In case you're new here, let me reiterate. I love Doctor Who. (Have loved it since the reboot began in '05.) I love Matt Smith's new Doctor, and Amy Pond, Rory, and River Song. I loved last season.
I enjoyed the two-part premiere, but there was something missing. It was not nearly as good as The Eleventh Hour. And then, as their first follow up, they give us The Curse of the Black Spot. Another thing I love is naval history, and thus it seemed they made this episode with me in mind. However, this was not a lovable episode.
In fact, it was wretched. It was written by a Stephen Thompson, with whom I was unfamiliar until google informed me he wrote an episode of Moffat's modern retelling Sherlock, which I recall enjoying (except for their bizarre Moriarty and obsession with making both him and Holmes gay.) So, probably a young writer, one of Moffat's 'gang', being given a shot in the big leagues with an unimportant episode.
I support giving writers a chance, and wouldn't mind a crack at a Doc Who ep myself, but in a 13 episode season that's being broken in half for several months just to increase the suspense, there is no excuse for fillers.
Anyway, it wasn't just those major inaccuracies (Amy and Rory supposedly able to set the sails of a three-mast ship by pulling on two ropes) it was the unoriginality and the ceaseless melodrama. The dying son, the unworthy father. Why in God's name get Hugh Bonneville as a guest-star, and give him such an abominable role? In the end there was nothing redeeming about his character at all. He might as well have stayed with his son to avoid the authorities in England and because he was poor from losing his stolen treasure (which had been stolen from an Indian King? What?)
Honestly? A character drowning and getting CPR to come back is not a CLIMAX. It's a way to fill up 2 minutes in the first act if you're a bit short on action. Obviously he wasn't going to die, so trying to play on our emotions with such cheap, unintelligent, uninspired manipulations loses the show a lot of respect.
Doctor Who requires a large suspension of disbelief, and this is one of the first times I've found it nearly impossible. Next week sees The Doctor's Wife, the episode written by Neil Gaiman. If anyone can restore this season to its potential greatness, it would be Master Gaiman. Here's hoping.