After the good two-part season opener, I thought this was a bit of a filler episode. However, after the more convoluted plot and darker moments of the previous episodes it will be a bit easier for the kids watching to enjoy.
A ship is having its crew whittled down by a rather lovely Siren, played by Lily Cole. When a chap is wounded or ill she appears, lulls him into ecstasy with her song and then makes him disappear.
The Doctor arrives and finds himself made to walk the plank by the captain, played well by Hugh Bonneville. Due to being escorted by the most inept pirate in the seven seas, Amy stumbles upon a cutlass, displays a rather odd proficiency with the blade, and saves the Doctor (but not without accidentally cutting a pirate and Rory).
The Doctor manages to rattle through a number of theories before realising the Siren comes through reflections. After she saves Rory from drowning, the Doctor, the captain and Amy voluntarily prick their skin to summon her.
They’re transported to an advanced alien vessel the crew of which has long since perished. The writer decides that scientific explanations are unnecessary (although it doesn’t drift into the awful realms of the Doctor-Donna, thankfully) and the approximate reasoning the Doctor comes up with is that the ship’s in a parallel dimension but close to this one, occupying the same space(ish) as the pirate ship.
The Siren turns out to be a kind of automated doctor, like a pretty version of Voyager’s EMH. Now her crew are dead she’s been trying to heal the sick and injured from the pirate ship.
The surviving pirates stay on board the vessel and pilot it away from our world, and the Doctor et al., after a brief spot of tension where Rory might have died, fly off.
Not a terrible episode, but most definitely filler. One of the most interesting bits was a few seconds when Amy saw the woman with the futuristic eye-patch again. That suggests she might be in a coma, possibly, but my own suspicion is that she’s in two parallel universes, hence her Schrodinger’s Cat approach to being pregnant.
That’s the review over with, below is a preview of the next episode.
The Doctor’s Wife suggests River Song might be involved, but she wasn’t in the preview shown after The Curse of the Black Spot.
There is another Time Lord alive. Those we know of include Rassilon, the Rani, the Master and Romana. I doubt it’s any of those, based on the preview clip. In a strange world some being (presumably the Time Lord) has effective control of an unknown number of minions, and seems pretty evil from the little that was shown. The Ood make a reappearance. In addition, tthe Time Lord/villain’s voice slightly reminded me of The Beast, one of my favourite New Who villains, though I doubt it’s come back.
Anyway, rather looking forward to the next episode, which is written by Neil Gaiman.