Interesting episode, and a kind of stand alone, kind of overview character building episode. Started off as the obligatory season’s scary episode and became a cerebral character analysis.
My prompt question for this week is: We are seeing a more verbally blunt and up-front Doctor, but are we also seeing a more vulnerable one?
If you have any other thoughts about this episode, then feel free to throw them into the ring.
8 thoughts on “Open Thread: Listen”
This felt like a fairly ‘grown-up’ episode – it broke the usual pattern of the show I think. Normally they’d have the ‘thing under the bed’ explained as some alien life form, which would turn out to be benign or only dangerous from a human perspective – and the doctor would be endearingly humane and kind about it.
The psychological aspect of it was great. I was slightly disappointed since it really was marketed as being a scary episode, but in the end was mostly character led and just had a couple of creepy scenes. I’m a little bugged by the ‘thing under the blanket’ since they did see that and then it was explained away as fear/paranoia.
The comment on why you fear what’s under the bed (because it’s behind you as you lie down) was a good observation and one of the sort of things I really love about Who.
No Missy in this one for the presumed series arc…hmm…
That was a distinct change, wasn’t it? Compare that to last season’s Hide which did just that. This episode was far more terrifying and I really loved that scene for its simplicity of classic Who horror. But at the same time…
… it was a disappointment for this very reason. Will it end there though? I suspect yes, that this was the manifestation of our primal fear and I wish they had done more with it. It’s still possible that they will.
No and not even a shoe-horned reference to Paradise / Heaven / The Promised Land that we got last week. Still, I think even Smith’s first season had a couple of episodes early on that didn’t reference The Crack that was core to that season.
I’m loving the relationship that The Doctor has with himself. Capaldi treads a fine line between your grumpy uncle who is always putting his foot in his mouth, and the vulnerability of a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. The dynamic now between The Doctor and Clara (who he has labelled a control freak on several occasions) is getting stronger and really blossoming. I loved that moment at the end where she hugged him and he said “oh no, not the hug… please don’t hug me!”
I didn’t really like this episode. There were some good moments, but with its anti-climax and bland Clara and Danny moments I felt this is one of the episodes that should be classic for trying something different but will be forgotten in a few days time. I think the contrast of the Doctor’s harder exterior and his supposed fear is really too much to be believed. It would have worked with the other Doctors but not Capaldi. Why couldn’t they just let him be a bad ass? I find myself liking him and then an unrealistic ‘vulnerable” moment crops up and ruins his character for me. Would a man who has lived for 2,000 years and been through all the nightmares he has been through really be that scared of a childhood nightmare or a monster waiting for him at the end of time. He’s faced thousands of monsters!
Clara is becoming more of a real character and not a walking bag of cliches but I don’t like her scenes with Danny. Probably, it is his fault. He’s being pushed too hard to be vulnerable too, and the way he suddenly barked at her for being a killer felt forced. Nice twist though with the future grandson and I do love how the Doctor insults Clara all the time.
I also questioned moments like the shape under the blanket. Are we now to assume that it was another child from the home? What about the door opening in the spaceship at the end of the universe? Can it really be put down to atmospheric pressure? I appreciate what they were doing but like ‘The Beast Below’ before it, this was a story written for the previous Doctor.
Hmmm, some very interesting points and not without merit. Danny so far for me is a little one dimensional and the “Lady Killer” thing that started a few episodes ago did feel a little contrived. I hope he gets better.
It certainly started well, but that ending. There was so much wrong with it.
1) The time lock on Gallifrey now seems to be entirely gone, at least for Clara…
2) With nothing under the bed the Intro makes no sense. Neither did the glimpse of the thing in Rupert’s bedroom (if it was meant to just be a kid why spend cash on a special effect when they could have had them leave in the sheet?
3) Why doesn’t Danny remember Clara? It would have been nice if there had been some sense of familiarity when they first met…
4) I accept that the Doctor has fears, but I’ve never thought the Doctor would suffer from fear of the unknown. He’s far too busy being scared for others to worry about what’s in the dark, I thought. He’s also to curious about what might be there, but I suppose that might be a defence mechanism, based on the idea that once you know what is there you won’t fear it.
The Junior Time Lord to be… was it the Doctor? I can think of much more likely candidates considering the Doctor’s attitude to soldiers, but then again, the Doctor did think he’d had the dream, so if it was him, his dream was real, and for him Clara is the beast under the bed.
I hope that turns out to be an important bit of symbolism later. She’s saved him so many times, and spent a season (and a bit) as a mystery that he had to solve, might be nice if she turned out to be something he should fear.
I am starting to doubt whether the young Timelord was The Doctor. Do we know for certain this was a boy? If not, then it could be Missy whomever and whatever she is.
The adult Gallifreyans did say “other boys” not other children… But Moffat has said he thinks Timelords can change gender, so that wouldn’t rule out Missy.
I’m a little surprised we haven’t had even a hint about looking for Gallifrey wherever it was hidden. Could it be “the promised land”?
There’s so much going on that – and as much as I am enjoying the journey and looking forward to and hoping for a satisfactory conclusion – I must confess to having a difficult time in unravelling all of this.