This episode, in contrast to its predecessor, is great Doctor Who. It’s fun, it’s dramatic, it’s scary, it’s sad; any quibbles are easily waved off. The chemistry among Rory, Amy, and the Doctor is delightful. Even the sexual jokes are funny.
Some people complain when the monsters aren’t really monsters. I like it. Most bad things in life are not evil; they’re just something or someone else trying to live the best they can. Signora Calvierri is trying to save her race. Her children. Her actions are entirely understandable.
I thought I remembered the Doctor offering to save her family, to take them somewhere. He didn’t. It’s a bit of a missing for me. But perhaps by then it was too late. Too many dead girls. He did try to prevent her rather horrific suicide at the end. But if he had, what would he have done? Maybe then he would have taken her and her sons away. The race would still have died, in time, but at least the family would live out their lives.
(I think this is one reason I like the end of ‘Time Heist’ so much. He gets to save the aliens and take them somewhere they can live happily ever after. So many times he tries to do just that and fails. Or if he succeeds, it’s on the back end of a turkey like ‘Hide’ and no one remembers.)
There’s both an echo and a pre-echo – if that’s a thing – in this episode. The loss of the Saturnyne home world echoes a common thread of the RTD era: planets stolen out of time and space for Davros’ reality bomb. It could have worked as a part of that, ‘cuz timey wimey, but clearly Moffat did not want to ride Davies’ coattails. Perfectly understandable, but it ends up sounding a bit repetitive. This time they’re running from the crack in time. People also keep mentioning the Silence, which is the Series 6 thing. I think there is such a thing as too much foreshadowing.
But like I said, easily waved off. So far this is the best of S5 after the premiere. If only it could go on this way.