Filler? No way. Pure DW. Yes it is ALOT like an Ace/7th Doctor comic book story from many years ago about a child's toy closet and his psyhic powers, trapping Ace and the Doc in his universe of toys in his closet...but whatever.
I think Amy and Rory were fine this episode for once and to me they fit in much better in the present day/modern times than in the future. They also seem to fit in to historical time periods but modern times seem best for them, of course the scripts are what does it and this one was stronger than most, especially any written by Moffat with the exception of the Xmas stgory, which was pretty good.
In any case, this seemed cool but the explanations are a bit fast and furious again. It reminded me a bit of FEAR HER, too and I like FEAR HER alot. At the same time, I think the Moffat Doctor/Smith Doctor has become TOO MUCH like the Classic Doctors...he's too wacky, too far removed from human beings, too disrelated from his companions---I like NuWho because he is...well, he can relate well to his companions and almost fall in love wtih them. This Doctor is just like the OLD Doctors and frankly we've seen that over and over and over so this week my complaint is the Doctor: he's just the boring old Doctor and has none of the gravitas of RTD/Tennant/Chris Doctors. I mean none. He's just this wacko and he's not even a good wacko. McCoy and Tom Baker could do wackos well but to me Smith would be best served being a more serious Doctor...he's a very good actor but this "don't open the closet, open the closet" stuff was not serving it's purpose and it's not funny...he's not funny.
In any case, the events were sometimes unnerving and I half expected the Toymaker to show up or the Mind Robber monsters...but that might be next week. I didn't really feel the emotion that the ep was trying hard to drum up and almost felt something for the father and child toward the end. It was a bit touching but it couild have been made more so but whatever, I liked it and tha'ts a feat these days. Hope that sticks. In any case, no River, no arc crap, no returning monsters, and the companions were well used here...love some of their lines "We're dead...again." "Panic."
Fun stuff. I almost want to give it a ten out of ten.
BUT then another fan posted this and it made me think how hole filled this ep is:
"Might I remind you that people are allowed their own opinions, even though they may not tally with yours. Just because someone found this episode weak you, as a moderator, should not be aiming your replies at them per se, but rather asking why the forum user found the story so.
For what it's worth, I, too, was majorly disappointed with this episode. It had been billed as one of the creepiest, scariest ones to come from the Who production team so far, and I was expecting a story that made my heart beat faster, that made me fear for little George's sanity, and that made me fear for Rory and Amy's life.
What I got, sadly, was a remake of "Fear Her" from the Tennant era... a story that was, in itself, pretty poor too, and best forgotten.
Now, I have no problem with stories that are seen as "fillers" or those that pull the pace back a little after last week's rampant opener but really this story lacked originality and style. How so, you might ask? Well, originality in that Mark Gatiss' script should have been tighter and more frightening, placing more emphasis on George's terrors and putting him in more peril (and thus the children watching at home) while the lack of style was down to Richard Clarke's somewhat lacklustre direction. Yes, the sets and costume/creature design was of the usual incredible standard but it was how these elements were used on screen that was poor and feeble.
When I saw the pictures of the Wooden Peg Dolls, I thought "Here is a classic Nu Who monster in the making!". Yes, there is something frightening about these Victorian creations as Mark Gatiss said, but Clarke reduced them (no pun intended) to creatures lacking any venom whatsoever. All they did was shamble about the dollhouse, look around corners and generally, when the lighting was too bright in the dollhouse, look unconvincing. They were a creation that, if used less, could have caused more fear in children than I suspect they did.
And yet another episode dealing with miniaturisation? And so soon after "Let's Kill Hitler" at that. I feel this episode should have stayed as episode three while "The Curse of..." should have moved to here.
The ending was incredibly flat with hardly any reaction from Amy and Rory when they returned to normal. And were we to believe that on seeing the estate with more people at the end that George had spirited them all into the dollhouse? So why did we only see a few dolls? And a few of the scenes between the usually superb Daniel Mays and Matt Smith seemed a little unrehearsed and "knowing"... in that, I mean they seemed to be acting at acting, rather than realistic in their performances if that makes sense. And please, don't get me started on the awful actress who played the old woman. Frankly, she should have stayed in the dollhouse.
And what of the mooted twist at the end? Was it simply that George was an alien? An alien in "Doctor Who"? Well, I never saw that coming! Forgive the sarcasm but I feel that if there was no explanation as to what George was, and he was simply "something unexplained" then this would have lent more to the eerie atmosphere, especially if the Doctor had left him with his surrogate parents at the end, not really understanding whether this creature was good or bad. There can be some ambiguity in these stories, and the Doctor doesn't necessarily have to know everything. The universe is a big place, and I can't imagine he has been to every corner of it.
So, all said and done, I feel it was an episode whose production values outshone the acting and storyline which was, without question, highly derivative. Really, Moffat and Gatiss ought to have their knuckles rapped for wasting money on a story that had already been filmed."