Thoughts On The God Complex

Spoilers …

 Monsters And Wank

  • Monsters – yes. One or lots, depending on how you look at it.
  • Emotional wank – 4 out of 10. Of the “I’m dumping you for your own good” variety.

Intended Destination: Ravenskala (or Ravens Scala or Ravensgala or Ravens Gala), where people are 600 feet tall.
Actual Destination: Mysterious replica of 1980s hotel.


Our three friends are drawn off-course and deposited in a perfect replica of an 80s hotel where the rooms are filled with people’s nightmares. After the TARDIS vanishes, The Doctor endeavors to solve the mystery before it eats the people he’s encountered who are trying to escape it. The pattern emerges that first a person will find their fear, then will get the idea they should “praise him”. Once they have become possessed with rapture, a Minotaur appears and the victim is left blissfully dead. The team help trap The Minotaur in the hotel spa with The Doctor, who finds out that the hotel is actually a prison and that the Minotaur is tired of living, driven by instinct, and longing for release. Drawn by the cries of a victim, the Minotaur escapes the spa, and two more victims die before The Doctor realizes that it’s faith the creature feeds on, not fear. As it comes after Amy, everyone takes refuge in a random room, which is Amy’s room, where tiny Amy waits sitting on her suitcase for the Raggedy Doctor to appear again. The Doctor confesses that he cannot save her, that he’s not a hero, just really a mad man in a box, that she’ll die because that’s what always happens. As her faith departs, the Minotaur begins to die. The illusion of the hotel is broken and the survivors can leave. The Doctor brings Amy and Rory to the real Earth in our time, presenting them with a house and a car and the keys to both. He leaves them there, telling Amy that the alternative is to see them die.


  • Really visually compelling episode. So gorgeous! Digging the colors and especially the perspectives.
  • ” … we’re three buses, a long walk, 8 quid and a taxi from good.” I might start using that to replace, “It would take the light from good 20,000 years to reach us.”
  • Staircase! Really nice.
  • I shouldn’t like all the closeups on eyeballs but somehow I just do.
  • Rita. Very.
  • Howie’s hair. Pretty.
  • “Somebody hit me. Was it Amy?” There’s more than one hint in this eplsode that Amy is his big fear; he doesn’t need a hotel room to tell him that.
  • “… a goblin that feeds on indecision.” Hehehe.


  • Gibbis. But we’re supposed to not like him, aren’t we? I feel a bit like a sheep. He reminds me of Midnight. Those people were awful.
  • Howie’s rambling. I know they needed it for the trap, but yuck.
  • Gibbis. In a hotel that’s exact to the last detail it’s Amy’s goldfish he eats. The bastard.
  • The I’m-dumping-you-for-your-own-good schtick. It’s not always death is it? Well, okay it’s usually death but that’s the nature of phone box travel. Heck it’s a core premise of the show.
  • Rory swings on the door like he’s stuck on it. I’d like him to at least slow it up a little.

Notes And Questions

  • Does Lucy Hayward remind you of Linda Hamilton as well?
  • Did he call Rory Mickey or Binky? Even in slow I can’t tell. Be a bit rude if it were Mickey wouldn’t it?
  • You figure he nicked the Rubik’s cube because George flung a craving on him?
  • Poor Rita. I totally get her fear.
  • Another Scooby-Doo corridor run!  See also World War Three and Love & Monsters.
  • The Minotaur has lived so long even his name is lost. And the star whale was very, very old and very, very kind.
  • The expression on The Doctor’s face makes me think it’s River in his room. Or the TARDIS. Or both. Maybe what’s in the room is the day the TARDIS blew up on River and ended the Universe, and that’s what the cloister bell is about. Well we know it’s a somebody rather than a something, from his remark, anyway.
  • I don’t remember The Doctor doing a destructive rage before. Is this a gap in my memory, or is he starting to lose his grip?
  • Oh hey he solved the Rubik’s cube. Was that before or after the rage?
  • Hey wait, the TARDIS is right there. Why do they need The Doctor to translate the Minotaur’s death speech? What’s the use of a translation matrix if it’s not going to always translate. Yes, I know this isn’t the first time.
  • Volatile what? Slow again, still can’t tell. Circus? Sands? Sex? Serpents? Sapphics? OH! Fourth time around I got it. Volatile Surface!
  • “… over Rory’s body.” Amazed he didn’t say, “again.”
  • Oh lonely Doctor. Maybe he needs a cat. And they have more lives than us, just fewer than him. That lost look on his face just kills me.


Tea again. I’m beginning to wonder if the great series finale’s got to do with tea. Or maybe it’s to do with the Rubik’s cube.

So, The Doctor’s alone again. I suppose we’re supposed to think he’ll do this for another 200 years (while his clothes don’t wear out) and then get on with the blue invitations. Perhaps we’re also supposed to think that this episode is the start of his reconciling himself to the idea of dying.

I do not suspect we’ll find out what exactly is in his hotel room any more than we ever find out what it is he whispers to anybody, ever.

People in various forums have indicated their belief that Rory knows more than he’s letting on. I’ve been watching for that sort of thing and so far hadn’t seen anything that definitely indicates it to me. But after The Doctor caught him talking about traveling in the TARDIS in the past tense, I’m thinking perhaps either he’s in on something or he’s a bit of a precog. Either could be important later.

Raw Captures


Finished Captures


Watch on
The God Complex [HD]
The God Complex

Listen to the Blogtor Who Commentary for The God Complex.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts On The God Complex

  1. Great review!

    I don’t think I was as positive about the episode as you though. I think the biggest problem in the episode was that it was too easy for the Doctor to take Amy’s faith away from her.

    But so many of the problems in the narrative of this episode stem directly from the writers having no idea of Amy as a character, as I discuss in more detail here:

    • Hey thanks! Thanks for dropping by.

      I agree with you that Rory was just about done with phone box travel, and it was apparent here.

      I’ve never disliked Amy but will confess that despite being one, I don’t understand women at all, so it doesn’t surprise me not to have an idea of her as a character either.

      Maybe I see Amy’s loss of faith differently because of my own experiences. When I lost my religious faith years ago, I was traumatized as you describe. But when I went through adolescence and my father fell off the pedestal I’d put him on, it was a bit of a different thing. Seeing him as just a person and not a hero didn’t make me want to live with him any less or love him any less. My reaction was a lot like Amy’s, only over a longer period of time. I don’t see that as a loss of faith as much as a restructuring of it, but The Doctor didn’t have a lot of time for philosophy just then.

      Of course, my starting relationship with my father was a bit different. I saw him longer than 5 minutes and more often than once.

      Again, thanks for commenting!

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