The Curse of the Black Spot

silvanthalas - Posted on 07 May 2011

Long time no post...

I enjoyed this episode for what it is: a fun filler.

But there's something that somehow escaped editing that just boggles the mind:

The pirate that the boy injured just disappears from the episode. After he realizes he also now cannot leave the room that has the boy, Rory, and Amy, he begins to help blockade the door.

And then he isn't seen again until the final shot on the ship as the other pirates enter the bridge.

How the hell did this escape attention!?

I gave it a 7/10 and really would have given it a 9/10 for just the pirate parts. It really did feel like a Troughton episode complete with scared little Doctor and Doc who did'n't have all the answers, which are both refreshing---and a bit of DAEMONS thrown in. I didn't mind the hospital bit but...I'm afraid the explanations --which thankfully were given (at least I thnk they were the dialog was too mumbled and too fast for me)---didn't really make sense. Why couldn't the Siren heal them? Why couldn't she understand what was going on? Why was she active in the first place? Was she the aliens'?? and if so why did she look like a human? How were Toby and the others at the end up and about?

What happened to the TARDIS?I can accept it was just having a bad day but...what?

With all those questions maybe it should get a 6/10 or worse but for some reason it was enjoyable. Then it loses a point for being a worse version of THE EMPTY CHILD/DOCTOR DANCES, still it was far more enjoyable than at least five of last season's "stories" and far ahead of 11th HOUR, BEAST BELOW, VICTORY OF THE DALEKS, PANDORICA OPENS AND BIG BANG as well as FLESH AND BLOOD. River.

A bit of this could have been better. The Doc MUST know CPR after all his time alive...not to mention that he practiced medicine under Lister in the 1800s.

All in all, this was entertaining and well least initially. It can be watched with enjoyment but again, it seems like a rough draft and could have been more solid. The above questions should be answered by the show but really wn't be or weren't.

I also agree that the TARDIS/Doctor couild have healed the boy but didn't. Things like this MUST be worked out when the story is being fashioned and not by fans after the fact of airing. this shows that whoever wrote this or edited it or is overlooking the show just doesn't have the know how to do his or her job or jobs AND / OR doesn't care to make a logical, consistent entity...logic is important to all of it. If the Doc looks like he doesn't care to help heal the boy...for example, it makes him look cold, callous and stupid...if the Siren is shaped like humans but came from an alien ship...why? Why help humans to begin with?
billybob8476's picture

I agree with your 7/10 plus we got our dose of eye-patch woman.  But I still have to deduct a point on the BBCamerica version because I STILL don't get the point of this "My name's Ameilia Pond" Opening.

"because I STILL don't get the point of this "My name's Ameilia Pond" Opening."

Because they think North Americans are ignorant of Doctor Who, apparently.

I hated it with the episodes of SJA, and I hate it with this season of Who.

I like the setup and the fact that there was a trapped ship but it felt incomplete like another 5-10 mins of details or story might have gone a long way.  Seemed like the writer gave an outline to a grade school to finish.  Sets and acting were good the story drops the ball to many times to give this a positive mark.

The doctor never really explains/fixes the space ship.  How is it the pirates could just take off as if the ship was fine but the original crew was trapped there long enough to get sick and die.  Plus how is it that the ship did not put any of them in stasis? They are the crew, even if she could not heal them that was her whole M.O.  Plus how did she get the "tissue samples" without the reflection if that was her way back and forth. 

The doctor makes it sound like this ship was trapped for awhile and some history was basied on it yet the only humans were the pirate crew.  This would make a better story with more humans in stasis or more bodies or a log or something. 

Why do they need to take Rory out of the sickbay to start CPR?  That was wasted time.  I could see if the Doctor seemed to have any medical device he could grab but he makes no effort to help and look for anything.  Seemed really stupid to hope Amy is able to do CPR without helping or anything.  Even a scanner or something to zap him back whould make me think the move was a good idea.

All the others seemed to get put right into stasis but not the Doctor, Amy or the captain?  She didn't even show up until they found the sickbay?

Agree with silvanthalas I noticed that guy missing right away.



I'm sorry but I might be in the minority but I feel companions like Jamie and Leela with their already above average fighting skills are somewhat more believable than Amy in her swordfighting scene...which makes me wonder why they didn't start out with some comp who was already atheltic if this is the sort of thing they want to do. I hated Ace but one thing, one way she was believable was in that she seemed fit enough to handle at least some of the fighting. Suddenly Amy can swing a sword without cutting heself.

Well...she was a "Kissy-gram" so she needs to learn a lot of skills to meet the needs of her clients.

I'm sorry but I might be in the minority but I feel companions like Jamie and Leela with their already above average fighting skills are somewhat more believable than Amy in her swordfighting scene...which makes me wonder why they didn't start out with some comp who was already atheltic if this is the sort of thing they want to do. I hated Ace but one thing, one way she was believable was in that she seemed fit enough to handle at least some of the fighting. Suddenly Amy can swing a sword without cutting heself.

There's no denying this episode looked nice on screen but it was, to me anyway, an exercise of Style over Substance. The Doctor was at the end of a plank about to fall into shark-infested seas yet Amy takes the time to change her clothes before she swashbuckles about the place in a most unconvincing manner while Rory was, once again, ineffectual and wet as water.


Some more stuff about pirates then we are cast into an episode of Voyager complete with holographic doctor. Yawn.


And didn't you just KNOW Rory was going to take that breath when they all thought he was dead? Such a hackneyed and cliched plot device...although if he had died 'for real' I couldn't have cared less; he is the most annoying and soppy male companin since Adric.


A nice little touch was the glimpse of TARDIS domesticity with the Pond's going up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire, it brought a smile to this Misery-Guts's face!


Next week we have a green eyed Ood...any link to The Silence I wonder?


Paul S. Mabley

Oncoming Storm Media

Kitchener, Ontario

I felt this was kinda like most of last year's stories.  Ok, but nothing great.  It felt very forced to though they wanted a pirate story very badly, without much thought as to how they could successfully pull it off.

A couple thoughts, many of which already pointed out by others:

- Amy swashbuckling scene was totally not believable.  I'm even fine with her changing costume while The Doctor's about to walk off the plank for comedic effect.  But the notion that she's gonna out-duel a pirate is absurd.  Even Rory would've been more believable to fight the pirates, given his time spent as a Roman soldier.

- The pirate whom the Captain's son scratched: he's there...then he's not...then all of a sudden he's there at the end?  Huh?  Almost makes me wonder if the original cut of the episode was too long and unfortunately some of his scenes towards the end were tossed.

- I'm willing to believe the whole thing about the ships getting stuck together in different universes/dimensions/etc, but the idea about crossing between the two via a reflective surface is just not believable.  Use some other scientific gibberish to explain it, cuz this just doesn't do it.  Lazy writing.

- I'm willing to believe the basic plot of the doctor/siren wanting to help these pirates with various cuts/injuries, but why stick them in some kind of forced coma?  Don't they just have band-aids in alternate universes?

- Amy resuscitating Rory while The Doctor just watches and does nothing to help?  Apparently the sonic screwdriver does everything else except CPR.  And why take him in the TARDIS to have Amy perform CPR?  Wouldn't you rather stay in the medical bay on the alien ship, maybe cuz they have a ton of medical supplies?  Okay, fine the hologram doctor/siren makes her sign a waiver to release him, but wouldn't the doctor/siren still help out some way with no liability?

Despite the many shortcomings, I found it strangely enjoyable.  Probably deserves less than this for the poor writing, but I give it 6 out of 10, maybe because I wanted it to succeed so bad.

I agree with most of the comments about the many holes in the episode. Doctor Who usually has it's fill of them but these were pretty large. Here is how I explain away some of the poorer parts of the story to settle it for me to enjoy it.

Amy's swashbuckling was believable if you believe the pirates already know that one scratch and they are dead so they couldn't take the risk of really fighting Amy.

As to why Rory couldn't be a damn good fighter after being a Roman soldier? My only fill would be he just became a Roman soldier right before they showed up at Stonehenge.

The pirate disappearing, well you just figured he was taken away when we were busy watching the Doctor and the Captain.

As to why the Doctor didn't help revive Rory? To me that one isn't a hole. Didn't you see how he was looking at them when Amy thought Rory was dead? He was almost glad when Amy gave up, then as Rory revived he put on his I'm Happy for them look that was totally unbelievable (as it should have been). And why did Amy give up after a couple of tries? Didn't Rory even say I know you can Amy because I know you won't give up. So what does she do, 4 tries then Oh well! After all didn't we see that Amy had a child that was part Time Lord? This couldn't have come from Rory, so the Doctor has been playing doctor with Amy. She was very much after the Doctor all last season. Poor Rory is a third wheel in that group and ends up getting the worst of it all the time now.

Finally what is up with the eye patch woman Amy sees? Did I miss something and did she appear before? I didn't understand what she said to Amy so if anyone knows please let me know.

A struggling fan,



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