[Doctor Who] S03E08: Human Nature and S03E09: The Family of Blood

Human Nature IMDb link.

The Family of Blood IMDb link.

Watched on: Amazon India Prime Video

Watch Date: 2019-03-16

Notes:

  • Possibly I was primed by the episode description on Prime Video, but it took me very little time to realise the reference that was being hinted at in the first few minutes: ‘Am I a man who dreamed he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming of being a man.’ We have the Doctor dreaming his actual life, and then to drive things home, when he wakes up as John Smith, he has butterflies mounted on his wall. Just the right level of subtle, I think.
  • I suppose a schoolteacher called John Smith is also a call back to the episode last season.
  • Both episodes show Martha facing blunt and overt racism; unlike earlier episodes which just skated around the issue.
  • Sam from Love Actually is a telepathic fag!
  • As the episodes went on, I realised that this two-parter seemed to reference or tribute Neil Gaiman’s Sandman a lot as well. Major similarities:
    • Edwardian boarding school students, as in the Dead Boy Detectives
    • The terrifying little girl with a balloon, like the Lord of Chaos
    • In general, the blurred lines between dreaming and reality
    • ‘The lord of dreams realises he must change or die, and makes his choice’ echoed in ‘He was braver than you. You only changed, he had to die.’
  • This was the first time this season had genuinely terrifying monsters / antagonists; and was able to keep me hooked (and ready to watch the second part the same night).
  • The guy who played Baines was astonishingly creepy.
  • The whole foreboding of World War One no less so.
  • In general, this was the best this season has managed so far.

 

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