Dr.Who Episode 4 - "Listen"
“Whats that in the mirror, or the corner of your eye?
Whats that footstep following, but never passing by?”
A little late, but here are my thoughts on Episode 4 “Listen”, the one where the Doctor and Clara go to the end of the Universe chasing a nursery rhyme.
After the folly of Robot of Sherwood, I was looking forward to an episode that promised to crank up the tension; and for the most part I was pleased with “Listen”. I have a few issues with it, but they mostly lie in the how the episode was wrapped up, but we’ll get to those in a bit. Lets start with some good bits.
The less is more approach with how much of the monster was shown worked really well. It kept the audience guessing as to when the reveal would come, when the monster moment would happen. The moment, when it came, with Clara and young Rupert are under the bed moves from sweet reassurance to genuine threat and suspense in the space of a heartbeat. All that build up paid off in the best way. The following scenes show both sides of the Doctor, a surprising soft side as he gives the sort of motivational speech that only he can, and the harder dismissive side that leads Clara to step in to calm the boy and pass on the soldier toy.
The sets, the acting, the pacing, were all brilliant; and once again Jenna Coleman is playing a huge part in carrying the show as Capaldi beds in as the Doctor. I’ve been impressed with her this season, her acting has been great and there is definitely chemistry beginning to spark between Clara and the Doctor.
The negatives...well, it’s that ending, and all the timey-wimey bullshitiness that comes with it. Going back to Gallifrey and a young, presumably, Doctor was fine. The reveal that “Fear” has been the Doctor’s greatest weapon (his “superpower”) since he was a a child is..interesting. But the closure of the story by saying it was all just in his head because actually Clara planted the seeds of the dream, was utter tosh. Not because of the “Bill & Ted”-ness of it all, but because it devalues everything that came before it and leaves the story littered with massive plot holes and inconsistencies.
If the truth of it is that nothing was ever there, then who was that on the bed? Why was Orson Pink so terrified of something outside of his craft that he couldn’t get wait to be rescued? And who the bloody hell moved the chalk?
My hope is that there are real answers to these questions, and that maybe Moffat has left it open for a bigger season plot reason. It’s frustrating because the ending just felt rushed and I really wanted to give this episode a better mark.
To sum up then. Genuinely tense in places, with a story that captivated me for the most part, but a rushed ending that relied on the “..because, Time Travel, tada” mechanic kind of let it down.
Quote of the Week:
“You've probably just forgotten, have you seen the size of human brains. they're hilarious”