Doctor Who Is Late

What’s this?  In a week when Gotham premiered and Sleepy Hollow & Agents of SHIELD began their second seasons, you’re writing about a couple of stale Doctor Who episodes?  Yes,  I am.  It’s partly due to me forgetting to tape Doctor Who (at least that problem’s solved) and trying to get my thought together (which, sadly, isn’t likely to be resolved soon.)  However, thoughts on the above named shows will be forthcoming.

The Doctor and Clara team up with two others to rob a bank.

The “Time Heist” team (Saibra disguised as wealthy bank patron)

Listen (104)

Hailed by many as the best episode of season 8 so far, it was also chastised by others complaining it’s becoming The Clara Show.  I heartily agree with the former, even if I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

Because it must be said:  John Hurt!   Even if it was just a scene from the 50th anniversary special, it was great seeing the War Doctor again.

“Listen” has the earmarks of a Big Episode.  Both the Thing under the Bedspread and the Hidden Hiders at the end of time are unresolved mysteries that have the potential to reappear later in the season.  I wouldn’t put it past Moffatt.  On the other hand, they could just be one-offs that are meant to be left to our imaginations.  Personally, I don’t think there were any creatures at the end of time; it was merely a way to show us the Doctor’s fears.

I do think the Bedspread Thing could show itself again.  There was a flash of light as the door slammed.  Then again, sometimes it’s best not to think overthink these things.

Or, maybe the episode was simply a more in-depth way of introducing Danny Pink, teasing us of his yet-to-be-seen connection with time travel. I’ve never seen Samuel Anderson before, but, man, is he good!  He plays goofy and tongue-tied so well, you think that’s his demeanor.  But then he can play it go straight, as he did with Orson.  And Remi Gooding, the young actor who played Rupert ,was terrific.  He nailed the young Danny Pink so well you could see the grown-up Danny in him.

I’m ok with Clara showing up in the Doctor’s timeline again.  If nothing else, it gave Jenna Coleman a chance show her acting chops.  Her (non-sexual) chemistry with Peter Capaldi is delightful.  The Doctor is very playful around her (when fear isn’t in the way), with some great lines that highlight his lack of knowledge of the female gender.  To wit:

  •  “Too late.  You’ve taken your makeup off.”  “No, I haven’t.”
  • “You’re all eyes.  Get them under control!”

Random question:  Is Mark Sheppard the official voice of BBC America?  All the advertising voice-overs sound like him.

Time Heist (105)

Not so random question:  When did you realize the Architect was the Doctor?  I suspected it when they conveniently found briefcase #2 on the chair in the “hallway.”

This was perhaps Peter Capaldi’s best episode yet, made all the more enjoyable by a couple of excellent guest characters.  Even better, the guest characters didn’t die, so they could possible return.  Psi, the augmented human, and Saibra, the mutant human, were intriguing in their own right, but also bonded nicely with the Doctor and Clara.  Personally, I wouldn’t mind the Doctor developing a more intimate relationship with Saibra.

We also had a new “monster,” the Teller—although I’m sure that’s not the species’ name.  The alien separated from its loved one isn’t a new story on Doctor Who, but it’s not one I dislike.  I was delightfully surprised when the Teller opened the vault to reveal its contents.  But who’s to say the Teller was the male?  Or the creature from “Hide” for that matter?  It’s not like you could tell the difference.  Maybe it was the female who was lost and looking for her mate.  Oh wait, I forgot.  It’s a man’s world, so everything is from the male perspective. </climbing off soapbox now>

So the Doctor thinks the bow-tie was a mistake?  I disagree!  Speaking of clothing choices, have you noticed the Doctor’s wardrobe has changed?  Initially, it was a white shirt, vest, and finely woven long jacket with red lining.  Then it became a dark (burgundy) shirt and long jacket, sans vest.  Now it’s a black shirt with a more coarsely-woven coat, like a wool overcoat.  Could the Doctor be trying to do away with the magician look.?

10 responses to “Doctor Who Is Late

  1. As always, you bring up such delicious things! *rubs hands together*

    Was it Suzanne who was bothered by Clara’s involvement in the Doctor’s timeline? I was dismayed to find that I projected that onto the scene in the barn. *I* love how convoluted and interwoven time travel is, and I think it’s awesome that they’re exploring it so much now. Not just in a “surprise!” way (like with the astronaut and the dead doctor) but in a deeper, interpersonal way. Everything made sense into how that all developed in “Listen,” and it all fits a Doctor who has perhaps gotten past his denial and walls and started really exploring who he is.But watching that scene, I thought, “Suzanne’s gonna be annoyed that everything that motivates the Doctor now stems from Clara’s teacherly assurance when he was a child.” LOL I hope I’m wrong!

    I think yes, Mark Sheppard has done those voiceovers since he was on the show, and I love it. 🙂

    I loved both Listen and Time Heist, and was definitely happy Psi and Saibra survived. Their deaths were painful and meaningful, but the fact that they made it anyway flipped the whole thing around. I love combinations like that. I also felt they gave us a nice puncture into the characters–letting us get deep, but narrowly so. We got the measure of them without getting to know them very well.

    I think you might be a little unfair about the Tellers’ genders. They have male and female good and bad guys and complex characters that defy gender tendencies all over the place. It doesn’t NOT make sense that the killing Teller was male. And in Hide, they were hoping the “creature” was just one of the kids from the home, and that would have been more likely to be male because it was either a boys’ home or a boys’ wing and Rupert is a boy. 🙂

    About the wardrobe–do you mean changed for the same doctor? I feel it’s the same general look, adapted for the circumstances. Victorian plushness, running around the woods, masterminding a plot. It does seem to vary more, though, I think, than the look did for each of the previous doctors. He also mentioned the ridiculous scarf. 🙂

    • Yes, it was Suzanne who complained about Clara in the Doctor’s timeline, but she said she liked this one.

      Not following your paragraph about Teller/gender/etc. (I think you got a couple episodes mixed up? Or you didn’t [which is very likely] and I just can’t figure it out.) That’s ok, because I still stand behind (and upon) my soapbox. 😛

      Yes, I meant the wardrobe for the same Doctor. Yes, it’s the same general look, which is why we don’t really notice it. Come to think of it, did Ten have different suits and sneakers? And nope, didn’t mention the scarf, because I agree it was ridiculous. 😀

      • Yeah, I kept rewriting that gender paragraph because I was trying not to climb too high on my own soapbox. LOL

        You said “But who’s to say the Teller was the male? Or the creature from “Hide” for that matter?” And you implied that the writers are sexist (i.e. it’s a man’s world, male perspective).

        I agree, just looking at those characters (the Teller and the creature in Hide, which I assume means the one under the blanket) there’s no reason to assume they’re male. But I don’t think it’s fair to blame sexism/the male perspective for that. I didn’t consider the Teller lost and seeking his mate. I considered him trapped and coerced by his mate being compromised. In other words, “we have the only other member of your species, so you do what we say.” I think a case can be made for a male being more likely to be willing to kill people willy-nilly so they don’t hurt his friend/mate/whatever. Of course I can argue the other side, too, because that’s me. LOL But it seemed logical, not “oh, they’re men, so of course the creature is male.”

        I would be more likely to join you on your soapbox if they didn’t have that woman in Paradise who is obviously evil or female soldiers who are tough and strong or clever, heroic women like Vastra. You know what I mean?

        • You’re confusing “Hide” with “Listen.” I meant the creature from last season that was stuck in the old house. I’d agree the creature in “Listen” is male because it was a boys’ home. And I agree the Teller was forced to do evil bidding, not that he was looking for its mate.

          Maybe they never referred to its gender and I just assumed they did. If that’s the case, I’m the guilty one! 😮

        • Ack! I was totally adding another episode to this season. LOL I don’t even remember “Hide” and I just kept thinking about hiding under the blanket.

          I caught the end of Time Heist while waiting for this week’s episode to start and they did refer to the Teller inside the vault as “she” so you’re not the guilty one at all! 🙂

      • Ahem. *puts on glasses and consults clipboard* Ten did indeed have both blue and brown suits, most times worn with a tie, sometimes without, sometimes with a white shirt, sometimes with a brown or blue shirt. He did have both red/burgundy and dirty white sneakers. He was also known to wear the occasional tuxedo(with sneakers). Furthermore, Eleven started out with a tweed jacket and no vest, and later switched to a longer dark purple jacket with a vest. Does that answer your question? 😉 lol

        • I knew I could count on your love for Ten to clear things up.

          Eleven’s change doesn’t count because it was between companions (not to mention title sequences). Them’s the rules according to Gail. 😉

    • Yes, it was me who was bothered by her jumping into his timeline. It did occur to me this week that maybe it bothered me because at the time it happened, she hadn’t been the companion all that long. Seems like a big “thing”(as the current Doctor would phrase it) for as new as she was at the time. If it had been Amy, I would have been fine with it, I think, because she had put in a lot of time with him, had a well-established relationship with him, and it would have made sense for her to make a sacrifice like that. With “Listen”, I felt like Clara had finally reached that level, so getting involved with his timeline didn’t bother me. I actually thought her teacherly assurances were rather sweet. 🙂

      • Yeah, I can see that. She started out as a mystery but didn’t get the depth as companion that she needed to support the resolution of that mystery. Too little “meat” in the story in between.

        I’m glad you felt that way about “Listen”! 🙂 It shouldn’t matter, but it does make me happy. 🙂

  2. Since I only got to see “Time Heist” tonight, I’m only now getting around to commenting. 🙂 Great competent supporting characters. I’m all for supporting characters that don’t spend half their time screaming. Very interesting structure for the story. I didn’t figure out The Doctor was The Architect until he was pacing about ranting about how he hated the guy. I do wonder if the memory worms will turn up again down the line. Also, lots of running down corridors in this one. Very Who. 🙂

    “Listen” was so spooky, one of those that could actually make you a little paranoid about that sense of not being alone. One of those episodes that come to mind and creeps you out at random moments when something odd happens. Like the Vashta Nerada. It’s always the things you can’t see that are creepiest, isn’t it?

    I’ve been wondering the same thing about Mark Sheppard doing the voiceovers for BBC America. I keep waiting for him to say “Hello, boys.” lol

Leave a Reply to Natalie J. Damschroder Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s