Idea Proposed and Used to Death by Walt Disney: Pirates. Look, anything you do will be compared to Pirates of the Carribbean one way or another, so either a) roll with it and get as silly and "arr me hearties" as you can, or b) go against type and play it nasty, gritty, and filthy, sort of like The Oneidin Line with more gore and grime.
Central Premise Recycled From: "The Stones of Blood." Only Cessair of Diplos was at least more camp.
Reference to Moffat's Back Catalogue: Moffat Moppet aside, the idea of a spaceship whose crew are dead and one of its computer routines is kidnapping random people is pure "The Girl in the Fireplace," while the purpose behind the mermaid's activities is from the resolution to "the Doctor Dances." Plus, there's a Black Spot on people's hands exactly where the Red Spot was in "Day of the Moon"-- couldn't they have waited a bit before recycling?
Amy Saves the day with Wuv: Rory, despite his medical training, is convinced that Amy's Wuv will be enough to allow her to do competent CPR. Mind you, since it seems working as a kissogram girl has qualified her to do competent swordfighting, he might not be far wrong.
Joss Whedon Called...: No, actually, he didn't.
And from Lawrence Miles: The eighteenth-century setting, arguably. A more likely candidate is the Doctor's remark about "alien bogies" (as a pun on Alien Bodies).
Murray Goldwatch: Nul points for the "ahahahahaaaaaa" siren chorus, sort of like "The Phantom of the Opera" without the tune.
Nostalgia UK: Pirates. Who did once used to be a real problem for the British Navy, but by the time of Gilbert and Sullivan, J.M. Barrie etc., were panto-fodder. Like these ones.
Inside Jokes: More "Warrior's Gate" references as regards mirrors being used as transdimensional gateways.
Teeth! On the mermaid! Whenever she goes to red.
Hats! Tricorns are cool.
Fish! The Doctor describes the mermaid as "a green singing shark in an evening gown" (they should have gone with that image, not Lily Cole).
Small Child! Toby. The least said, the better.
Item Most Likely to Wind Up as a Toy: Wouldn't a glow-in-the-dark mermaid be cool? Unfortunately we're probably just going to get Hugh Bonneville with a small child instead.