This week's Doctor Who took a sharp left turn into silliness... and the end result is fun, if not very deep.
If you've been keeping up on our Doctor Who reviews, you know that I've felt the last couple of episodes have been highly derivative of older episodes, but this week we have something that feels like fresh territory for new Who. Unfortunately for some, this fresh territory comes with a lot of comedy -- and if you're used to the darker tone the show's taken lately, the slapstick comedy of Robot of Sherwood (spoiler alert: there are robots) might not work for you.
For all its comedy, however, the episode was edited prior to broadcast to remove a beheading scene that the BBC decided to skip in light of recent beheadings of journalists in the Middle East. And it's probably a better episode for it, as it allows the episode to focus on the lighthearted tone that it was clearly meant to have. All in all, it's a thoroughly fun romp... even if it doesn't inspire a lot of deep thinking. (But if this kind of silliness isn't your thing, try tuning in next week for Listen, which looks to be thoroughly creepy.)
If you want to tune in yourself, you can can new episodes of Doctor Who on Saturday nights on BBC America -- though cord-cutters will have to pick up the current season on iTunes or Amazon Instant. If you want to catch up on earlier seasons, they can be found on both Netflix and Hulu.
To get you up to speed, in the last episode we saw:
- The 12th Doctor having his first run-in with his age-old enemies the Daleks.
- In a throwback to season 1's Dalek, where the Doctor met a lone Dalek who told him he would be a good Dalek, this episode's central Dalek tells the Doctor that he is a good Dalek.
- The Doctor struggles with whether he's a good man -- and the Dalek's proclamation definitely didn't help.
This week, the Doctor and Clara head into the past rather than the future, visiting Sherwood Forest. But because this is Doctor Who, it's not just a peaceful trip into the past. For those of you who have watched (or don't mind spoilers), read on for more about the third episode of season 8, Robot of Sherwood.