Doctor Who

Season 6 Episode 11

The God Complex

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Sep 17, 2011 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
269 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The TARDIS arrives at a hotel of ever-changing rooms where each guest must face their greatest fear.

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  • The God Complex

    The God Complex was a phenomenal and well written episode of Doctor Who. I liked the story along with it's underlying theme and hints towards the Doctors true nature. It was fun watching every one try to figure out what was happening and why. The guest characters were great. There was definitely a spooky vibe through out but once the creature is explained it's quite interesting. I liked how things worked out but the ending was sad as the Doctor receives more advice. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!

  • It wasn't quite perfect, but it was very good.

    See, this is where user reviews can't quite cope. People tend to love things or hate things, with very little nuance in the middle.

    But this episode wasn't bad, was it? Certainly not hate-worthy. And it wasn't perfect, either, I'll get into why in a minute. So we're bound to uncomfortably parse through the positives and negatives here and present an overall appraisal.

    So why wasn't the episode perfect? Well, it wasa bit visually overloaded with camera tricks, crooked angles and creepy quick montages. Nothing wrong with using those resources, really, and I was actually enjoying them, finding a touch of "Castrovalva" here and there with the nonlinear layout of the hotel, but there's can be too much of a good thing, and this episode did cross that line.

    The acting was also not all there, with some of the younger supporting actors not quite delivering in their multifaceted roles. They weren't... bad, but there was room to impress, and impressed I wasn't. See how this is a hard one to dial in for a review?

    Anyway, on to the good. For the second of three episodes in a row, the overarching plot is out, and classic Doctor Who storytelling is in. I just love that. I love that we were thrown a bunch of interesting side characters, that some died, some survived, some got to be brave, some got to do bad things without actually being evil. Those shades of grey and the fact that death is a frequent outcome are what has always made Doctor Who one of the least patronizing shows for kids and young adults out there.

    Oh, and the core concept of the episode wasn't too bad, although I do hate it when sci-fi clichés like "your worst fears realized" or "monsters that feed on specific emotions" are thrown in. For all the clever metaphors and striking imagery, the inner mechanics of the plot were a bit lazy.

    I did like to see some of the drama that fueled the early seasons of the reboot come back, too. While I'll admit that the Doctor's moral conundrum of whether to risk the lives of his companions or to live on as a sad, lone old man was a run to the ground a bit during the last part of Tennant's run, I was not comfortable with how radically it had been abandoned these two seasons. It's one of those background noise touches that keep long-standing characters in pop culture going, and I do appreciate a nod to it here that has actual repercussions on the plot.

    So, overall, not a clear cut episode, but one that was more than worth the watch. This season has been so much better than the previous one so far, and the second half of it has been better than the first. I really hope they can wrap it up in a satisfying way without falling into the pitfalls of the first season finale, but it's been a good run regardless.moreless
  • An excellent episode...

    Yes, it probably needs to be said that this had some similar elements to Night Terrors: an alien badly needing something from humans; a creepy house/hotel setting; and Amy needing to be saved yet again. But that's where the points in common end, because this was a far superior episode in every way (as reflected by people's ratings).

    First, the comic presence of Little Britain's David Walliams as a cowardly rat-faced alien was priceless, as was his acting. This comic turn by Walliams provided a welcome contrast to the suspense. In fact, the acting of all of the supporting cast was very good.

    Second, the Doctor had to work hard in this episode like a manic Sherlock Holmes to figure out what was really going on. The fact that it took him nearly the whole episode to do this was not surprising and not that unwelcome either. It gave us a sense that the Doctor doesn't have all of the answers to hand and needs to struggle through situations, along with the rest of us, before the proverbial light bulb switches on. Yes, this seems very familiar, but it is his signature style/modus operandum, so I am not that bothered with the sense of deja vu that that brings.

    Finally, the closing scenes between the Doctor and Amy were moving - a feat which this season's writers appear to have pulled off time and time again - leaving me feeling emotionally satisfied and excited to see the next episode. This season has been my favourite so far.moreless
  • One of the better episodes of the season so far.

    This was a pretty good episode, tense, intriguing and not overly-confusing, although I felt that the actual reasoning felt a bit rushed over and if you blinked you'd have missed it.

    My only problem is with the final scene, which I felt to be pointless. Now don't get me wrong, it was very well done and fitting, but it felt pointless in the fact that it's obvious that both Amy and Rory will be back in the next episode, if not, the episode after. I feel they could have trimmed it down to accommodate the explanation of the concept more.

    TheMinotaurwas great and it was nice to see the Weeping Angels briefly again, it's just a shame that since Flesh and Stone I no longer find them very scary. Walliams' character provided some excellent comic relief, good show, although I feel that Rita's death could have been done better.

    Aside from that, it was a pretty solid episode and one which I could happily re-watch again and still legions above many episodes of the RTD era.moreless
  • The Doctor and crew arrive at a holographic hotel where various beings from other planets, including earth, are being kidnapped so that their "faith" can feed an alien entity whilst killing the victim.moreless

    I found this to be another of the rather surrealistic and somewhat boring episodes. Maybe some people enjoy these but to me they tend to indicate the writers are reaching for material. The basic synopsis is that the Doctor, Amy, and Rory arrive at a holographic hotel to save some people, earthlings and aliens, from an alien entity that feeds on people's "faith" through a monster creature it has captured. The Doctor meets another group of "victims" recently kidnapped as food for the alien and brought to the hotel. The alien has to manipulate the victims psyche so that the victim places their faith in the alien at which time the creature under its' control will subsume the victim's faith as food for the alien whilst killing the victim. Those of no faith are relatively safe from the alien. The setting is a holographic hotel simulating a hotel on earth with various living creations in the different rooms that psychologically stimulate the intended victim to place their faith in the alien. The plot plays out rather surrealistically in the hotel and the Doctor reasons with the alien's captive creature, who resembles a Minotaur, to discover what is going on. While I may be shot down in ratings, as another reviewer was, I found this a bit tiresome and believe the writers were reaching for material. There are many excellent Doctor Who episodes but I simply found the plot and setting very contrived so I rated it only a 6.5 this time.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • During the teaser, the policewoman opens door 214, walks forward down the hall and opens door 215, and then continues forward down the hall and opens 214 again.

    • Trivia: Among the photographs on the hotel's walls are a Sontaran, a Silurian, a Tritovore, a Hoix, a Catkind, and a Judoon.

    • Trivia: The Doctor mentions that the minotaur-like creature is similar to the Nimon, a race of aliens that featured in the Fourth Doctor serial "The Horns of Nimon."

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Amy: "Let's go to Ravensgaka," he says. "The people are 600 feet tall, you have to talk to them in hot air balloons and the tourist information center is made of one of their hats," he says. I'm sorry, but I don't see any huge hats.

    • Rita: Their pupils are dilated. They are as surprised as we are. Besides which, if it's a trick, it'll tell us something.
      The Doctor: Oh, you're good. Oh, she's good. Amy, with regret, you're fired.
      Amy: What?
      The Doctor: I'm kidding. (whispers to Rita) We'll talk.

    • The Doctor: I take it from the pathological compulsion to surrender, you're from Tivoli.
      Gibbis: Yes, the most invaded planet in the galaxy. Our anthem is called "Glory To Insert Name Here."

    • The Doctor: They're not doors, they're walls. Walls that look like doors. Dor-wals, if you like, or dwalls. Walds, even. You fully got it when you said they're not doors. I mean, windows are... right. Big day for a fan of walls.
      Rita: It's not just that. The rooms have... things in them.
      The Doctor: Things? Hello! What kind of things? Interesting things? I love things, ask anyone.
      Rita: Bad dreams.
      The Doctor: Well, that killed the mood.

    • Gibbis: Well, I was at work, I'm in town planning. We're lining all the highways with trees so invading forces could march in the shade. Which is nice for them.

    • The Doctor: So what have we got? People snatched from their lives and dropped into an endless shifting maze that looks like a 1980s hotel with bad dreams in the bedrooms. Apart from anything else, that's just rude.

    • The Doctor: Okay, this is bad. For the moment I don't know how bad. But it's certainly three buses, a long walk, and a taxi from good.

    • The Doctor: Hello, I'm the Doctor.
      Joe: You're going to die here.
      The Doctor: Well, they certainly didn't mention that in the brochure.

    • Gibbis: Personally, I think you've got the right idea. Times like this, I think of my old school motto: "Resistance is exhausting."

    • Howie: I've worked out where we are.
      Rory: Hmmm.
      Howie: Norway.
      Rory: Norway?
      Howie: See, the U.S. government has entire cities hidden in the Norwegian mountains. The Earth is on a collision course with this other planet and this is where they're going to send all the rich people when it kicks off.
      Rory: Amazing.
      Howie: Well, it's all there on the Internet.
      Rory: No, it's amazing you've come up with a theory more insane than what's actually happening.

    • Amy: Whatever that is, it's not real, yeah?
      The Doctor: No, no, I'm sure it isn't. But just in case, let's run around and hide anyway.

    • Rory: Every time the Doctor gets pally with someone, I have this overwhelming urge to notify their next of kin. (Amy glances at him and he recoils) Sorry. The last time I said something like that, you hit me with your shoe. And you literally had to sit down and unlace it first.

    • Rita: You are a medical doctor, aren't you? You haven't just got a degree in cheese-making, or something?
      The Doctor: No. Well, yes. Both, actually.

    • Gibbis: All I want to do is go home and be conquered and oppressed. Is that too much to ask?

    • Rory: (to the Doctor) You know, Howie had been in speech therapy. He'd just gotten over this massive stammer. What an achievement. I mean, can you imagine? You've forgotten that not all victories are about saving the universe.

    • The Doctor: Why what?
      Rita: Why is it up to you to save us? That's quite a God complex you have there.
      The Doctor: I brought them here. And so it's their choice. But offer a child a suitcase full of sweets and they'll take it. Offer someone all of time and space and they'll take that, too. Which is why you shouldn't. Which is why grown-ups were invented.

    • The Doctor: Forget your faith in me. I took you with me because I was vain. Because I wanted to be adored. Look at you. Glorious Pond. The girl who waited for me. I'm not a hero. I really am just a madman in a box. It's time we saw each other as we really are. Amy Williams, it's time to stop waiting.

    • Amy: What's it saying?
      The Doctor: "An ancient creature, drenched in blood of the innocent. Drifting in space through an endless shifting maze. For such a creature, death would be a gift." Then accept it and sleep well. (the Doctor starts to walk away) "I wasn't talking about myself."

    • Amy: Hey. So. You're leaving, aren't you?
      The Doctor: You haven't seen the last of me. "Bad Penny" is my middle name. Seriously, the looks I get when I fill in a form.

  • NOTES (0)


    • Joe: Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head.
      Referencing the 1744 children's rhyme and singing game, "Oranges and Lemons." Each line refers to the bells of a church near London. In the game, two children use their arms to create an arch, recite the rhyme, and bring their arms down to trap the children present when the last line is spoken. Those children then form a new arch with others, creating a steadily-longer tunnel. The same line is spoken in Season 2 of the UK series Being Human, which the author of this episode, Toby Whithouse, also worked on.