So fare well Amy Pond. (For now anyway.) It's hard to believe that we've had two whole series of Amy and Rory already, but there's only one certainty for companions: one day, it will all come to an end.
Toby Whithouse's The God Complex saw our central trio materialize inside an eerily Kubrickian hotel, consisting of a network of winding corridors with rooms that house their guests' most acute fears. The main threat however, came from a minotaur who, in a nice DW twist, feeds on peoples' fundamental faith, causing Amy to question her unfaltering confidence in The Doctor's ability to save her. Rory's relationship with the Doctor changed for ever during the climax of last week's outing, and the final scene felt like a turning point, but still their departure was an unexpected epilogue. However, fans of the Ponds needn't fret too much, as Karen Gillan divulged that she was returning for the 7th series at Comic-Con earlier this year.
The God Complex was penned by long term DW writer Toby Whithouse, who has previously written episodes like The School Reunion and last year's Vampires in Venice, and his latest episode felt very much like old school Doctor Who. It's been a while since we've had a non-CG monster on the show, but the space minotaur unfortunately never really provided the threat that was necessary to drive the plot, the main shocks coming from the creepy clown, hysterical ventriloquist dummies and our old friends,The Weeping Angels. The rooms containing peoples' worst nightmares was a great idea but seemed a little like a missed opportunity; we never got to find out The Doctor's phobias (although it was teasingly alluded to) and what happened to "whatever holds the image of an angel becomes itself an angel"?
Amongst the guest stars is a barely recognisable David Walliams as Gibbis; a member of an alien raced famed for it's cowardice. It has become somewhat of a tradition to cast popular comedians in Doctor Who, with previous parts for Simon Pegg, James Cordon, Peter Kay and Catherine Tate, and Walliams put in a good performance. He was given some of the best lines in an episode whose gag rate was a bit hit and miss (the quip about "lining the streets of his home planet with trees to ensure invading forces could march in the shade" was a particularly shiny diamond in the rough.) Matt Smith delivered the goods as usual with a script that had a noticeably Tennantesque feel to it, and Gillan and Darvill continue to grow into their respective roles.
The idea that one's faith can be potentially deadly, provided an interestingly adult subtext without becoming overwhelming or didactic, and our dying monster's deathbed monologue was typically grandiose (despite the fact that you could see the twist coming from a mile off). It was also stylishly directed by Nick Hurran, whose use of Dutch camera angles and Hitchcock zooms gave the episode an impressive, cinematic quality, but the episode will be most memorable for its ending. If this is the end of Miss Pond, I shall miss her, but I would be very surprised not to see her turn up out of the blue in Moffat's season finale The Wedding Of River Song in a couple of weeks time.
Next week: The return of James Cordon and the Cybermen!