1)BRITS...IN...SPAAAAAACE! It always amuses me how sci-fi tells you more about the time and place in which it was produced than about any potential "future" it might ostensibly be "predicting". Star Trek predicted a very "American" future, so it's only fair that Doctor Who has always predicted a "British" future. Fortunately, the real UK doesn't support its tenous comfortable lifestyle on the back of a huge, inarticualte, tormented "underclass". And of course:
"Scotland's got to be here, somewhere." "No, they wanted their own ship."
2)The story itself was fairly entertaining - the Smilers were quite creepy, and the sets were well-realized. I especially liked Liz 10 as a character, I wouldn't mind seeing her come back again. And there was the mention of the solar flares, a nice callback to several episodes of the old show, "The Sontaran Experiment" being one that springs to mind.
3)I liked the development of the relationship between the Doctor and Amy, particularly how it was Amy who had the insight into the Star Whale's motivations. Could've done without the "whale vomit" scene, though.
4)Cliffhanger: Winston Churchill has a Dalek problem! (Never would've guessed that Churchill would've ended up becoming a semi-regular character on this show.)
5)Some fun quotes:
A fun little story - it does make you wonder how much it reflects the British self-image.
[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]
Cliffhanger: Winston Churchill has a Dalek problem!
That made me think of Terminex -- which sounds exactly like a planet in a Terry Nation script.
This episode is uncomfortable for me to watch. I like everything about it except the treatment of the Star Whale. Did it have to be in 300 years of constant agony?
I kind of tihnk it's meant to be uncomfortable to watch, perhaps make people wonder whether any of their own comforts are purchased at the expense of someone else's pain.
Well, yes, but they went a little bit overboard with the idea is what I'm saying.