…and certainly not The Pit 😉
I said at the end of my review of the last Doctor Who episode: “I do have a bad feeling about part two though.”
I was right and wrong. Or to put it another it, The Satan Pit was better than I feared but not as good as I hoped.
The one thing that new Doctor Who is bad at is resolving cliffhangers and this season is even worse than last year. After all the tension at the end of last week, what happens? Jefferson shoots the Ood, the power comes back on, and nothing comes out of the pit. Oh dear.
Maybe at some point the contrast between the action in the base and the more philosophical conflict in the caves looked good (and is a reversal of the normal pattern) but it really didn’t work. The two halves needed to be tied together a bit better.
It was good to see proactive, thinking on her feet, Rose, she’s been missing for a while. Shooting the windscreen (or whatever you call that part of a rocket) wasn’t the smartest thing in the world but if you know that you’re going to die would you rather (a) die in a little while with the devil in the chair next to you all the time, or (b) die sooner but after having the statisfaction of killing the devil? I’d go for (b) too.
The Doctor’s leap of faith when he dropped off the end of the cable into the darkeness was logical within the confines of the story (what else could he do?) and in character for the tenth Doctor (who does tend to look before he leaps, and is a hypocrite for pointing out the same flaw in the humans) but still seemed like poor writing. “We have cool descending through the darkness whilst talking philosophy with Ida scene, and we have cool confront the devil scene, but how do we get from one to the other?”
So what do we make of the Doctor’s belief in Rose that allowed him to smash the vase? What exactly does he believe? Looked at coldly, it could only be the belief that Rose would want him to sacrifice her to save the universe. But that doesn’t really fit with the emotional tone of the scene. It was a good line but sadly doesn’t make much sense.
Bad science – I can forgive almost everything except the way the rocket swung round towards the black hole when the gravity funnel collapsed. Why? Yes it would be pulled into the black hole but what caused it to rotate so that it goes nose first rather than tail first?
Design work, performances and directing were all excellent, and the number of old series references raised a smile. If only the script had been just a bit tighter and the resolution made a bit more sense then this would have been an all time classic.
I think this was a very good 9/10
Next week looks like another rummage through the Virgin scrapbook. This time taking Who Killed Kennedy and playing it for laughs.