Avast ye maties, it’s The Curse of the Black Spot. This pirate-themed romp let the TARDIS bunch, have a bit of fun after the darker events of the previous pair of episodes.
Written by Stephen Thompson this episode first debuted on 7 May, 2011 and featured Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville and model turned actress Lily Cole.
The Doctor (Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan), and Rory (Arthur Darvill) find themselves aboard a 17th century pirate ship captained by Henry Avery (Bonneville), that seems to have been set upon by becalmed waters. Here they are stalked by a strange siren-like creature (Cole) that comes for anyone that has been marked by the black spot.
One gets the black spot by getting injured – no matter how light an injury, only a drop of blood is needed, and the siren seems unstoppable when she comes for her victim. The Doctor, of course, figures out what is really going on, but not before they take on all the stereotypical pirate tropes.
Of course, the siren isn’t really a mythological being brought to life, she is part of an alien spaceship’s medical programme. occupying the same space as the pirate ship. Its crew is long dead from an alien virus, and now the medical programme is trying to figure out what is going on, using the black spot as tissue samples.
Avery and his crew take to the stars at the end of the episode with the alien craft – making me think of Ice Pirates – and our heroes continue their journey, leading us right into one of my favourite episodes of the sixth series.
The Doctor’s Wife was penned by the amazing Neil Gaiman and first aired on 14 May, 2011.
The Doctor gets a special delivery with what looks like the reveal that there is another Time Lord out there, but it’s all part of an elaborate trap to capture the Doctor, and more importantly his TARDIS.
Travelling to a small asteroid outside of the universe, our trio sound find themselves marooned on the asteroid that is home to a terrifying entity known as House (voiced by Michael Sheen) that feeds off of the energy given off by Gallifreyian TARDISes.
There are a few beings on the asteroid, an Ood (Paul Kasey), Uncle (Adrian Schiller), Auntie (Elizabeth Berrington) and the recipient of the TARDIS’ intelligence, it’s soul, as House feeds off the temporal-spatial energy, Idris (Suranne Jones).
Giving voice the TARDIS is a brilliant concept, and watching the Doctor and the physical incarnation of his time machine interact is fantastic.
It does what the new Doctor Who series does best, it tells a fun, scary story that is smart, keeps you thinking and plants the idea that a regeneration can lead to a female incarnation.
This one has great dialogue, some spooky moments, and perfectly marries Gaiman’s storytelling with the Doctor Who universe. I love this one!
Next week there is a two parter that brings up some interesting questions, and also helps build on the series arc.