Post by theotherjosh on Nov 30, 2018 14:28:56 GMT
I enjoyed it. I'll get my only quibble out the way right now: It got a little wobbly in the third act. I don't know if it would have worked as a two-parter without some expansion, but the conclusion felt abrupt. Too quick and too much happening off-screen.
Now, the stuff I liked:
I'm not at all well informed about King James, but I certainly enjoyed Alan Cumming's portrayal. The perfect mix of absolute camp and painful sincerity, which is just about my favorite way to tell a story.
I also enjoyed Tilly Steele as Willa Twiston. She reminded me a bit of Kacey Rohl as Abigail Hobbs in Hannibal, which is a doubly interesting coincidence, because Abigail Hobbs was the name of one of the figures in Salem witch trials here in the United States.
The Doctor was a bit slow on the draw with her psychic paper, though in her defense she probably wasn't expecting the accused to drown to death in six seconds. (I expect that the mechanism of the ducking stool either forces the air out of the lungs as the accused is dropped or more time elapsed than was shown on screen, but the way it filmed made it look like she drowned/died of exposure very quickly). Still, it seemed like the old woman could have been saved if the Doctor had acted more decisively. It seems like a Davison era trope. (Not a dig, just an observation.)
Jodie has the absolute best face. Also, that hat has launched a thousand cosplays.
Siobhan Finneran was a great baddie as the human Becka Savage. (Less so as the alien version.) The crop of villains has not been great this series, and I think she may have been the best to date. The worst thing I can say is that her best scenes come near the end when everything is rushing towards the conclusion and she didn't get enough time to express them fully. I also appreciate that they cast her, as a somewhat older actress, in the role, rather than an ingénue. That's a little thing, but she brings a weight that a younger performer would have had to struggle to convey. Got a little bit of a Lady Peinforte vibe from her, which is a good thing. I forget who said it upthread, but while we're talking about Seventh Doctor adversaries, I was also reminded of the haemovores.
Fun story! More Alan Cumming!