December 7, 2021

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “The God Complex”

The Doctor and his companions are trapped in some kind of space-based replica of a 80s hotel.

You know, something about how this one ends seems familiar, and not because the Doctor once again dropped off Amy and Rory to go do stuff without them for their own safety and protection.

The TARDIS apparently materialized in a weird hotel.  It looks like a hotel from the 80s, but there’s something off about the place.  Rory asks about the framed photographs on the wall, all showing different people with a weird tag line, and some of those people aren’t human.  I mean, the first one Rory points to shows a Sontaran.  What is going on?

Oh, the hotel is in space, and the people who find themselves inside it are trapped.  The group soon learns that when they meet the other people in there:  a nurse named Rita, a blogger with a head full of conspirarcy theories named Howie, an alien named Gibbis from an old race that is frequently conquered by outsiders so they just roll with it, and there’s another guy names Joe.  He’s a gambler and also he’s tied up in a chair in a room full of ventriloquist dummies.  He’s praising something and convinced he’s going to die.

Huh.

OK, so, why not just exit the hotel like Rory suggests?  Because the doors and windows leading to the outside are false.  The rooms have doors, but they just keep everyone’s individual fears inside.  Also, the hallways keep changing, so the TARDIS is gone.

Now, it isn’t long before Joe dies.  Why?  Well, there’s a monster in there.  It sucks something out of people and leaves them for dead.  Mostly because they are dead.  That sucks.

So, what now?  Well, the Doctor figures out a way to capture the monster and talk to it.  It’s some kind of space minotaur.  Or it’s a Krampus.  Either works.  Point is, the Doctor chats with the thing for a bit, learns it lives off victims that some unknown people keep sending him, and he’s more beast than man, so to speak.  The whole experience is as much torture for him as his victims.

So, the Doctor’s initial advice for everyone to hold onto their faith to beat their fears was wrong.  The Minotaur eats faith.  That’s why his victims eventually start to praise him.  Now, the Doctor doesn’t seem to have faith in any sort of higher power, but the others?  Well, Rory seems safe because he’s something of a cynic.  Rita is a devout Muslim.  Howie has his conspiracy theories.  Gibbis believes his people will be under the safety and supervision of other alien races so don’t fight too hard.

Amy believes in the Doctor.

Uh oh.

So, once the Minotaur has taken out Rita and Howie, it’s Amy’s turn.  What can the Doctor do to save her?

In short, he needs to shatter her faith in him.  Something the Seventh Doctor had to do to Ace once.  In this Doctor’s case, that means telling Amy that he doesn’t have a plan, he never does, and he’s just some madman in a box.

That works.  The Minotaur loses his strength and dies, happy to go really.  The hotel changes back to some kind of spaceship, and the TARDIS is right there.  Gibbis can get a ride home, and the Doctor takes Amy and Rory back to London where he gives them a nice townhouse and flashy new car in Rory’s favorite color.  That’s because he’s leaving the two of them behind.  It’s too dangerous.  Amy, who is a lot closer to the Doctor, gets that and hugs the man before he disappears in the TARDIS again.

You know, for people who have their faith shattered, the companions the Doctor does that to sure are understanding about the whole thing.

But if the different rooms had what people were afraid of, what was in that one room the Doctor stuck a “do not disturb” sign on?  And what was up with the sad birthday clown?  That clown was nobody’s fear from the looks of things, but Rita shushed Amy when Amy asked the clown how he was doing…

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