Doctor Who

Season 6 Episode 3

The Curse of the Black Spot

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM May 07, 2011 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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  • The Curse of the Black Spot

    The Curse of the Black Spot was a spectacular episode of Doctor Who and an awesome take on the Siren Myth. I liked the story and the characters were fascinating and full of surprise. The Siren was very well done and looked amazing. I liked her song and the special effects. It was interesting to learn what she really was. I liked how every thing played out and the ending was awesome as The Captain took his new ship to his most trustworthy star. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • The Doctor, Amy and Rory land aboard a 17th Century pirate ship, whose crew are suffering the strange curse of "The Black Spot", and being attacked by the mysterious, beautiful Siren. Sadly, for the most part, dull and dragged out...

    This review contains spoilers.

    After the wonderful (arguably even classic) 'The Impossible Astronaut' / 'Day of the Moon', anything that came after was inevitably going to be a let down, an anti-climax. I even nearly made this comment at the end of my review for 'Day of the Moon' last week, but decided not to, to try not to jinx things. But... well, yep, this was a much weaker episode in my opinion.

    Despite my concerns, I was looking forward to this episode. Of course it wouldn't be a mass-scale 'Pirates of the Caribbean'-type affair, but even so, I thought that the premise had so much potential. So what a shame that the final result is, for the most part, rather dragged out and dull, with a basic plot stretched to fill the runtime.

    The press reports suggested some location filming in Cornwall. Unless I missed something, I saw none of this; instead, we were stuck in a basic, unimaginative studio set.
    This was originally pencilled in to be the ninth episode of the series; quite why they felt need to bring it forward, when the series desperately needed a much stronger episode to follow on from 'Astronaut' / 'Moon' is anyone's guess.

    The climax of the story almost sees what may seem to some, inevitable, the death of Rory. I've said it so many times before, but... Arthur Darvill great in the role, but Rory adds nothing to the series, he needs a twist, a dynamic, he's a spare wheel (and cramps Amy's role). I was actually quite surprised he "came back to life" at the end, to be quite honest.

    This was a very dialogue-heavy episode, at the sacrifice of much real excitement. Also a lot of "quirky" lines, which sometimes I can bare if there is a decent plot going on, but here I found to be a little grating at some points.

    I know some will love this episode. Then again, some will claim "we had much better than this sort of thing in the Russell T. Davies era". Which is quite untrue – the rose tinted spectacles tend to gloss over some of the truly poor (and rather dumbed down) offerings from that era, but that's getting into another debate.

    Either way, I just expected so much more from this episode. I'm a fan of many varied TV series, and the U.S. / New Zealand's 'Hercules' and 'Xena' shows were doing far much more adventurous sea-bound episodes over 15 years previously, on much more limited technology and probably on the equivalent budget.

    All-in-all, not an episode I'll rush back to see, I'm afraid. It does have some moments, and a few fair effects (not nearly enough), but I felt it took far too long to get to the climax and revelations. I can only muster myself to give 'The Curse of the Black Spot' a much lower than usual 6.5. Sorry folks (click up those "thumbs down" review ratings lol)
  • The Black Spot is a classic pirate theme, played perfectly in this Doctor Who episode

    I know I'm in the extreme minority when I say I didn't like the last 2-part episode, mostly because the pacing was horrendous, but boy has it picked up for this one. I loved the mysterious elements, I liked the character work, I liked the drama, the action was good, it was very well placed, there was a real sense of jeopardy in the episode. The only problem, and it's so minor I'm not even counting it is the point where they show us exactly what we already know about Amelia, without even trying to advance the plot, but it's 5 seconds, with 44 minutes and 55 seconds of brilliance.
  • Really great episode, full of intrigue till the last scene.

    **spoilers** Really great episode, full of intrigue till the last scene. Once again, we see the Doctor saving people - the pirates - and trying to solve the mystery - the Siren - while saving himself, Amy, and Rory. The Doctor, Amy and Rory land on a pirate ship, where they are greeted by some not so friendly pirates, who want to make the Doctor walk the plank and make Amy a 'dogsie'. When Amy makes a small cut on one of the pirates with a sword - along with Rory - the captain and the other crew members get really worried, even though she just made a tiny cut. We find out later that whenever someone on board the ship gets a cut, the Siren leaves a black mark on them, and sings to bring them to her, where they disappear upon touch. The Doctor has a theory that the Siren only appears when blood is drawn, and can only come through water. We later find out that she comes not only for people who bleed, but also for the sick and wounded, and through reflections, not just still water.
    When she gets Rory, the Doctor, Amy, and the captain cut themselves so that they can go wherever the Siren took the other crew members and Rory. When they wake up on a spaceship on the pirate ship, they find out that multiple universes have 'collided', and that reflections are like a gateway between the universes. They come upon a room in which many people are being stored, asleep. The Doctor figures out that the Siren is not a demon, but a doctor, saving peoples lives by keeping them alive.
    Amy manages to save Rory, and the Doctor tells Amy to go to bed. Then we see the same thing that happened in the previous episode - the Doctor does a pregnancy scan on Amy, and the screen constantly flickers between positive and negative.
    All in all, a great episode
  • Peter Pan mixed with Pinter. Sometimes works but timing a little off.

    It's behind you! Oh no it isn't oh yes it is! Trip guffaw. This episode of Doctor Who is like a children's production of Peter Pan with a slight bit of Harold Pinter thrown in to appeal to the adults. The Doctor and his merry crew end up on a stranded ship where the crew of Pirates find themselves being picked off one by one by a beautiful singing siren. The black spot refers to the mark that appears on your hand once you get injured. A cut, a spot then Miss Mermaid takes you to Never Never Land. Or does she…

    Well there's enough pantomime type shenanigans, and hyper-active Doctor babble to just about keep you interested during the painfully slow first-half. Amongst the dreary moments there is some nice comedy and self-referential humour. Stephen Thomson arms the Doctor with some great lines regarding the absurdity of the pirates and Karen Gillan as usual, just looks like she is having such a great time as Amy that you just can't help but enjoy the silliness. The second-half lurches through the rest of the ideas as if realising that they won't get a viewing in the final 15 minutes. Luckily for us we are rewarded with a few tantalizing breadcrumbs of ongoing story arcs. The episode is a bit…clumsy, a bit…choppy and works best when it's more Pinter and less pantomime. The menace of a creature that speaks no words, the inertness of the ship contrasting with the ambivalence manifest aboard the still enclosed space where characters with demons get to reflect on what they are and their own mortality and finally of course the slapstick. These elements are what elevate Doctor Who from the absurd to the interesting and strangely this episode may have been better as a two-parter.

    Again the ending is confusing, for some reason the Doctor does not know CPR or have access to defibrillator technology but I'm actually almost ready to accept that Doctor Who logic is a lot bigger on the inside that it is on the outside.
  • Anybody else getting a Pirates of the Carribean feel here? Anybody?

    "Yohoho! Or does nobody actually say that?"

    The Doctor landed himself in trouble yet again, this time a short-tempered pirate wants him to walk the plank for misbeleiving him to be a stowaway. Want things to get weirder? YOU GOT IT! A Siren takes sailors away when they become wounded and everyone is running around like headless chickens in fright. Yet again Rory nearly dies, but still he comes back to Amy. Anybody else getting tired of his almost dying each season? First Restec kills him, he's erased from time, becomes an Auton- which is also erased and his real self is brought back, the Silence attack him. Wowza, this guy is unfortuante when it comes ot aliens.
  • The doctor, Amy and rory land of a pirate ship which is being hounded by a deadly siren, but not everything is as it seems.

    after the plot heavy two-parter this is the first stand-alone episode of the season and is a lot less confusing. The doctor and his companions find a pirate ship where a siren is seemingly killing anyone who is injured. However not everything is as it seems, we find out at the end that the siren is really a medical hologram from an alien ship that is in another plane of existence, yeah I know it sounds crazy but that doctor who for you. turns out she was taking them to the ship so she could heal them, there is a rather odd ending to the episodes where the pirate take the spaceship and sail off into the stars, personally I thought they should have gotten justice for what they've done, they are pirates after all, but this was still a good episode and I hope the episode quality keeps up.