Pirates and Sirens and Children – Oh My!

May 14, 2011

Television

Last week’s episode of “Doctor Who” was a fun little romp. It featured a few very cool hat tips to one of my favorite themes: pirates.  The Doctor, Amy, Rory and the Tardis land on a pirate vessel that has been “becalmed” and is beset by a vengeful siren. So this episode is a classic Doctor Who: a unique historical setting (including swordplay and a cute girl in pirate garb), a classic myth that is finally revealed, and an important moral.

Today’s moral is simple: don’t fear the unknown (a classic Doctor Who theme).  The very thing that is an ominous bogeyman can also be a beautiful blessing.  In this case, a siren can be a very effective holographic doctor.

But the classic moral and the stirring pirate motif aren’t enough to save this story.  Yes, it’s a fun episode.  And I’m sure that it is moving the season story forward – at least a little bit.  And you have to like the fact that a group of seventeenth-century pirates get a cool new pirate ship.

Unfortunately, there are a few things about this episode that just drag on.  The ending scene with the pregnancy scan vacillating between between pregnant and not pregnant is so contrived.  And the reminders of the Doctor’s “impending doom” are curious, but not compelling.  Finally, the underlying question of “who does Amy love” is never really advanced any further.

At least one thing is emerging clearly: every story has a key child in it.  First there was the child in the astronaut suit.  And this episode brings us the captain’s son.  Similarly, we can all see the importance of the Amy/Rory child-to-be (if he/she ever happens).  Who knows where this arc will end.  But I’m looking forward to each new episode.

-Roo

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