A quick review of the second "Doctor Who" episode of the Matt Smith/Steven Moffat era coming up just as soon as I abdicate...
Even more than last week's "The Eleventh Hour," "The Beast Below" was a clear sign Moffat isn't throwing out most of what Russell T. Davies did. As Davies so often did around this point in the season, we travel to a far future version of Earth (or, here, a temporarily nomadic Earth civilization traveling the galaxy while waiting for their planet to stop burning).
But "The Beast Below" was also reminiscent of many Moffat-scripted episodes from the Davies era, not just with the "Everybody lives!"-style ending in which both the star whale and the ship were saved, but in the way it was overflowing with creative ideas: Starship UK itself, the Smilers and the weird martial law they practiced, Liz 10 and her hooded guards, the memory-erasing vote, etc. Some became strong parts of the climax, while others (mainly the martial law and the depressed, frightened populace) were largely forgotten. (Though an argument could be made that the horrible practice of torturing the whale led to all of society's problems, and that people would be happier now that the whale was free and a volunteer.)
This was a good Amy episode, establishing some limits in her relationship with The Doctor and also letting her save the day instead of him. And it moved along the season's continuing threads (Amy as runaway bride, the cracks in the universe appearing on the side of Starship UK).
Very solid second effort. "The Eleventh Hour" was no fluke.
Keeping in mind that we will not discuss anything that happens in episodes that have yet to air in the US, what did everybody else think?