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Published on April 14th, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

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The Beast Below Blog Reaction

Sophie Okonedo as Liz 10 in Doctor Who: The Beast Below

Reaction in the mainstream press to The Beast Below was pretty limited – online blogs however were far more interested in the latest episode of Doctor Who, in which the Doctor took new friend Amy Pond to Starship UK…

Shadowlocked had plenty of positives for the latest episode and writer Jonathan Cooper seems to have been genuinely impressed by The Beast Below.

RTD always said he wanted to challenge the Doctor with new situations and new challenges: I’m sure even he’d agree that here, Moffat pulled off a doozy in terms of forcing the Doctor to choose. That, so far, has been the defining point for me regarding Smith’s Doctor and Moffat’s direction for the show, and I’d like to think it’ll become of a bit of classic in the broader range of Doctor Who history too.

Meanwhile the UK’s top sci-fi magazine SFX had their own review – giving The Beast Below 4 stars out of 5 with so many positives and astute observations is fair enough, although I’m not certain I needed to know this next bit

Amy came into the TARDIS straight from her bed in her nightie. So when the Doctor was holding her outside the TARDIS could he see, um…? If you know what I’m saying, you’re as lascivious as I am.

While they’re not explaining the plot (so not what a review should be) Den of Geek found some nice comparisons between The Beast Below and classic Doctor Who:

It inevitably draws comparison with the Doctor Who team of the late 1980s and the subtexts that they wove into their stories. Moffat has more than picked up the mantle, and crafted it extremely well. Heck, I even got a bit of a vibe of The Happiness Patrol at one point.

Over in the USA, it seems at least one blogger will have exploded (in some way) at the prospect of Karen Gillan being in town. Anglotopia sure seem to like her

One thing is for sure – the world is in love with Karen Gillan. At least men are. Oddly we’re getting a lot of traffic of people looking for nude or naked pictures of Karen Gillan. Sorry to temper the desperation by letting you all know they don’t exist! But we have posted a sexy picture of Karen Gillan here (warning NSFW!).

Across the channel meanwhile, Thierry Attard’s blog praises Steven Moffat’s script:

Matt Smith as the Doctor in The Beast BelowSteven Moffat combines tradition and invention, goes on funnily his so-called “Scottish agenda”, and delivers more than you’d expect with food for thoughts ahead of general election and a character who steals the episode.

A lengthy (and difficult to read – come on guys, sort out your paragraphs!) review on t5m.com was particularly keen on guest star Sophie Okonedo, not to mention the other “updates” on modern life.

The bizarre updates of British institutions were all rather imaginative too, from red and white construction workers’ tents being used to cover up places where the beast was breaking through the surface of the ship, to the Smilers which, even if it wasn’t entirely clear what they were, had a look of something taken from a particularly evil fun fair

Finally, eh oop t’Yorker. ‘Appen ah might break into me regional twang should ah read this’un too much.

Ahem. Student-run, York-wide, non-political website The Yorker featured their own review of The Beast Below. Blogger Lois Cameron also had praise for Okonedo, while noting:

…It took someone else to identify the star whale with the Doctor and so see its real motives in a way that the Doctor never could. I really could write pages and pages on how unbelievably at ease Matt Smith is with the role already, but I’ll just point out that even with the luminous Karen Gillan on screen, my eyes are still drawn to Smith and his delightfully odd face.

So, despite mainstream press indifference/election distraction, the current series of Doctor Who is pushing all the right buttons with the voices that count.

Tell us what you thought below, or read our own review of The Beast Below!

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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