This was quite a surprising episode, for many, many reasons.
First up the great Matt Smith debate, good Doctor? or bad Doctor? I've always gone with the bad Doctor side of the fence, but if he continues in this vein, I might just be swayed to the good Doctor side of the fence.
This was a good episode, with some quirky characters to boot, and David Walliams as an alien that looked like a mole-rat. Mr Walliams is yet another of the newish breed of British comedy stars that I do not find funny at all. He sit's in that box along with Russell Brand & Ricky Gervais, and the label on the box says 'unfunny'. But he was OK, and there was a scene where he was wheeling a fellow cast member, reminiscent of one of his creations from Little Britain, The wheel-chair guy.
The plot was a 1980's hotel, which had lots of rooms, and in each room it held the fear of each person trapped in the hotel, once they succumb to this fear they are then prey to this alien minotaur who steals their life, because they sort of worship him. Hmmm... If you've ever read 'It' by Stephen King you will see the similarities. 'It' has the big bad character who appears differently to different people, because... he appears in the image of that persons biggest fear. There was even a room with a clown sat on a bed holding a balloon, like the clown in 'It'. Did the writer of this episode pay homage to Stephen King, or use his ideals? Don't shoot me, just an observation.
The Doctor works it out, that he preys on each persons faith, and uses it, but the twist is this alien minotaur doesn't want to do this but he has to.
Anyway Amy Ponds faith is in The Doctor himself, and when the creature comes for her, he convinces her that she shouldn't believe in him, and that it's his vanity that convinced him to take her on his travels. She believes him, the alien minotaur is defeated and dies, the hotel disappears, and reveals it's an alien ship in space, no surprise there.
The episode doesn't end there. The Tardis appears outside a swanky townhouse on modern day Earth, with a red sports car parked outside. The house, and the car are for Amy & Rory, from the Doctor. Strange? you may ask?
The revelation of Amy's faith in The Doctor made him realise that he was putting Amy in danger, and that just wasn't fair. This was his farewell to Amy Pond, which was very touching, and a great sense of sadness. The Doctor got back in his Tardis, and went away leaving Amy and Rory on Earth. So, no more sidekicks!
This final scene brought home to me just how good an actor Matt Smith really is. It was sad, tinged with a bit of humor, but all very heart-felt. Well done Matt Smith, you're starting to win me over.