the Doctor already holds the cards, and he’s making the decision to give up that power. He’s been such a part of Amy’s life, he knows she would never, ever choose to stop riding with him, because she lost her chance once before. And the Doctor also knows what happens to his companions–he’s done this before, many times, whereas as far as Amy knows she’s the most specialist girl the Doctor’s ever flown with. Plus, he’s not really “ditching” her, is he? She clearly agreed with him once he laid it out for her. If she’d kicked and fought and tried to stay, that might be different.

Also, a somewhat weaker defense for Melody/River’s absence not affecting Amy and Rory–because I agree, that’s easily been the weakest aspect of these episodes–but as I mentioned a few weeks back, Amy went from finding out she was pregnant, to giving birth, to losing her baby, to finding out her baby grew up to be River, to finding out she sort of “raised” Melody anyway, within the space of a few days (except maybe that last bit). Considering the nonstop weirdness that’s assaulted her since she got into the TARDIS, I don’t really blame her for not being able to cope with it, emotionally. Like I said, though, I do feel like they need to deal with it more, which I’m sure they will in the finale. Whether they deal with it satisfyingly…that’s the question.

Ian: I understand what you mean about that line, Spike. One or two moments like that have flagged up with me as seeming quite out of sync with what should be said at a time like that. Last week, I talked about how I expect we’re invited to assume some of those things are handled off-screen. I’m still not sure if that’s me papering over cracks for the writers or not, but it makes sense to me considering the team’s knack for leaving in little nods to the wider story-world. Like the joke about who does the washing up, for example.

I was enjoying the episode a lot up until the final stretch, but then it just shot up about 4 gears. It was obvious from the get-go what the terrain was going to be in terms of theme – and there was absolutely no way this wasn’t going to touch on the “Dark Doctor” stuff we went to town on last time. All the same, I wasn’t expecting it to be handled so wonderfully. From the Doctor’s flirtatious, cocky exchange with Rita on the staircase where he essentially wrapped himself on the knuckles for his own pleasure, to his hug with Amy in the street (which might have been a tear-jerker were it not for the clunky music), everything about the resolution and how it tied into the dynamics of the TARDIS trio came together beautifully.

This episode boasts some of the finest guest performances we’ve seen so far this season. I’m not really a fan of David Walliams but I had as much fun watching him snivel and scheme as he seemed to have doing it. To be fair, I thought everyone was great. There were memorable, quotable lines aplenty (something we’ve not had a tremendous deal of) and the second act escaped the lull I’ve found on more than one occasion. Even the mildly annoying dorky teen blogger character template was enlivened with a fine performance.

Spike: “Glory to…insert name here” is a Futurama level joke, nearly choked at that.

Ian: Completely. It was right up there with the president of Neutropolis and his “I have no particular feeling on it one way or the other” (paraphrasing.) There were lots of great moments like that. Even the throwaway lines, like the Doctor’s “wall-doors” and Amy’s “Alien or a Minotaur or an Alien Minotaur?” were above average.

Spike:  Walliams was fantastic, in actuality I think Season Five and Six have done fantastic jobs of using their ‘guest stars’. Moffat’s run seems to use guest stars like Walliams, Corden and Meera Syal and use them in ways which benefits the plot rather than just drawing attention to their presence.

The extended cast in this was a complete joy, I even liked one shot characters like Joe who had a nice, maniacal, intensity in his handful of scenes. In actuality his introductory scene, with the ventriloquist puppets, was the first indication that I was going to love the episode. I just loved the rhythm of that sequence, particularly with the way the dummies just sort of cackled to themselves.

However in my the MVP of the cast was Amara Karan as Rita who was just fantastic whilst bouncing off The Doctor and was able to demonstrate a real pathos and intelligence in just a few short scenes. I mean just the line reading of “Don’t be frightened” told you so much about the character, and I loved her conversation about faith and how she used it to console herself. It was a really impressive turn; especially because she nearly stole the show from Matt Smith who was just on fire.

Adam: Yes, amazing performances all round. They were so good Murray Gold couldn’t detract from them.

I thought it was a bit of a shame Rita had a big “marked for death” sign tattooed on her forehead, though. Why do they even bother teasing us with stuff like that? I mean, we know she’s not joining the crew, ergo, she’s going to die. But I loved the fact that rat-faced surrender guy survived–I always hate it in movies when characters are made cartoonishly “bad” so that they can be punished by being killed. Life’s not fair sometimes, and horror stories in particular shouldn’t be in the business of telling us that people who die “deserve” it somehow.

Kristina: As soon as The Doctor said that he’d taker her with him, I knew she was a dead woman walking.  If The Doctor promises to take you traveling with him, you might as well start the countdown to when something really crappy is going to happen to you.  Real shame.

Ian: If I had one criticism (I do) about the dialogue in this episode, it would be the overly-explanatory line or two which tainted the Doctor’s near faultless speech to Amy/lil’ Amy. Had he just gone about the business of destroying her belief in him, the walking safety net, instead of telling her and the audience that’s what he was doing at the same time, it would have improved that moment immeasurably. It’s not like his impassioned “stop believing in me!” (paraphrasing again) ruined the moment or anything though. And the resulting climax was so strong that it was swept aside shortly after anyway. It just stands out to me as a slightly unnecessary “showing and telling” instead of just “showing.” One that’s all the more glaring for the assured work surrounding it.

Kristina: It was a little overstated, but I still loved the cross-cutting during that scene as The Doctor says that it’s time for them to see each other for what they really are.  They kept cutting to wee Amelia, but once her faith is broken, it becomes grown Amy again.  It’s as if he forces her to become an adult against her will during that scene. Great, great stuff.

Spike: I think the reason they had to overstate that was because the rules surrounding the Nimon were sort of hastily established and weren’t particularly concrete. The show had to both establish that this was a strategy that would work and show what the Doctor was doing. Whithouse has a tendency to lay out his character motivations and feelings like that as well, Being Human is full of lots of declarations of intent, so it might just be an authorial tic.

I will say though that from a writing point of view this episode had a hell of a lot stronger voice than either Vampires in Venice or School Reunion, just a tone and style which felt very particular and peculiar to this episode whilst maintaining the overall Doctor Who tone.

Ian: That’s a very fair point about the rules. I never thought of it like that. I suppose it felt more like an outright problem to me because I took it that the Doctor’s sleuthing scene at the bar where he laid out what was going on and Amy et al went “aaaah” basically set the framework in stone. The main reason those on-the-nose lines irritated me was because I felt they wasted a golden opportunity for another moment where the Doctor is one step ahead of everybody and he can smile about it when they all stand around after the problem is solved and go “AH HA!”

Spike: But you needed the Doctor to realise he had failed in those final moments with the Nimon because that was all part of the overall thematic thrust of the episode. The Doctor is so obsessed with saving people, so obsessed with being the saviour, that he will put people at risk to follow a hunch. In this case his hunch backfired and he literally had to scramble to make it work out, it’s the main catalyst for him getting rid of Amy and Rory.

Ian: I might have made that joke sound too glib and undermined my own point. You’re absolutely right that there was never going to be a back-slap party at the end of this one, considering the body count and the general focus on the Doctor’s Catch 22 nature (you’ll have a great time with him, but you might not make it back.) I still think you could have lost those lines and hit the marks the episode needed to. I’m absolutely with you about how we were meant to be feeling at that stage and I totally got that as it was unfolding. But a muted victory is still a victory. It’s not like all was lost or Amy and / or Rory didn’t make it back before things got sorted out. I think the ending still could have had that weight, where the Doctor’s eventual outmanoeuvring of the foe is almost not even a cause for celebration since it came at such a price, and trimmed the speech.

I just think it would’ve made his scramble for damage-limitation even more desperate if he didn’t have the time to make the speech that bit more gut-wrenching and wordy.

Spike: I get what you’re saying; I just think having The Doctor be even vaguely heroic in those last moments would have been a misstep. I just thought it was interesting that we saw a lot of the normal Doctor moments in this but they were all slightly turned on their head. We have The Doctor giving one of his ‘you’re going to survive, because you’re great’ speeches, but it’s addressed as a threat to Gibbis. We have the Doctor confronting and talking with the creature, but drawing the completely wrong hypothesis. You have The Doctor trying to essentially ‘groom’ a new companion, but he and she are both aware of how stupid this is. Even the final solution seems to be lampooning several climaxes which have hinged around faith in the Doctor. I just thought it was a really interesting, intelligent, examination of The Doctor as a character.

Ian: Fantastic points all. You’ve really made me appreciate this Good Doc/Bad Doc business with the point about heroism. I suppose I just kept coming back to how I don’t feel the Doctor should ever be taken right down off the ladder. Maybe a peg or two. Even to the bottom rung. But in the moment it felt to me like completely going to that place maybe wasn’t in the spirit of the show – because surely there should always be the faint glimmer of magic that keeps making people want to risk everything for the ride, otherwise where’s the show? But I see now that this is setting it up for something grander (which actually seems to gel with a lot of the points raised last week about where things might be going.)

Were his actions at the end completely unheroic though? By calling attention to what he was doing, wasn’t he basically making himself into a sort of martyr figure? “Don’t have faith in me, your nigh-ubiquitous rescuer!” (third paraphrase) is quite a noble sacrifice in a way. He has to break the faith he’s built up in Amy just to do the right thing. I really am on the same page as you though – and I don’t think this is a right or wrong kind of thing, your logic is totally sound.

Whenever I heard the episode title and put 2 and 2 together, I really expected there to be more agnostic sentiment colouring the episode, as it sometimes can in Sci-Fi when dealing with religion or the concept of “faith.” And although the episode did utilise something that, on the surface at least, seemed to present another reversal like the ones you already mentioned, Spike (faith, in this case, being one’s downfall), it didn’t have that almost juvenile, gleefully nihilistic spirit. It felt like a story rather than a vehicle for a metaphorical shot across someone’s bow.

Spike: Moffat seems to have at least a little respect for religion and religious convictions; he actually presented the belief of the Anglican forces from ‘A Good Man Goes To War’ as something noble. Doctor Who has never really had much of an interest in dabbling with religion, it certainly tended to avoid the Star Trek style ‘your god is an advanced AI hidden in this cave’ plotting that usually occurs when Sci-Fi and faith collide. Aside from a few occasional lapses, like certain Egyptian gods being aliens from space, it’s always shown a great deal of respect to faith.

In fact faith is The Doctor’s main weapon, the thing he uses. The Doctor is a character who inspires others to do grand and great things, inspires them to be better people and ultimately uses them like pawns. It’s why the hotel is such a great concept because it’s the Doctor’s kryptonite; everything that he does to inspire people is leading people closer to their graves.

Casey: The ending reminded me of a lot of online art in the tradition of Keep Calm and Find The Doctor or such you see a lot. Here the show seemed to be saying all those signs and fan thoughts are wrong. You think it is good to believe in the Doctor? Well this is what happens when you put all your faith and trust in one person or thing. Although I do think it is a bit heroic of the Doctor to sacrifice his friend’s trust and faith in him in order to save her. Because emotionally that has to kill you

I did think Rory had one of the best lines of the night when talking about notifying a person’s next of kin anytime he sees someone talking to the Doctor.

Spike: I also like how that line, and Amy’s non-reaction to it, were one of several hints as to what was going to happen at the end.

Ian: Agreed. I think you just happened upon a very intriguing book there, by the way, Spike: When Sci-Fi and Faith Collide. An essay, at least!

Spike: I think you’d have to co-author it when we got to Trek.

Ian: Thanks! Any excuse to dust off the Deep Space Nine DVDs. And the Star Trek Encyclopaedia. Yes, I have one and I’m telling everyone who doubts its brilliance (or laughed) they don’t know what they’re missing. Q would certainly have an interesting chapter.

Spike: I just find sci-fi dealing with faith to be inherently fascinating, because in my (very limited) experience sci-fi by its very nature kind of posits that god doesn’t exist. They’re essentially two contradictory forces and I’ve always enjoyed the tension when sci-fi tries to deal with that concept. I’m also the kind of atheist who kind of covets the comfort afforded by spirituality.

Adam: Whoa, I really disagree with “SF posits that god doesn’t exist” idea. This is actually something I could argue all night, but I think the tension between “faith” and “science” has always been a false one. Both are means to discover how the universe works. Science doesn’t conflict with faith unless that faith is actively in denial about the world, but there’s no reason a scientist can’t believe in God. And hell, with all the weirdness the Doctor and friends run into on a regular basis–how rewritten the rules of their reality have become–I think hard-core rationalism is harder to swallow.

Spike: When I say that sci-fi posits that god doesn’t exist, I’m talking about the humanity-centric god of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism etc.

Adam: OK, that’s a 15-volume encyclopaedia of arguments to be had, but there are Christians who don’t believe the Earth was literally created in 6 days. It doesn’t affect the core of the belief. And I think SF has often been used as a religious text–hell, The Divine Comedy is SF of a sort, in that it speculates on how heaven and hell work as literal, physical constructs.

More to the point, simply making this (seemingly) anti-God argument as this episode seem to be doing (and I’m a little disappointed that they muddled it the way they did–it seemed like they wanted to make a strong, atheist argument but decided to water it down so as not to get angry letters) is, in and of itself, an indication of how SF can be used to make religious arguments. In this case, the story was in the “against” column, but I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say you could use these trappings to tell a pro-faith story just as easily. The author Madeleine L’Engle was a Christian author who wrote very Doctor Who-ish SF/fantasy stories with a pro-faith bent. For that matter, C. S. Lewis wrote the Cosmic Trilogy, which was religious SF.

Spike: Now you see I don’t think the story was atheist as much as it was about self-determinism. We were treated to various shades of faith from religion to luck itself. I think the message of the episode was essentially about self-governance. But I also think the episode didn’t paint faith as an inherently bad thing, just something that in this one situation had been weaponised. Look at Rita and how calm and collected she was due to her faith. I honestly feel that this was far more interested in tearing down the Doctor than anything else, and it literally put him into a situation that was his antithesis.

Adam: I think it was the work of an atheist trying to be “fair and balanced” but ultimately letting his views come through. I mean, the Doctor compares religion to superstition, and later he talks about how civilizations eventually outgrow the Nimons through rationality. Any attempt at painting religion in a good light felt a little slapped-on. And I think it’s worth noting that the woman of faith wasn’t Christian–that’s a classic dodge for the non-religious, that if they have to say good things about faith they pick one they never would have grown up with and therefore have a distance from. It’s a little predictably liberal for my tastes. I’m liberal, I’m agnostic, I have sympathy for that viewpoint, but I think it’s very simplistic and I can understand religious people rolling their eyes at that. (My girlfriend’s a minister’s daughter, we both love Doctor Who, and I expect we’ll have a…lively discussion about this one.)

Spike: I just think it’s unfair to paint this episode as strictly anti-religious when it made any attempt to showcase various different types of faith (like the gambler, or Gibbis’ faith in domination, or Howie’s faith in conspiracy theories). I think Doctor Who, especially in its newest incarnation, has tried to be as even handed to people with belief.

Even in ‘A Good Man Goes To War’ which has the Anglican Church as the main villains we’re shown that they’re more misguided than anything else, and we’re shown that their faith is actually an incredibly powerful and potent force (think back to how the Colonel regains control of the situation).

Ian: I just went to get some coffee and a bowl of cereal. I did not expect to come back to this.

Spike: I’m also going to throw my hands up in defeat at this point, because in a theological battle of wits I’m tragically unarmed.

Moving away from the core themes of the episodes, what did you all make of the direction? Nick Hurran directed both this and ‘The Girl Who Waited’ and I think in both episodes he brought a really interesting eye to proceedings. I particularly loved little moments like the Nimon’s horn scraping across the roof as the camera tracked after it.

Ian: I was thinking exactly the same thing when I saw that! Yeah, I was very impressed with Hurran too. I didn’t see who the D.P. was this week, but I thought a really fine job was done of ensuring this never felt like an intimate TV episode (in the cheap way) even when it was on a narrative level and could very easily have looked like that. There were moments of solid atmosphere and tension-building; some of the more “action” style sequences weren’t lent any favours by the increasingly irritating music, but in every other regard, I think you’d be hard pressed to level any serious complaints.

Spike: I love Murray Gold, I really do, but he is a square peg for a circular hole when it comes to Moffat’s run. Under RTD Gold’s roaring scores felt completely natural because those episodes were often big and flashy and bombastic. The episodes of Season Five and Six have been a bit more delicately plotted and Gold’s music just always feels like it is trampling over everything. I honestly think Moffat’s run would be improved tenfold by a more minimalistic score (I actually think Clint Mansell’s work on Moon would have been a great reference point for a Doctor Who soundtrack).

Ian: I don’t want to sound disrespectful to the man, but I hope for Mrs Gold’s sake he’s not always quite so WHAM! BAM! Thank you, Ma’am. “OK, we’re in the corridor now and we’re RUNNING! EXCITEMENT! NU NU NU NE NU NU NU!” The sombre moments are just as predictable and heavy-handed. It wouldn’t have been that surprising if a lone violin player was standing across the street from Amy while she hugged the Doctor, like some sort of Sci-Fi There’s Something About Mary.

It’s 0 to 60 far too quickly. There isn’t the same sense of pacing his work had last season. I actually really liked his main theme for the Doctor during Series Five; the mix of orchestral arrangement backed by chugging, palm-muted power-chords, gradually building and becoming more urgent. It was like an athlete getting faster with every run round the track. This season though, his cues are all too often obnoxious and sound like clunky reworkings of his older work on the show.

But yes, something more restrained and delicate would be infinitely preferable. I’m not necessarily saying I’d like it to sound like this, but maybe a little Hans Zimmer/Johnny Marr style noodling could work. That collaboration managed to achieve substance and grandeur without recycling the same shrill, plonky “riff” every few seconds.

Casey: Personally I wish they would go to someone more experimental with the music. That was one of those things which always freaked me out when I saw Doctor Who as a kid was the very creepy music. Bring in someone who understands Hauntology or Witch House music. Especially for an episode like this one or Night Terrors: creepy music sounding like it comes from some other dimension is what is needed more than classical film score style music.

Adam: Yeah, my understanding is that Doctor Who, in the 60s, was pretty revolutionary from the perspective of music and sound design, which makes the current blah soundtracks extra-disappointing. It’s like if you got a chance to play Carnegie Hall and you decide to cover Britney’s Greatest Hits. Honour the original by excelling, don’t play it safe.

Casey: So, apples and coats? Two Doctors? Two time streams? Is one of them The Flesh?

Adam: Hmm. The Doctor having been replaced by an impostor seems oddly plausible, given the idea that’s being planted that the Doctor has gone off the reservation. But I do feel like suddenly revealing, “Ha ha! The Doctor’s not really the Doctor! That’s why he’s been acting so dark and nasty lately!” is a bit of a cop-out, thematically speaking. The Dark Doctor we’ve been seeing lately has emerged organically from what the show has always been, even the classic run. To simply pin it all on a fake Doctor is to sort of deny a crucial aspect of the Doctor’s character and the show’s themes. That said, I doubt it’s going to be that simple anyway. It certainly wasn’t last year.

Spike: Yeah, I’m assuming that Moffat has a very clever, very obvious, solution to all of this that we haven’t even thought about yet. I just hope that he hasn’t bitten off more than he can chew by having the finale be just the singular episode. I kind of hope that this isn’t an impostor Doctor largely because I’ve really enjoyed the nuanced work that Smith has been doing these past few episodes and it would be a shame for that growth to be curtailed at the last minute.

I think my last thought about this episode is that the TARDIS takes The Doctor where he needs to be rather than where he wants to go, as such I think them arriving in a place which completely weakened the Doctor’s standing in front of his, already disenchanted, companions might play out in the upcoming episodes.