Discussion of tonight’s episode deteriorated into a debate about our son’s favorite shapes and numbers. We can tell that he is a little bit intrigued by the puzzles, but he’s also alarmed by the darkness, the unknown, and by Wendy Padbury panicking, understandably, all the way through this. “This is not puzzling, it is terrifying!”
It might be a little too high concept for him. The Doctor has deduced that they’re in a world of fiction, populated by fictional characters like a Unicorn, a Minotaur, Medusa, and Rapunzel. They also meet Bernard Horsfall’s character again and the Doctor recognizes the man’s dialogue as what had originally been the narration in Gulliver’s Travels. Strangely, Rapunzel can speak freely in her conversation with Jamie, but Gulliver can only repeat the words that Jonathan Swift gave him.
I think this is such a fun and diverting episode, so unlike the rest of the serials that we’ve seen, that our son’s stated displeasure is a real surprise. We could see by his body language that he was more unhappy with the much more complicated “Enemy of the World,” but the catacombs and strange mythical beasts have him claiming that he likes this one even less. Well, things will brighten up in the next couple of parts, and I think that he’ll enjoy meeting a fictional character whom the Doctor’s never heard of before.