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Though moments verge on the ridiculous and portions are bland, "Smile" grows compelling, fun, and chilling when focusing on two leading characters hanging out for much of the episode.
This jaunt wasn't so much about whodunit but why, and despite the "robots taking over" plot, it was the human colonists' reaction the gave us chills.
Peter Capaldi is such a compelling actor, he can take material teetering on the edge of ridiculous and sell it like a mad carnival barker.
This episode was rather reminiscent of the Russell T Davies era -- light of touch, packed with ideas and neat gimmicks, lovely writing, lots of heart and just scary enough.
It's a neat high-concept idea, marred only by the fact that the literal-minded-technology-running-out-of-control story has become a cliché of the modern Doctor Who series.
Smile! You're on Cardiff camera! This week, showrunner Steven Moffat and star Peter Capaldi's farewell series continued with a visit to an eerily empty human colony, staffed by cute robots with emoji faces.
It's fun, but it all makes me a bit leery that this whole season may end up being a bit too much of a farewell tour for the outgoing showrunner.
A good episode, this. I don't see it challenging too many favorite episode ever lists, yet this is a fine slice of Doctor Who.
You'll be inclined to forgive this episode its flaws though, because the big thing to take away from it is how it proves without a doubt that, in Capaldi and Mackie, we have one of the best TARDIS teams in ages.
While this episode did sport numerous references and nods, its story was different enough to not come across as simply a rehash.
The problem is that the episode can't decide whether it wants to figure out why people who don't smile were murdered, or focus on action sequences about emoji robots and their floating swarms of killer nano-robots. Pick one and stick to it.
Not a lot happens in "Smile." In a way, the slower pace of the episode... is very evocative of classic Doctor Who.
The sheer brightness of the episode, and its ability to unnerve within that environment, is amazing. So far, Series 10 is winning pretty hard.