Monday, October 13, 2014

Doctor Who 8.8 "The Mummy on the Orient Express"

This episode of Doctor Who had a lot of strange, screwy things behind the scenes. From the “co-staring” role of a “popular” singer who ended up with no lines whatsoever to a train in space that had no purpose other than to homage the book that this episode is riffing. A 5,000… yes 5,000 year old monster that is so famous no one has heard of it, and yet there are experts enough to fill a train to study it, that just so happens to be the spitting image of the classic cinematic mummy without actually being a mummy at all. It threatens to fall apart…

And yet it is the best episode of the season so far. The tension between Clara and the Doctor is perfect. The scene where the Doctor just wants to tell his stories without comprehending the emotions Clara is struggling with is the best in a series of great interactions between the characters thus far. The concept of the 66 second count down, and the way they use that devise multiple times to explore the way people react to eminent death is powerful. And, finally, Clara’s realization that the Doctor is still doing good, he simply has a manner and a means of coping with pressure that she had failed to see. When she comes to grips with this new Doctor and decides to continue to travel with him, her joy is palpable

That likely does not bode well for the emotional state of viewers going forward…

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