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Sep 19, 2011

reprinted from wikipedia with thanks and respect

The God Complex

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
221 – "The God Complex"
Doctor Who episode
Writer Toby Whithouse
Director Nick Hurran
Producer Marcus Wilson
Executive producer(s)
Series Series 6
Length 50 mins
Originally broadcast 17 September 2011
← Preceded by Followed by →
"The Girl Who Waited" "Closing Time"

"The God Complex" is the eleventh episode of the sixth series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, and was first broadcast on BBC One, BBC America and Space on 17 September 2011.



[edit] Plot summary

The TARDIS, while traveling to a new planet, arrives in what appears to be a 1980's Earth hotel, but the Doctor recognizes it as an alien structure specifically designed to take that appearance. They soon meet a group of four, humans Rita, Howie, Joe, and the alien Gibbis, each who had previously been taken from their routine lives and found themselves in the hotel. The four explain that there is a minotaur-like beast in the hotel that consumes others. It does this by enticing them to enter one of the many rooms in the hotel which contains their greatest fears, upon which they become brainwashed to "praise him" and allow themselves to be taken, their bodies left without any signs of life; many others have experienced this, and photos of them and their fears cover many of the hotel's walls. The hotel is inescapable — its doors and windows walled up — and its halls and rooms can change on a whim. The Doctor, Amy, and Rory soon find the TARDIS has also disappeared, and the Doctor warns them from opening any door they are drawn to, for fear of being possessed.

As the Doctor tries to ascertain the situation, Joe, already possessed, has been drawn away from the group and is killed by the beast. Howie soon becomes possessed after entering a room against the Doctor's warnings. The remaining group set up a trap to lure the beast into the hotel's parlor using Howie's voice, upon which the Doctor questions the trapped creature and learns it is in agony wishing for its end. The Doctor realises the hotel is really a prison for the creature, and the "fears" in each room are harmless illusions. Howie escapes from the group, allowing the beast to escape and chase him down, killing him before the Doctor can save him. While exploring more of the hotel, both Amy and the Doctor are separately lured to look into two specific rooms, facing their own fears. Rita soon follows the fate of Joe and Howie.

The Doctor, Amy, Rory, and Gibbis regroup, and the Doctor surmises that the other three believed that some higher fate controlled their lives. The hotel and its rooms were, by design, meant to challenge their faith by fear to allow the beast to possess them. The Doctor identifies that Gibbis has survived due to the extreme cowardice of his species, while Rory lacks any such faith to be broken. However, the Doctor realises that it is Amy's faith in him that is being challenged; Amy soon becomes possessed like the others. As the beast comes for Amy, the Doctor and the others grab her and take her to the room of her entrancement. Inside, they find the illusion of young Amy, Amelia, still waiting for the return of her "raggedy Doctor" ("The Eleventh Hour"). The Doctor asserts to Amy that he is "not a hero" but "just a mad man with a box" to break her faith in him; her faith broken, the beast outside the door collapses on the floor.

As they watch, the hotel is revealed to be part of a large simulation; the Doctor identifies themselves aboard an automated prison spaceship, and the beast as a relative of the Nimon, a creature that feeds off the faith of others. The ship's automated systems had provided it "food" by bringing aboard creatures who had a strong faith. The Doctor identifies Amy's faith in him as the cause of their arrival on the ship. The beast mutters that "death would be a gift" for the Doctor before it passes away. The Doctor finds his TARDIS nearby, offering Gibbis a lift home. He then takes Amy and Rory back to their home on Earth, believing it best for the two to stop traveling with him for fear that their faith in him would lead to their deaths. The Doctor sets off alone in the TARDIS, contemplating these recent events.

[edit] Continuity

Several references to past alien species are displayed throughout the wall of photos of the past victims of the beast: Tritovore, Silurian, Sontaran, Judoon, Cat Nun, and the Daleks are referenced as the nightmare faced by one of the late guests. The Doctor identifies the beast as being from a species who are close relatives to the Nimon, previously a foe in the serial The Horns of Nimon and audio drama Seasons of Fear; and the group witnesses two illusions of Weeping Angels, from the episodes "Blink", "The Time of Angels", and "Flesh and Stone".[1] Though the audience is not shown the contents of the room that the Doctor is lured to open, the sound of the TARDIS' cloister bell can be heard.[2] This episode is the third time in the television series where the Doctor has forced his companions to leave the TARDIS, following Susan Foreman and Sarah Jane Smith.[3]

Young Amelia, played by Gillan's cousin Caitlin Blackwood, is shown waiting for her "raggedy Doctor" to return from the episode "The Eleventh Hour". The Doctor, being forced to break Amy's faith in him, repeats a previous event in The Curse of Fenric where the Seventh Doctor is forced to break Ace's faith in him.[4]

[edit] Production

Toby Whithouse originally pitched the episode for the previous series with the idea of a hotel with shifting rooms.[5] Showrunner Steven Moffat thought that there were too many instances in which the characters were running through corridors in that series, so Whithouse wrote "The Vampires of Venice" instead and "The God Complex" was pushed to the next series.[6] The idea to have a Minotaur be the monster came from Whithouse's love for Greek mythology.[5]

David Walliams, who plays Gibbis in this episode, previously appeared in the Fifth Doctor audio drama Phantasmagoria where he played two separate characters.[7]

[edit] Outside references

The hotel and setting has been compared to Stanley Kubrick's film, The Shining, using similar composition such as long corridor shots.[8][9]

[edit] Broadcast and reception

"The God Complex" was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 17 September 2011[10] and on the same date in the United States on BBC America.[11] Overnight ratings showed that 5.2 million viewers watched the episode on BBC One, beaten by direct competition All-Star Family Fortunes on ITV1. This made Doctor Who third for the night behind The X Factor and Family Fortunes. The episode was ranked number 1 on BBC's iPlayer the day after it aired service and also was popular on social networking site Twitter, where the phrase "Amy and Rory" trended the night it aired.[12]

[edit] Critical reception

The episode received generally positive reviews from critics. Jack Pelling of Celluloid Heroes Radio praised look of the episode, describing it as "stylishly directed by Nick Hurran, whose use of Dutch camera angles and Hitchcock zooms gave the episode an impressive, cinematic quality."[13] Gavin Fuller of The Daily Telegraph awarded the episode 3 and a half stars, stating that "the surreal tone to the episode, helped camouflage the fact that the plot made very little sense."[14]

Dan Martin of the Guardian was surprised by the exits of Amy and Rory stating that "since the reboot they've been big, climactic, end-of-the-universe tragedies." Martin also praised Karen Gillan for her performance and stated that her exit was "the kind of ending that would have been nice for Sarah-Jane, really." Martin also praised Smith's Doctor stating that we start to see the darkside more, particularly directed at himself and stronger than Tennant's portrayal. The main part of the episode Martin felt that it was "like a runaround bolted on to make way for the ending." Continuing to add that as has already been shown in this series the formula is not a recipe for success. Martin sums up the episode though by describing it as funny and thoughtful.[1]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Martin, Dan (2011-09-17). "Doctor Who: The God Complex – series 32, episode 11". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  2. ^ Queenie Le Trout (2011-09-17). "Queenie's TV Highlights: The Queen's Palaces, Torchwood and Doctor Who". ATV Today. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  3. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane (2011-09-17). "Doctor Who: The Hero Takes A Fall". io9. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  4. ^ Brew, Simon (2011-09-17). "Doctor Who series 6 episode 11 review: The God Complex". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  5. ^ a b "An Interview With Toby Whithouse". BBC. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  6. ^ Golder, Dave (25 July 2011). "Toby Whithouse on Doctor Who "The God Complex"". SFX. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Doctor Who - Phantasmagoria". Big Finish. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  8. ^ Phillips, Keith (2011-09-17). "“The God Complex”". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  9. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (2011-09-18). "“Doctor Who: The God Complex”". Radio Times. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  10. ^ Network TV BBC Week 38: Saturday 17 September 2011 (Press release). BBC. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Season 6: Episode 11 "The God Complex"". BBC America. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  12. ^ Golder, Dave (18 September 2011). "Doctr Who "The God Complex" Overnight Ratings". SFX. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  13. ^ Pelling, Jack. "TV Review: Doctor Who- The God Complex". The God Complex. Celluloid Heroes Radio. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  14. ^

[edit] External links