In the Forest of the Night

As always it’s time for a Doctor Who review on Saturday! This time I’ll be talking about Series 8’s “In the Forest of the Night” and we all know what comes now: Spoilers ahead!

A lot happened this week, but it wasn’t at all like I expected it to be. There was global forestation over night, a solar flare that should’ve destroyed the Earth and some really great Clara/Doctor moments. I should say upfront that while there were some really sweet and amazing scenes in between, this again isn’t one of my favourite episodes. I want to clarify that that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it at all, I just liked others better. But since I seem to complain a bit too much about Doctor Who as of late, I’m trying to find some good things in there. So, let’s break it down:

  • I actually liked the message: Trees are our friends! But the thing was that they tried to sell me that I was supposed to be scared in forests, because of fairy tales and such, but I actually quite like them. Never felt uneasy there, but rather calm instead. What I am scared of though, is getting lost, which seemed like a real possibility during the episode. Also, it would have been way different if it all had played during the night. Everything can be scarier in the night and I will admit that I wouldn’t want to be alone in a forest in the dark.
  • There was some speculation that the episode might have something to do with William Blake‘s poem “The Tyger“, so I’m really glad that there was an actual tiger and that it made sense that he could be there. Cool reference in my opinion!
  • The kids were all great little actors and actresses! Often I’m a little anxious about episodes with loads of children, because they are often not very convincing, but the casting director of Doctor Who either has a ton of luck or chooses really well (I’m guessing a bit more of the latter). Abigail Eames, who played Maebh, did a great job portraying that seemingly troubled little girl and it was creepy when her voice mixed with the one of the “firesflies” (or “trees” whatever I’m supposed to call them).
  • If you’ve followed my blog the past weeks, you probably noticed that I am huge fan of BBC’s Our Girl. The woman who played Maebh’s mother, Siwan Morris, starred as Mrs Smurf/Smith/Candy on that show as well. Just seeing her in another storyline that involves losing a child made the story so much more emotional for me, just because the wounds of Our Girl are still so fresh.
  • I still wonder where Annabel, Maebh’s sister, was and why she ran away … assuming that she left home willingly.
  • I sort of doubt Danny‘s intelligence if he seriously believed that Clara didn’t meet up with the Doctor. He’s a great man, as this episode proved once more, but I just can’t imagine him not noticing that his girlfriend was spending time on the TARDIS, especially not after last week. Also, I just want him to tag along for an adventure and he seems so utterly unwilling to do that, that I’m starting to get tired of him. He has his reasons, and good ones too to be fair, but … I thought this might become more of a Rory-Amy-Doctor dynamic with a twist over time and that’s just highly unlikely now.
  • Twelve and kids is such a fun combination. I like it when they let him play the grumpy Scottish man!
  • Another glimpse of Missy that I could do absolutely nothing with. So glad next week will start to unveil what’s been going on!
  • I loved the scene when Clara told the Doctor to leave without them (although I am not sure if, at that moment, it really was wise to say that they should all die instead of saving at least a few people). Capaldi and Coleman just have this great chemistry and also conflicts with each other, most of the time their confrontations are my favourite part of the episode.

I guess that’s it for today. Concerning “Dark Water” next week … I’m scared to be honest, and not because the Cybermen will make their return. It’s the first part of the finale and I am always anxious about those, because I hate endings, but also because of what I saw in the promo. That just wasn’t like Clara at all and I’m going to freak if nothing was real!

What are your thoughts about “In the Forest of the Night“?

Flatline or the Adventures of Doctor Clara

Another Whovian Saturday! In this week’s episode “FlatlineJamie Mathieson/Steven Moffat were dead set on getting us scared of walls and giving Clara another opportunity to shine. As always you should hear River in your head by now: “Spoilers!

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After I’ve seen the promo for “Flatline“, I thought the episode had potential to be really creepy. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up liking it that much. While I really love Series 8 as a whole, I also have my issues with it. So far, there haven’t been any terrible episodes, but there also haven’t been any outstanding ones. I’ve been waiting for an episode to really wow me and excite me, like for example “Vincent and the Doctor“, “Blink“, “The Empty Child“/”The Doctor Dances” or “The Girl in the Fireplace” did. And those are just the examples I could come up with from the top of my head! Again, “Flatline” wasn’t bad at all, but I doubt it’ll stay in my memory forever. However, it did have it’s moments! Since the Doctor was stuck in the shrunken TARDIS, Clara had to do his job and defeat the monsters. Here are my thoughts about the occurrences of “Flatline”.

  • So, as I mentioned above, our weekly monster was a little different this time around. It started out in 2D, but quickly evolved to something more 3D by draining the TARDIS of its power. In my opinion, those creatures (Do they have a name? They remind me a bit of the Vashta Nerada to be honest) have the potential to be really creepy, but didn’t fully realise said potential during the course of this episode. In the end, they just looked like pixelated and glitching Zombies.
  • Clara was the center of attention once again. It’s not like I don’t like her, but come on. This is turning into the Adventures of (Doctor) Clara Oswald rather than Doctor Who. Is that just my feeling? Because I don’t remember the other companions being that much the focus of the show. Also, she’s turning more and more into the Doctor – the lies, her way of thinking …
  • Danny … oh poor Danny. Always having to worry about Clara. He’s not stupid! He clearly knew she was getting into trouble with the Doctor and she shouldn’t lie to him. If she’s getting into a dangerous situation, he needs to know that. At least, he said that that’s a deal breaker when they started dating.
  • Rigsy (Joivan Wade) was sweet and he looked like he had a crush on Clara. But why exactly did he want to sacrifice his life for no reason?
  • Did not like grumpy old man Fenton (Christopher Fairbank), but I suppose it was intended that we dislike him.
  • I like the use of psychic paper, even if it was beaten by utter lack of imagination.
  • Did I just imagine that, or did the TARDIS in siege mode look like the Pandorica? I know that it was Gallifreyan writing on the box, but it still very much reminded me of the Pandorica.
  • The Addams Family-hand reference was funny.
  • The Doctor, as always, is a mystery to me. On the one hand, he had hope that it was all just a misunderstanding with the enemy creatures and I again saw a glimpse of the man who finds every creature in the universe important and beautiful, but then he did not hesitate to destroy them. He compliments Clara for how she handled the situation, but at the same time tells her that his actions have nothing to do with being good or goodness. I still want to believe that the Doctor is a good man, but he himself seems to have stopped believing that altogether. However, I still like the scenes where we see that the Doctor cares about Clara and sometimes even is jealous, even if he doesn’t like that she’s becoming more like him.
  • Missy had her almost obligatory tiny appearance again. Tonight’s episode seemed to be another hint that she might truly have been the woman in the shop. She called her “My Clara” (wasn’t that Eleven’s thing?) and said that she chose her well, so, that just makes me assume she’s the one who gave Clara the Doctor’s phone number. After the torturous and slow build-up of her character I hope the season finale, which supposedly reveals everything, will be as good as I expect it to be by now.

What were your thoughts about this week’s episode? I’m already looking forward to “In the Forest of the Night” (which oddly makes me think about “Forest of the Dead” and the Forest people, although I doubt it has any connection to those things), because Danny will finally tag along on the TARDIS … even if it is with an entire group of children.

Mummy on the Orient Express

What sounds like an Agatha Christie mystery is actually this week’s episode of Doctor Who. You know the drill; this review of “Mummy on the Orient Express” includes several Spoilers as I am laying out my thoughts. Proceed with caution!

I loved this episode from start to finish! All the references, the cameos and the whole 20’s look of it – brilliant! Visually, this episode really was another gem of this Series. In my opinion, putting the clock on screen was another smart move. But let’s not just talk about cinematography, but about the storyline as well. This episodes was supposed to serve as final farewell journey for Clara and the Doctor before they part their ways. Of course, in the end she couldn’t leave him, because just like a drug addict, she needed another shot of adventure. But let’s break it down a little more:

  • I was actually surprised to see Clara in this episode. As much as I love her, I expected the Doctor to sulk a little after their huge fight last week and to go on an adventure by himself. However, in the end I didn’t mind at all that Clara was on board, because the episode was not centered around her. I enjoyed seeing them talk about their fight and their future together. Clara’s relationship with the Doctor is so special and I am never sure how to categorize it, but not everything needs a label anyway – I just love their dynamic together. Also, I am really glad that Danny doesn’t stand in the way of Clara and the Doctor hanging out together, but I would like to actually see him tag along on one (or several) trip(s).
  • All through this season, I had the impression that the Doctor wasn’t even fazed or distressed when people died around him. It seemed like that wasn’t much different this episode, but I then was relieved to see him step up and actually put an effort into saving people. He is not heartless, well he in fact has two hearts, and I am happy about that.
  • The Mummy as a monster wasn’t the most terrible idea I’ve ever seen, but they always rush the ending so much. The creatures seem invincible and intricate most of the time and then they get defeated in a matter of seconds. Literally 66 seconds this time! I don’t want to complain too much, because this episode was mostly very well executed, but this is more of general feeling throughout the entire season so far. Please don’t keep rushing the endings!
  • I thought it was funny that all the experts, doctors and so on, looked a bit like famous dead scientists. Did I spy an Einstein?
  • Again no Missy!  With all those people dying, I thought she’d make an appearance for sure. But maybe she is behind “Gus”? Who knows …
  • Loved some of the cameos and actors. That interpretation of “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Foxes was amazing – I didn’t think I’d hear a Queen song on Doctor Who when I got up this morning. Also, Frank Skinner as Perkins was delightful and amazingly helpful to the Doctor. When he first appeared, he seemed a little creepy to me – lurking in the shadows and all – but he then redeemed himself. You should never say “No” to the Doctor though, when he asks you to tag along on the TARDIS.
  • The references were great and I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for them to come up. On the one hand there was the obvious one to “The Empty Child” – meaning “Are you my Mummy?” – and on the other hand there was the reference to “The Big Bang“. When the Doctor said that Gus tried to coax him into coming before, he actually referenced to the time of Amy’s and Rory’s wedding where the Doctor got a call, where it was mentioned that an Egyptian goddess was loose on the Orient Express in space. I know that a lot of people are tired of the references to Matt Smith/Eleven, but I will never be one of them.

So, I probably forgot to mention something, but if that something comes up, we can just discuss it in the comments. “Flatline” looks like another potentially creepy episode. As always, I’m already looking forward to more next week. Read you soon!

To Kill the Moon, or to Not Kill the Moon?

Kill the Moon was a really tough episode for me. So many emotions and so much to consider … here’s the weekly review of Doctor Who‘s episode. Beware of Spoilers!

I am still not entirely sure what I expected from the episode after the promo, but it definitely wasn’t this. Basically, the Doctor doesn’t want to tell Courtney that she is special, so he takes her and Clara to the moon to make her special. Arriving on site, they find out that the moon is actually an egg and that whatever was growing inside is hatching now and may or may not destroy the earth and humankind. Now, you’d think the Doctor would come to save the day, but no – he disappears and let’s Clara make the decision. That’s what’s happened and here are my thoughts about it:

  • I thought the episode was very gripping from start to finish! As I mentioned, I didn’t really know what to expect and the episode did surprise me on some parts.
  • I hate spiders and those germ-thingies very much looked like spiders to me! They were gross and creepy, so I liked them without ever fully grasping their purpose.
  • Courtney is a really, really lucky girl! Seriously, she got to come back? How awesome would it be to be her right now? She’s also a great comic relief sometimes (e.g. the Tumblr stuff had me cracking up!), but I don’t need her in every episode.
  • Doctor, oh Doctor …  I don’t know what to think about you … I can’t believe he just left Clara to make this decision. He very often seems so indifferent now and I am not sure I like that about his new personality. Yes, he sometimes wants to make us humans think about what to do and how to find the right way on going about things when we deal with something alien (just look at The Day of the Doctor or The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood), but did he really have to abandon her like that? I understand her anger and frustration with him, however, their fight at the end broke my heart.
  • At the beginning I thought it was really weird that it had no consequences whatsoever that the moon wasn’t there anymore, but they resolved that nicely with the “dragon” that hatched laying another egg.
  • There was no sign of Missy and Paradise this week. I’m a little disappointed …
  • Finally something very marginal, but something I nonetheless keep thinking about. I wonder why Danny‘s day was so bad. The answer is probably perfectly normal, but with him I always think that there could be more to it. Still loving him together with Clara.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode very much. Next week, I think we might finally get an episode that is not centered around Clara. There might not even be a Clara in it. Not that I don’t like her, I love her (online personality quizzes told me several times that she is the companion I am most alike, so there is no other way than loving her for me)! Nonetheless, all throughout this season I thought Capaldi could really use an episode where the spotlight is solely on him. What do you think?