JP On Gaming

Saturday, April 23, 2022

[Doctor Who] Legend of the Sea Devils Review

Well the "Easter" special has come and gone. I was excited for this one. The return of classic monsters. Pirates. Doctor-13 is about to bite the bullet. A bed showrunner about to leave...

Well... In short, the episode was bland and boring. A lot a don't show but tell. Blah Blah Blah! Omg! A woman pirate! Blah Blah Blah. Blah Blah Blah.

Yaz looks as much of a dead fish as ever. No emotion, a confused look with her mouth agape. As terrible as ever.

The Doctor hints at a love affair with her, but clearly neither actor wants to touch the other. These scenes are just awkward, long, and simply seem forced. If this plot point was not shoehorned previously, the relation may have grown into something interesting, with both characters playing off their uncertainty, their doubts.

BUT NO. This forced plot is set amid another massive cast who each fight to participate in the plot. The Pirate Queen, her comic love-interest who should get vengeance upon her, Dead-Fish Yaz, Random-NPC-we-dont-care-about, the Doctor, and Dan. And the sea devils who are around for the better part of 5 seconds. "Oh no! the Sea Devils" and then they are gone. To make it even stupider (at least someone mentions it- reshoot I'm sure), the Pirate Queen HAS NO CREW!

So... the reason for all this craziness is because the Pirate Queen's crew was gone and she needed to pay someone for their return. Now if you do a quick search of Zheng Yi Sao, her life is SUPER EXCITING! With fleets of pirates raiding the Chinese, Portuguese, and British. She would make a great antagonist. But no. Here we have a woman who is good because she is a woman. She could easily just leave and be fine. Another waste.

Now Dan is once again, the only one who seems to enjoy what is happening and do useful things. However, I thought that him killing a half-dozen sea devils in one go. Without anyone saying anything about it afterwards (other than "Cool! Nice!") felt oddly out of place for the show... It's just out of place. Another cop out to explain how a random Liverpool-joe takes out creatures trained to fight for years.

Again, the plot ends up with a situation where either the Doctor or Yaz must sacrifice themselves to defeat the Sea Devils. BUT NO. Random-NPC-we-dont-care-about swoops in at the last moment and saves them. Again, both gals IMMEDIATELY agree and leave.

Truth be told, I fell asleep twice during the second half of the story as I just could not remain focused on what was happening. Rewind. Restart. Forward.

This story was... forgivable. There is no substance there. Now in fairness, it had the potential to be a great adventure but it should've been a two-parter. With the Doctor facing the Pirate Queen in part one (remember the part where I said she fought the Brits?). Perhaps as she and the ship where the Doctor is engage in a race to get to safety as they are pursued by the sea serpent. Let the situation develop. Give the NPCs time to speak build her up. Not simply go "Pirate Queen OMG!" and then we accept her as the bestest evar!

Then part two, the current episode would work because now we know, understand and have a reason to care for the NPCs and the Pirate Queen and give us more impetous to care.

But no. Chibnall can't write action that is not spoken. He can't be bothered to give us a story inspired by a real historical event. He can't give us a story where people have normal feelings. Where they interact with each other normally.

I am SO glad his tenure is ending. Like most other plots, this was a wasted opportunity to do something interesting with a rather unique historical figure. Nope.

I would give this two snoozes but that's not the scale. Frankly, it was not great. It was forgettable and I see no reason to rewatch this episode. I will score this a 2/5 for the wasted potential of the timeframe, the character, and the villains.

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