Doctor Who Review: The Curse of the Black Spot

Cast and Crew

Matt Smith as The Doctor
Karen Gillan as Amy Pod
Arthur Darvill as Rory
Hugh Bonneville as Henry Avery
Oscar Lloyd as Toby Avery
Lee Ross as the Boatswain
Michael Begley as Mulligan
Tony Lucken as De Florres
Chris Jarman as Dancer
Carl McCrystal as McGrath
Lily Cole as the Siren

Written by Steve Thompson

Produced by Marcus Wilson

Directed by Jeremy Webb

Originally shown on the 7th of May 2011


The TARDIS follows a distress call to a becalmed pirate ship where the crew are being picked off one at a time by a siren.

High Points

  • “It’s alright, you’re doing fine, just stay calm.”
  • “Where are we?”

Low Points

  • Are they going to tease us with a certain much-reported-on happening every single episode now? Stop it!
  • Pirate clichés.
  • 17th-century reactions to Time Lord technology marginally implausible.


Originality: It’s not uninteresting, but it feels like we’ve seen situations like this before. Several times. The Doctor Dances definitely springs to mind. 3 out of 6.

Effects: Nothing particularly special going on here. 4 out of 6.

Story: Considered alone it’s a decent tale, if you’d not seen anything similar before anyway. 5 out of 6.

Acting: Appreciation for Hugh Bonneville here. 5 out of 6.

Emotional Response: 4 out of 6.

Production: I liked the integration of the siren’s song with whatever background music might have been playing at the time. The pivotal crown was a bit fake-looking, but there were some new angles on the TARDIS control room which were a good reminder of what a cool set it is. 4 out of 6.

Overall: I enjoyed it more before I started thinking about the individual scores. 5 out of 6.

In total, The Curse of the Black Spot receives 30 out of 42. Unfortunately we’re still in the pattern of big arc-relevant episodes, and filler episodes. Despite a few nods to the arc, this one’s definitely in the latter category.

6 replies on “Doctor Who Review: The Curse of the Black Spot”

  1. Zzzz episode.

    And still hate the bar on this page taking up my precious screen space.

  2. Low Points: I’m willing to suspend a lot of disbelief with Doctor Who, but our pirate captain was just way too accepting of (and able to use) sophisticated tech.

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