Don’t blink, don’t breathe. Listen! Don’t touch. Smell that. Don’t turn around. Stop… Doctor time. How long before Steven Moffat has him channeling Bruce Lee: “Don’t think - feeeeel!”
A largely good-to-great ep. They’ve attempted to evoke a spooky chilliness so many times in nu-Who, with very mixed results, but this might have the most successfully sustained creepy atmosphere of the show yet. They’ve finally figured out out to pace a 45+ minute episode this series, as well, and the show has never looked better. This was so moodily lit they even made a joke about it.
Lots of recycled ideas (from Midnight and Girl in the Fireplace for starters), but this was unique in how it is set up with the Doctor deciding to actively investigate something (ie what’s behind the prickly sense that we may not be alone), as opposed to just stumbling into a situation, like he usually does.
Other than that, I’ve suddenly realised I’m not that interested in the rom-com sitcom element with Clara and Danny. Still, Clara continues to be a really strong, independent character this series. A character with her own [inner] life.
Moffat isn’t afraid to riff on the programme’s mythology, and to set down his own markers. One example in this is where Clara tells young Danny that the broken toy soldier is “a soldier so brave he doesn’t need a gun” - and she ends up leaving the toy with the child Doctor. After inadvertently providing him with his “constant companion” of fear.
Not my favourite of the series so far, but I thought it was one that was pretty rich with unease, ambiguity and introspection, and quite effective overall.
Yeah, not bad! Surprisingly. In comparison with recent ‘funny’ episodes of Who (ie that pirate one and the Wild West one), which have been almost unwatchable, this was fairly smart and well executed. The campy and metafictional jokiness was offset nicely by Capaldi’s disdain - I liked how this was an episode of Dr Who where the Doctor just didn’t want to take part (until he discovered robots!). It was all delightfully silly-but-go-with-it (or else), and I suspect that those who take the show - or themselves - too seriously will have been irked by it. But hey. Several funny lines, and neat commentary of the cliches and tropes of Dr Who and Robin Hood, with cool robots thrown in. Best writing for Clara yet, as well - she’s so much better now she’s a character rather than a confused story device