- The God Complex

The God Complex

Scanners indicate an absence of spoilers

First off, the very important stuff - if you've not seen this episode, as your attorney I strongly advise you avoid being spoilered at all costs! Seriously don't let the goblins of the internet ruin the big surprise in this one. If fact there's two shockers, one which catch all viewers off-guard and another that will greatly amuses fans immersed in the lore and history of the show.

And obviously I'm saying nothing more on the subject, though there will be a spoiler review of this episode coming in the next few days. But on to the bits I can safely tell you about...

Now I'm assuming you've seen the trailers, blurb and whatnot... Oh, you haven't? Well, in a nutshell, this is another good one, now run along secure in your ignorance towards the surprise of this tale...

Ok, so everyone else, you lot already know that The God Complex is set in a creepy hotel where spooky things happen in the rooms. You probably also know this episode is written by Toby Whithouse, who previously gave us School Reunion in Series 2 and Vampires in Venice last year. Plus this week we've got a guest star in the shape of comedian David Walliams. And the very sharp eyed among you will have spotted an old enemy in the NEXT WEEK trailer last week.

So let's address those points in order. Firstly, yes it is creepy - I mean just look at the picture above for Cliff's sake! However this isn't an exercise in just trading on tired and true fears and phobia like Night Terrors, although there is an element of that obviously. Rather The God Complex is more weird and unsettling, delivering the kind of strangeness that David Lynch has made his own. But even that's not the full monty, as what propels the storyline is a solid mystery that is unravelled clue by clue and I must say it's good to see the Doctor had to work to piece the puzzle together.

All of which brings nicely to our second point... Mr Whithouse's writing. Now I enjoyed School Reunion a fair bit but Vampires in Venice left be slightly underwhelmed. And as I remarked in my review of that episode, I'd have liked to see some of the depth and flair he has demonstrated in his own show Being Human. Well folks, with The God Complex I got my wish - we not only have a solidly thought through tale but also a story that makes all kinds of emotional and symbolic connections between it plot points and the emotions of the characters. It is, if you'll pardon the pun, a complex episode, and for my money not only the best of the three adventures he's penned so far, but a darn fine outing all round. Additional kudos to director Nick Hurran who brings this challenging story to screen with real flourish.

Now then, going into the this one, I'm sure I was not alone in feeling slightly apprehensive when I saw we had a guest comedian onboard. For we all remember what happened last time... Yes, the shadow of Love And Monsters runs dark and deep. However in fairness, the wince making moments in that episode weren't Peter Kay's fault, but I've ragged on Russell T Davies enough in the last few weeks... And deservedly so I might add... The bloody Blessing! Honestly! I'd slap him so fast it wouldn't even be funny...

*Ahem* moving swiftly on... where was I?

Oh yes, having a comedian as a guest star. Well, I'm pleased to report that David Walliams put in a fantastic turn as the rabbity in more ways than one alien Gibbis. On first encountering this character, you think they are playing to the actor's strengths and that Gibbis is the comic relief. After all, his backstory is delightfully redolent of the humour of Douglas Adams and the sideways scifi satire of prime era 2000 AD. However as the episode unfolds, we discover that there a lot more to Gibbis than serving up some light relief. And Walliams shines even under the layers of latex.

So then to the last point. Yes, they are back. But there's also a fair few other familiar faces in The God Complex too. And I honestly can't say any more...

So then to wrap this up, The God Complex is a cracking tale. It delivers a fascinating mixture - there's horror, there's scifi, and a mystery to be solved. There's some laughter, some chills and a lot of heart... All the best elements of Doctor Who in an attractive sinister hotel shaped package.

Click here to go to the Spoiler Zone for this episode

JIM MOON, 17th September 2011