Thursday, September 18, 2014

Doctor Who 8.4 "Listen"

The latest episode of Doctor Who may be one of the best in years, but it is hard to say. There is a lot here that feels familiar, reused by Moffat, the tried and true chiller techniques. Instead of “Don’t blink,” we get, “Don’t turn around.” A creature that you can’t see—the perfect hider—seems very similar to the Silence. And a whole story built around one really scary set-piece… that is what Moffat has excelled at in Who.

But there is more here. Or maybe less is more here. After all, we never really know if there is anything to be scared about in this story. In fact, I suspect the point is that there is nothing really there. It is all in the mind. The Doctor’s mind in this case. It seems as though the Doctor—this big, seemingly invincible hero of space and time—is afraid of the dark. That fear has been his motivation, his super power, the secret to his success.

One can argue whether or not Clara should have so much influence on the Doctor. This companion has already supposedly actively enabled every single successful victory the Doctor has accomplished throughout his timeline. Now we are supposed to believe that she triggered his formative moment that made him the man (timelord) he is today.

However, the scene in little Danny’s bedroom with the monster/prankster? Under the covers is perhaps the best scene in “Doctor Who” since “Blink.”

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