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Doctor Who 6×03 “The Curse of the Black Spot” Review


On board a 17th century pirate ship sailing the ocean waves, a crew under the command of one Captain Avery are being picked off one by one by a ghostly apparition.

They believe it to be a legendary Siren, a beautiful and mesmerizing demon who lures men to their death with its haunting Siren song. She marks her prey before retrieving them with a black spot on their hand, a mark that means certain death. As they are becalmed and stuck in the ocean, all seems lost for the dwindling pirate crew… until three stowaways are discovered with a mysterious blue crate.

Since series six features an overarching plot about trying to change a fixed point in time, I figured it would be best to take a look back at these episodes by picking a moment from each episode that I would like to change. To be fair, I’ll also choose a moment from each episode that I wouldn’t change for any reason whatsoever, even if some nefarious character was holding a gun to my future nonexistent spawn’s head. Let’s get started!

Doctor Who “The Curse of the Black Spot”

What I Would Change: Everything?

Okay, I realize it’s a cop out to say everything, but come on. This episode just all-around sucks. It’s very obvious that it’s been switched around in the schedule, based on the complete lack of talk about how The Doctor was killed in their last adventure.

If nothing else (other than killing off the annoying kid and giving the captain some other sort of different emotional arc), a scene that somehow made it seem like these three episodes were chronologically linked would have been nice.

What I Wouldn’t Change: The Siren’s Motivation

Much like other episodes this series, there’s a heavy emphasis on trying to save someone who doesn’t need saving. The siren ties in nicely to this theme, and even on a single-episode level, the idea of the siren as some sort of artificial intelligence nurse makes for an interesting story.

The problem behind this episode is the execution. None of the pirates are particularly interesting, Rory getting super into the siren isn’t funny for more than a short comic bit, and the lower decks of the ship don’t make for a compelling setting.