What is Doctor who S08:04 “Listen”

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Last time on doctor who

The episode opens with the doctor talking to himself as he paces back and forth across the Tardis wondering why people talk to themselves. A common thing for people who are feeling the stress and pressure  but the doctor takes it a step further by entering a David Attenborough documentary as he puts together the idea that while some creatures are evolved for hunting and some for defence there may yet be others that are built for hiding. Fortunatly for his ego nobody is there to point out that this is a form of defence and there are many creatures here on Earth which have this mechanism. Still after somebody knocks his chalk on the floor and scribbles on his black board we cut to the infamous drink between Pink and Oswald where the two engage in some awkward conversation, most notably about how in the army Danny built a series of really good wells rather than just shooting all day. Once again though this just paints more and more a picture of a man dealing with some serious PTSD and not one who should be teaching in a school. Now perhaps this is the idea of the writers as they try and relate the trials of mental disorders such as this one, First blood style but so far it hasn’t worked at least not for me. Clara is whisked away from the disaster however by the Doctor asking if she has ever had the dream of upon waking someone reaching out from under your bed. This is where the episode started to loose me.

Up until now it had kept the “creatures” vague, the shadow against your wall, the bangs on the pipes and creak in the floor board but by hammering it down to this dream “everyone has had” you start I believe to loose people. Still the Doctor is not dissuaded and rams Clara’s fingers into some convenient ports in the console that will allow him to scan her timeline and take them back to when she had the “dream”. Unfortunately like most Clara can’t go two seconds without her cell phone and while she hasn’t disrupted any movie going experience or caused a satellite to fall from the sky she does cause herself to think of Mr Pink instead of the dream. SOMEHOW this causes the Tardis to instead go back to when he had the dream despite not being connected in any way to Clara’s timeline up until he started working at the school. Still they land and head into the orphanage to investigate via the return of the psychic paper for instances where clever writing can’t be found. Here they meet the young Danny Pink huddled in the corner of his room after said Dream. Clara tries to talk him down and show him that there is nothing to be afraid of when the best hiders in the universe sit on the bed stop them and cover themselves in his blanket. You can see why we’ve never seen them before ladies and gentlemen.

The Doctor magics into the room right after and decides that the best thing to do against an unknown creature stalking under the beds of little children is to turn his back and tell it to clear off. It does. So at about the halfway point and with no idea of what these things are, what they want or if they are even real we decide to give the date another try with Clara appearing seconds after she left to try and pick up the pieces, perhaps a little creepily thinking of the scared little boy she had just met. With the grace of a secret agent giving away his own name to anyone who would ask Clara lets slip she knows his real name and PInk demands to know why. Before this can get anymore awkward however the Doctor appears at the back of the restaurant wearing the space suit from ‘Satan Pit’ and Clara goes to see what he wants. Only it turns out that it isn’t the doctor but her descendent the Doctor has picked up while he was waiting. Why he sent him out to get her I don’t know, maybe he was squeezing back into his overly tight pants after a trip to the little timelords room. Still he then explains that he found her descendent hanging around at the end of time after a time travel experiment went wrong. They take him back to his ship so he can pack up his things but instead of then dropping him off at home in time for the new series of ‘strictly come dancing’ they state that the Tardis needs a recharge and need to wait. In truth so that the Doctor can meet the creatures which he theorizes are still knocking around.

Now I usually try and stop my reviews some time before the end to avoid spoilers but this time I’m going to barrel on with the excuse that by spoiling it I’m only doing you a favour.

In short the Doctor almost jettisons himself out of an airlock after he hears some knocking, Clara utilising the ports to draw from her own time line somehow manages to pilots the Tardis back to the Doctors childhood where he is hiding out in a barn scared of the dark. Now in this series we have seen some use of Clara Oswald the character but it seems once Steven Moffat is back to writing duties we can only have the impossible girl once more as she brushes his hair and tells him to embrace the fear and darkness and seek a companion for the journeys he will have while also adding some “meaning” to the abandoned barn Hurt used at the start of Day of the Doctor. You know the one we all assumed he used as it was the only structure standing, no it was important and meaningful and blah, blah blah.

As for the monsters it seems they may have not existed at all which I guess means that the creatures in the wool blanket was just a neighbouring kid after all.

It used to be that the Steven Moffat episode was the one well all awaited each season, but this was a plodding mess where nothing actually happened except for a really ham fisted drawn out piece where Clara and Pink sort of got together. There was a building lack of drama and fright that quickly turned to anger as the episode staggered along each time insisting that it was really genuinly onto something and things would start happening any minute now. The series hasn’t been the best so far but this was easily the low point if not in all of nu-who. The Doctor is back to his more cuddly self around others, especially around children, and the few good lines were not worth the wait or time.

 

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