Doctor Who recap: Minotaurs and muzak mazes

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“The God Complex” is a remarkably compelling Doctor Who episode, one which takes us away from all the emotional baggage of the Doctor’s date with destiny and all the Melody Pond drama before cramming it all back down our throats at the very end.

And it has a minotaur.

Parts of the episode are very reminiscent of the Star Trek: The Next Generation story “Allegiance,” in which Capt. Picard is swept off the Enterprise and imprisoned with fellow sentient beings from all over the galaxy — only in this case, it’s in a hotel in which the rooms contain your darkest fears. And that’s a plot point that we recently explored in “Night Terrors,” another episode that evoked the best of The Twilight Zone. Like the TNG episode, this Doctor Who story even has a representative of a particularly cowardly race who provides moments of lighthearted comic relief as well as dangerous treachery.

What was in the Doctor’s room (which, by the way, was Room 11)? We hear the cloister bell ringing, and the Doctor says “Who else?” when he peers inside.

And: Was the room with the climatic encounter, which contained young Amelia Pond, meant for the Doctor, or was it Amy’s own Room 7? It’s impossible to see the room number when they rush in at the end.

Whatever was there, the Doctor seems to grow up at the end of “The God Complex,” deciding to set Amy and Rory loose in their natural habitat before they become victims of his mercurial ways. We know it can never last, but it’s decent of him to try.

Up next: “Closing Time,” in which:

The Doctor pays a farewell visit in the last few days of his life to his old friend Craig, and encounters a mystery.

People are going missing, a silver rat scuttles in the shadows of a department store, and somewhere close by, the Cybermen are waiting.

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