Doctor Who 33.03 The Curse of the Black Spot (2011) – 4/10 science fiction adventure TV review

Cast / crew
Matt Smith: The Doctor
Karen Gillan: Amy Pond
Arthur Darvill: Rory Williams
Writer: Steve Thompson
Producer: Marcus Wilson
Director: Jeremy Webb
Hugh Bonneville: Henry Avery
Lily Cole: The Siren

Doctor Who 33.03 Curse of the Black Spot, The (2011)

The Doctor and his crew respond to a distress signal from a pirate ship where a siren has been abducting seamen with even the smallest injury.


Taking inspiration from the title of the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the mermaids of On Stranger Tides, this shows that even the Doctor is not beyond the curse that pirates usually bring to all entertainment they touch, i.e., they destroy them. Despite a quality turn from Hugh Bonneville, this is easily a contender for the worst Doctor Who episode of the modern era thanks to a completely broken plot and too many actors welling up or bursting into tears unjustifiably. As we are not involved emotionally, that’s just comes across as over-acting as does Murray Gold’s music which is completely over-the-top for a disinterested audience.

This Doctor Who episode contains unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.


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Sherlock 1.02 The Blind Banker (2010, Crime Detective Drama) – 6/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Benedict Cumberbatch: Sherlock Holmes
Martin Freeman: Dr. John Watson
Creator: Mark Gatiss
Creator: Steven Moffat
Writer: Steve Thompson
Writer (Original Works): Arthur Conan Doyle
Producer: Sue Vertue
Director: Euros Lyn
Executive Producer: Mark Gatiss
Executive Producer: Steven Moffat

Sherlock 1.02 Blind Banker, The (2010)

Shortly after being terrified by a graffiti symbol, people in locked rooms are dying sudden mysterious deaths.


Successfully giving Watson more to do and allowing Holmes to be occasionally undermined by his own self-centred arrogance are highlights in an episode (loosely based on The Adventure of the Dancing Men) that is rather less successful in disguising an abundance of deus ex machina. So Sherlock can come to the rescue at a secret gang hideout based on the word "tramway" while manipulating time and space to arrive barely minutes after the baddies ; a damp Yellow Pages, a really cool clue in itself, connects a Chinese woman to his current case except it doesn’t; and people react with horror to a cipher message that they haven’t yet decoded. The Moriarty coda is, again, awful and so unnecessary. However, the identity of ‘a book everyone owns’ has a satisfying answer (SPOILER an A-Z London map guide), there’s some nice scenery of modern London (hello to The Gherkin) and the episode as a whole is entertaining. I think British television finally has it’s replacement for Inspector Morse.

This Sherlock episode contains mild swear words, adult dialogue and violence.


Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.