This is one of my favorite episodes in the entire Series 2. It flowed wonderfully from beginning to end, with great punctuations of horror, sadness, intrigue, and yes, humor. The pacing was quick enough to pepper the viewers with a flood of emotions, but the pacing also left the viewers with just enough time to recover. The twists of the episode were fantastic, and I think the writers were able to portray the background of the Beast quite well, achieving the feeling that the viewers were being let in on an ancient secret while avoiding any hint of corniness.

The Ood were incredibly frightening, which I don’t quite understand. I found them rather charming in the first part of the episode, and suddenly, having them crawl quickly and sinisterly after Rose and company makes them scary. I think my fear of tight spaces and the obvious difficulty of being chased in air vents heightened the fear. They seemed so hellbent on killing the humans. I was really holding my breath when Jefferson faced them down for the last time and decided to die.

I liked the contrast between the two conflicts aboveground and underground. Above, a more ‘conventional’ battle of defeating evil monsters took place. Below, however, it was just the Doctor and Ida facing a black abyss. Both situations were equally frightening and mysterious. The Beast was very perplexing because he/it knew everyone’s darkest secrets and seemed to control the environment — despite knowing these, it was still hard for me to fathom what the Beast could possibly be.

I was maddeningly curious about who the Disciples of Light were and what powers they possessed to predict the arrival of the Doctor and to set a trap for him. The solution or method to saving the day was ingenious — setting the monster free and into the black hole, which was a trap set into motion even in the first part of the episode.

The idea that an ‘idea’ could be a monster was really fascinating. The story never concluded what the Beast really is, but I think the Doctor was right in saying that it was ‘the stuff of legend’. The concept of a monster-idea also had a hopeful message, because the fact that something monstrous is just an idea means that all you have to do is exercise free will and a stubborn mind to get rid of the evil. In a sense, this really fits Doctor Who, which is a show that promotes inner strength. It also goes to show that the monsters hiding in the closet and underneath your bed are not really so frightening, if only you put your mind to it.

The ending was brilliant. When the captain was rattling off the names of all the Ood, it showed a real change of heart. It also impressed upon me the lesson of not taking people for granted and yes, a lesson of love. I really adored this hopeful episode — I have nothing negative to say about it.

 

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