"Two of my next door neighbours have just disappeared down the waste disposal chute. I wouldn't wish that on anybody."
IN THIS ONE... Mel finds the pool. The Doctor figures out the Great Architect is still in the building.
REVIEW: Mel survives her encounter with the cannibals thanks to an absurd deus ex machina - because I can't see how the Cleaner robots can get a woman of Tabby's girth through the triangular window of the the waste disposal - and then spends the rest of the episode pretty going up and down on the lift until she finds the pool. It's the usual Part 3 shenanigans, wasting time waiting for the conclusion. Still, there's a pretty fun submarine robot waiting for her in the pool, and Pex gets to rescue her at least once, which surprises even him. It's padding, but entertaining enough. Though yeah, I am sort of getting annoyed at Mel, or rather, at Bonnie Langford, whose performance might work on a stage, but not on the small screen. Badly play-acting unless she's screaming.
Thankfully, the Doctor has a much more eventful time figuring out what's going on at Paradise Towers, leading the Kangs, and confounding the Chief Caretaker. It's not perfect, since he's turned into an exposition delivery tool at one point, somehow knowing all about the Great Architect and how the guy turned psycho after building Miracle City. The Doctor intuits that the guy has been trapped inside Paradise Towers, though I'm not sure it would make sense for a society to lock their kids and seniors in there with him if they'd done it on purpose. Nevertheless, the Doctor is actively putting the pieces together through stories and marketing videos (which game the Towers a little more scale, though the penthouse pool does too). Fun note: The video is on a DVD, so the episode scores points for predicting an actual future medium (though of course, DVDs are not likely to reach the time frame presented). Viewers afraid this new Doctor was just a clown can be relieved he's also a thinking man, and one ready to sacrifice his own safety to protect the Kangs.
And the Kangs really are turning out to be the best thing about this story. Their lingo is fun, and you can very well imagine them as abandoned young girls, slowly turning their games into the only reality they know. When the Blue Kangs find the Reds' "brainquarters", they "win the game", making them the most benign street gang in all of space and time. They've probably been playing it since they were toddlers. And their strange vocabulary was largely created by mangling adult words they misunderstood, like carrydoors and alleviators. In a way, they're kind of prototypes for Ace. Bonus: One of the gangs "scrawls" on the TARDIS. Not the words "Bad Wolf" however.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium - While there's some charm to the proceedings, we just can't escape the dreaded Part 3 padding syndrome.