Doctor Who Season Six: The Curse of the Black Spot Pirates!

A pirate's life is not for them.

***Warning this recap contains spoilers. If you haven’t watched last weeks episode, or do not want to be surprised, then do not read further.***

After last weeks action packed episode, this weeks episode was a sigh of relief, stands mostly alone in the series, and wasn’t written by Stephen Moffat.

Avast! Thar be pirates! This episode opens to a group of crewmen reporting to their captain that a man was injured and marked with a black spot on his palm. They all seem to know that this means that someone is coming and it is a death sentence for their crew-mate. We hear singing and the marked man runs out the door towards the heavenly sound while everyone else locks themselves into the captains quarters for safety. We hear a scream followed by abrupt quiet. When the captain and his men go to investigate they find no sign of struggle and the crew-mate’s weapons and hat with no sign of the man anywhere.

No one seems surprised. This has happened before.

There is a knock below deck. The captain opens the hold to find the Doctor, Amy, and Rory. The Doctor bellows “Yo Ho Ho…Or, does nobody actually say that?” The Doctor, Amy, and Rory have landed on a pirate ship that has been stranded in calm waters for more then eight days. The captain sees the Doctor and his companions as nothing more then stowaways and with no spare rations they order the Doctor and Rory to walk the plank. Amy is led below decks to man the galley.

When Amy gets below deck she quickly dones extra pirate gear, including a cutlass, and returns to the top deck with the plan to
fight off the pirates. In her relatively weak attempt at sword fighting, where the pirates don’t fight back and are genuinely scared,
she manages to nick one of the pirates hands with her cutlass. All of the pirates see this as a death sentence. When Amy attempts some more swashbuckling and swings from the rigging she accidentally drops her cutlass. Rory reflexively tries to reach out and ends up cut as well with a black spot appearing on his palm. Again, we hear the same eerie singing and up pops a woman from the water, singing, and beckoning the marked men to her. The singing seems to turn the men loopy and when
the injured pirate touches her he vaporizes. Amy keeps Rory back and says that he is already spoken for. The singing woman turns red, angry, and blows Amy from her feet. Everyone escapes to a lower deck and the woman leaves.

The captain explains to the Doctor that they are on a cursed ship and tells him the legend of the siren that preys on pirate ships. While trying to figure out who and what the woman really is, and what she is looking for, one of the pirates is bitten by a leach. The siren reappears and beckons him the same way as the first. The doctor is convinced that the siren is using water as a portal. They all head to the armory where there is no water to be found. The captain notices that the armory key is missing and they cautiously open the unlocked door to find a young boy, the captains son stowing away. The captain hasn’t seen his son, Toby, in 3 years and is sad to hear that his mother passed away the previous year. Toby seems sick and, even though he isn’t cut or otherwise injured, has also been marked with the black spot. The Doctor thinks that the siren is targeting not only the
injured but the sick and weak as well.

The TARDIS seems to be their only hope of survival since, inevitably, everyone will get either sick or injured at some point in their
future. The captain and the Doctor carefully head to the TARDIS. However, when the Doctor tries to move the TARDIS, nothing happens. It seems to be stuck in a calm of space and time leaving the Doctor incredibly confused. Then the TARDIS begins to dematerialize of it’s own accord. With no idea where the TARDIS will rematerialize, the Doctor and captain bail out of the TARDIS in just enough time to watch it disappear completely.

While on their way back to the others, the Doctor and Captain run across one of the unmarked crewmen who is trying to escape. The man locks himself into the treasure room to gather some booty for himself. In doing so, he burns his hand on an oil lamp and is marked. The Doctor and the captain can see that the siren arrives to collect the marked man, same as all the others. When they are finally able to enter the treasure room, thanks to a bit of sonic action, they don’t find a source of water to form a portal in the room. The Doctor determines that the siren isn’t using water as a portal but, instead, is using reflections and they are standing in a room full of polished metal and gem stones. They have to get rid of the treasure, break every window, and break every mirror in order to remove the possible portal points. The Doctor and the captain head back to warn the others about the latest developments.

While everyone is waiting and resting, trying to think of their next step, Amy wakes up and sees the same woman from “The Day Of The Moon” episode, the one from the orphanages door who talked about dreaming. She is looking through what seems to be the same portal and says to Amy directly, “Its fine, you are doing fine, just stay calm.” Then slides the portal shut.

When Amy goes to tell the Doctor about the vision, he stops her to tell her he feels like he is being watched. At the same time a massive storm arrives. After calling all hands to the main deck the captain gives instructions to anyone listening on how to man the rigging. While looking for the captains compass his son finds a crown that the captain had hidden away for himself. The siren appears and his son is taken. The storm throws Rory from the ship and he starts to drown. The Doctor figures out that the only way to save Rory is to let the siren take him. They give the siren a portal location (we couldn’t figure out if it was orange or blue 😉 ) and send her to fetch Rory from the sea. The Doctor, Captain, and Amy all agree that their only option to
save Rory, Toby, and the rest of the crew would be to let themselves be taken by the siren. She is intelligent so they are hoping that they will be able to reason with her and save Rory. The siren comes and takes them but they don’t really move. Instead, they transfer to another ship, an alien ship, that is sitting in the same spot. The alien ship was the ship that summoned the TARDIS with its distress beacon and they find out it’s because all the aliens have died from a human virus or bacteria.

When they go and look around the ship, they find a hold where all of the pirates that the siren took are all taken and put into stasis on life support. The black spot turns out to be a tissue sample for each of the injured people. The siren arrives and calms Rory with her singing, like it was having an anesthetic effect. The siren notices the Captain, the Doctor, and Amy and gets extremely angry when the Doctor sneezes. She incinerates the tissue that the Doctor used, allowing the Doctor works out that the siren is actually a medical doctor, an automated medical system for the ghost ship. She knows how to keep the humans alive but does not know how to heal them. When Amy proves to the siren that she is his wife, by crying over his body and showing her wedding ring, she “signs” over consent of Rory’s care to Amy. The big problem is that if Amy unhooks Rory from life support
then he is almost certainly going to finish drowning and, if she doesn’t unhook him, he would have to live out the rest of his days on life support on the alien ship. He tells Amy that he can teach her how to resuscitate him and that he trusts that she will do everything in her power to save him.

The Doctor convinces the captain to take the alien ship as far away from Earth as possible because, if it were to ever get lose, the siren would put the entire human race on life support. The captain agrees as the siren is the only being that can keep his very sick son alive.

Space pirates are born!

Amy and the Doctor unhook Rory and quickly move him to the TARDIS where Amy performs CPR on him for a while. Just as she gives up, he coughs and sputters back to life. When they are sent to bed after the long day the Doctor runs another body scan on Amy and finds that her pregnancy is still in a quantum flux.

The preview of tonights episode seems to be an exciting one, it is the much anticipated episode written by Neil Gaiman, “The Doctor’s Wife”.

I’m looking forward to hopefully finding out if this is in reference to River or someone else. The preview also makes reference to there being a second Time Lord in existence, I’m very interested to see who this might be, and why the Doctor doesn’t know about them.

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