Listen!

I think we have established by now that I am covering every episode of Doctor Who, and “Listen” is no exception. Spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t watched it yet – do that and then come back!

Listen was definitely the obligatory creepy episode of this season. Unfortunately, Moffat’s curse set in again. Now, what do I mean by that? I’m not an opponent of Moffat, like a lot of people are, because I usually like his story arcs. He’s brilliant when it comes to setting up a story. Everything seems all intricate, intriguing and like he’s the only one who can solve the mystery, but then he just doesn’t deliver! His resolutions are, more often than not, very disappointing and Listen is in my opinion no different from previous cases. It’s like he just discards everything he’s established at the beginning of the episode and acts as if that’s perfectly normal, but my problem is that we saw something under the bedspread. I don’t think that was just another kid who wanted to scare Rupert, and if it actually was just another kid, that should have been made clear at some later point. Am I alone with that opinion?

Here are some other thoughts about the episode:

  • I think that it was the creepiest proposition ever that we are never really alone; that there is a reason we talk to ourselves when we know that no one else is there. Unfortunately, I don’t like the “explanation”, but I think I’ve thorougly established that above.
  • I wonder which planet Clara and the young Doctor were on when she comforted him. Was it Gallifrey? Because I thought that that wasn’t possible anymore. Also, the shed the War Doctor went to wasn’t on Gallifrey. Or was it? Maybe I’m just confused…
  • Clara and Danny are really cute, although I have a feeling he’s going to get a serious head injury if he keeps dating her. Having said that, it was a little early for me to establish that they are probably going to get married and have (great-grand) children. That is if I understood the episode correctly.
  • I like how the Doctor is very protective of Clara, even though they bicker and tease each other all the time. It was hilarious when he said that he waited in the bedroom in case she brought her date home. I love the dynamic between Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman!
  • As little as this detail was, I am very happy that the psychic paper made an appearance. Haven’t seen it in a while.

That’s all for today! Next episode “Time Heist” looks interesting enough, with Clara and the Doctor robbing a bank. What did you think of Listen? Does your opinion differ from mine?

13 thoughts on “Listen!

  1. Personally, I thought it was a brilliant episode, though I think I would’ve preferred it to be a monster too rather than a child. Yes, that barn was on Gallifrey (where else would he set off the Moment? Where it would cause the most damage for the warring parties), and I think there is some rule against returning to Gallifrey, but it might have to do with interfering with already-established events fixed in time or interfering with your own timeline.

    And I also think those two are cute. I can’t wait to see what happens to him when he joins the Doctor. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they had kids and descendants.

    I think I’ll pursue that theory of a monster under the bed being real. I certainly think it’d make a great story. And I look forward to next week’s episode as well.

    On an unrelated note, did I ever tell you that I know a guy who looks like Derek Hale?

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    • I loved the episode when it started, but I felt cheated at the end. There was this really intense yet subtle build-up, just to reveal that it all wasn’t real and the Doctor was just scared of the dark. I would’ve preferred a monster.

      Okay, Gallifrey seemed the most likely to me as well, but I thought there was a time-lock on the planet and so I got infinitely confused.

      Derek Hale? Then you certainly know one good-looking dude. Not that I don’t appreciate the info, but it really is quite unrelated. Is there a story to that guy?

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      • No story, just an interesting tidbit.

        What Moffat did with this episode is called a “deus ex machina’, and it’s very hard to pull off well. I would’ve preferred a monster as well, but maybe we’ll have to wait for some new writers to lead the show in a new direction.

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      • It is interesting. I don’t think I have anyone in my circle of friends who looks like a TV or movie personality.

        I didn’t know there was a name for what Moffat did. During RTD’s era I almost always used to like Moffats episodes best, but now that he’s been show runner for a while, I often feel like he’s losing sight of his own story. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s mostly brilliant, but maybe it really is time that a couple of new writers come to the show.

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      • Indeed. He seems to be relying a lot on sci-fi gimmicks, plots that feel used before, and twists that leave a somewhat bitter taste in your mouth. Some new writers at the helm would be a great way to remedy this (I have an idea for an arc that would really explore the Doctor’s past and maybe force him to make some very difficult choices), but getting onto the writing staff requires skill, opportunity, patience, and a whole lot of luck.

        Plus, I’m not sure Moffat would like anyone criticizing him writing for DW. So I might be out of the running…

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      • Yep, pretty sure he’s not too happy about criticism and also, I think he will work for Doctor Who until he dies or the BBC fires him. Writing for Doctor Who is his dream come true, I get why he wouldn’t want to stop.

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      • You’re welcome! And that sounds like a good plan. I really believe you could do that! You never know, and it often only takes only one semi-popular person to notice you and get your career rocketing.

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  2. “Deus ex machina” is a term from Greek drama, where the plot was resolved by a Greek god descending from Olympus in a box, saving the day.

    I really enjoyed “Listen” — the plot shifted quite dramatically from the opening 20 minutes, and it definitely went where nobody was expecting. But, scene by scene, line by line, I found so many little things to enjoy (even the two recycled quotes from the Classic Series). I think fandom will be debating this story for years to come, and that’s a great thing!

    Plus, I loved seeing the little montage of Classic Series monsters in the teaser for “Time Heist”! And James Marsters.

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    • Hahahaha thank you for clearing that up.

      It’s not like I didn’t enjoy “Listen”. I usually really like the creepy episodes and this one was no exception, because I just like to be freaked out a little every now and then. But as I’ve said before, I just really felt a little cheated by the end.
      You’re probably right though, this is an episode to remember and that’s what’s most important.

      The montage was great! I can’t wait for next Saturday!

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