The positives about this episode are self-evident - it looks classy, and there are at least three storylines which we have basically no idea about. The girl, Donna and River Song. All equally intriguing, and all equally unfathomable.
But but but.... did it make you *feel* anything? It was very clever, and I loved the fact that I was left with no clues as to how any of the stories will work out, but it didn't move me to any emotion other than bafflement and interest. And that's just not enough, is it? Nor is it what we expect from Moffatt - yes, he's the master plotsman, and messing with timelines is absolutely his thing, but so is humour and joy and heartbreak. You could say that that is all to come - and believe me, I have no doubt whatsoever that we will get them all in bucketloads next week, and that the stories will tie up in ways that none of us could imagine - but The Empty Child wasn't devoid of those things, so being the first episode of a two-parter is no excuse.
And if I was waiting for my pulse to raise a little, what must have it been like for kids? They might have liked the skeleton zombie, but that didn't come until late on and otherwise I worry that they might have found it (hush now) a little dull.
Now I didn't dislike this episode by any means - it truly is fascinating, and I've been trying to work out who River is as much as anyone (another Time Lord? His daughter? His mum? Himself...?!) but I thought it'd be worthwhile to play Devil's Advocate, and expand on the niggles that I did have about this episode.
So, ladies and gentlemen - discuss.