The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (ARC Review)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count
: 362
Release Date: June 1, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

Advertised as “Practical Magic meets Twister“, The Nature of Witches immediately grabbed my attention when I first heard about it (those are legit two movies I adore with my whole heart). As much as I enjoy immersing myself in a high Fantasy concept, there’s something special about magic meeting our contemporary world, which this book does instead.
In this specific instance, witches have always lived among humans and helped them regulate the atmosphere and climate. But humans, as they tend to do in every reality it seems, wanted more. They went against the witches’ recommendations and tried to inhabit parts of the planet that should have been left to nature, always trying to push the limits further, until the Earth could take no more and the atmosphere became too erratic to be tamed by magic even.

As far as general premises go, this was something that interested me right away, because I loved the idea of mirroring our real life climate crisis in a magical way. However, the book only carried this idea as an underlying theme to propel the main character, Clara, further in her journey of accepting herself. Told from her POV, you mostly deal with her inner and very personal struggle. As an Everwitch, she can control magic no matter the season, whereas other witches are at their strongest or weakest depending on the time of year. Clara’s not just the only Everwitch there is, but because it has been so long since the last one lived, no one really knows what her powers entail, just that she is stronger and more dangerous and their only hope at counteracting the humans’ destruction. The danger in her abilities manifests specifically whenever she loses control, because her rampant magic seeks the people she loves the most and kills them, hence why she is reluctant to form any attachment to the people in her life.

While reading the book, I understood where Clara’s trauma came from. Imagine having powers you never asked for and that no one knows how to control, just to see them take every person you love from you at the slightest mistake. The conclusion that you would need to isolate yourself makes sense, but it still put the story in a repetitive loop, because not getting attached to anyone simply isn’t realistic. We are not even talking about romantic love here, but any kindness can make the heart grow fonder. Still, Clara focuses a lot on her romantic entanglements, which include her ex-girlfriend Paige and her current love interest Sang. I was personally more invested in Paige’s side of things, simply because she seemed like one of the few people willing to call out Clara when she was being self-centered and their history was really interesting. Sang, on the other hand, was one of the loveliest and sweetest characters. He was so supportive and exuded a calm that I wish I possessed too, but somehow I didn’t feel the depth of their love as much as it was described on the page.

All of this was a surprisingly quick read as you breeze through the seasons, but despite the dangerous situations the characters were put in, I didn’t feel the urgency of the plot. Usually, when it comes to magic, I try to just accept what I’m told, but I struggled a bit with the logistics. Here are a couple of examples that didn’t make sense to me entirely:

  • Every witch has their own seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) in which they are born, their personality is affected by and their magic is the strongest. However, seasons aren’t technically bound to certain months. They are marked by weather patterns and daylight hours, completely different depending on where you live on the planet. So, if a Summer witch didn’t want to see her powers wane after three months, wouldn’t they just be of better use in a different geographical area?
  • Clara had to live in a shed in the woods all by herself after a fatal incident with her powers, to make sure she wouldn’t get attached to any of her other classmates who lived together in dorms. This technically seems logical, but then they pair her with one person to train her alone, be it a teacher for years or a newly introduced person her age. If you spend time with someone in close proximity and they are your only close contact, you will form an attachment. People tend to grow on you over time, so this course of action was an odd choice for me, because it obviously counteracted what they were trying to do.
  • The big final plan (which I won’t go into detail about) was reckless, could have backfired so badly and was purely based on a hunch. Never mind that we don’t fully understand what happened or why it was necessary exactly, but it seemed to be a cure all.

Finally, this may not have been everything I’d hoped it would be, but the writing was beautiful, especially when it came to the weather and plant life. I also really liked the little quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They were a nice touch and I don’t want to reveal anything, but loved how it came full circle in the final chapters. Something about them worked so well as affirmations, you didn’t even have to be a witch to feel like they could be helpful to you as well.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Very interesting concept and quick read, although it didn’t live up to my expectations!


Do you plan to read The Nature of Witches? What is your take on contemporary magical stories? Let’s talk!

Doctor Who: Hell Bent

What a loaded Season 9 Finale of Doctor Who! Hell Bent definitely wasn’t the way I thought it would be, but with this show surprises can definitely be something good. Spoilers are coming your way!

hell bent

What was it about?

The Doctor uses his status as a war hero on Gallifrey to get back his beloved Clara. He is willing to tear apart time itself apparently, but his realisation about the hybrid and his best friend leads with them having to part ways anyways. 

My thoughts?

I know I say this almost every week, but I seriously don’t know where to start! I enjoyed last week (although not as much as some of you guys), but I definitely didn’t see this continuation of Heaven Sent coming! At the same time, this is exactly what I wanted. I didn’t think that Clara deserved such a short and uneventful death like the one in Face the Raven. She was and still is important to me and I wanted her to get a spectacular exit – Hell Bent gave her that and so much more! In the end she became what she was heading towards the entire time – immortal, running away with a TARDIS and possibly even her very own companion – basically the Doctor. I am sure that many won’t agree, but to me, that was really the perfect ending for her. And like with River, there is a slight possibility of Clara and the Doctor crossing paths again. I LOVE IT!

I think what got to me the most though, was that this was almost like a reversed Donna-scenario. When I realised that Twelve didn’t recognise Clara, I was heartbroken for her! Imagine your best friend not knowing who you are anymore … it’s really quite sad, especially since he was so convinced that he would recognise her. In the past I’ve complained about the excessive use of Twelve and his electric guitar, but wow, I am so glad he played Clara’s theme, that put some more cracks into my heart. Anyway, I am still wondering what exactly Clara told the Doctor in the Cloisters …

We haven’t had an episode on Gallifrey for a long time and they didn’t shy away from including some popular monsters as well. I almost wish they’d made it more Gallifreyian centered though, because it’s such a great setting for all kind of stories. However, aside from that I loved seeing all the other Time Lords and Ladies and how they idolise and fear the Doctor. Then again, I couldn’t believe some of the changes he had went through in those 4.5 billion years (still can’t believe it was that long!). He wasn’t really the Doctor anymore, I mean for crying out loud, he shot someone (even if he knew that he still had a regeneration left). It’s kind of frightening to think what all the Doctor would do for Clara. Which brings me to my next point!

The hybrid was Clara and the Doctor in the end? Did I get that correctly? Was that what was happening? Because after the last episode it was pointed out to me that “me” could have been the Doctor or Ashildr, which I was apparently way too tired to really notice. Many would have liked to see Ashildr become the Doctor’s new companion (I wasn’t one of them), but she ruined her chances of that. However, it was fitting that they met at the end of time and I am  now sort of hoping that she’s Clara’s new travel companion, taking the long route to Gallifrey.

Now, last but not least – THE SONIC SCREWDRIVER IS BACK! And it’s a glorious and fantastic looking one that I would love to add to my own collection!

I am sure I once again missed a ton of references to pre-2005 Whovian episodes, so if you wish to share some of your observations in the comments, be my guest! Also, sorry if I went on a tangent every now and then … it’s late. Other than that, I can only finish with being really excited for the Christmas Special. River was always one of my favourite characters!

Doctor Who: Heaven Sent

So, this is it! Heaven Sent was the first part of the Series 9 Finale of Doctor Who. My thoughts are still a little scrambled, but let’s try and tackle this anyway. As always, Spoilers are ahead! Please don’t read it if you haven’t watched the episode yet.

heaven sent

What was it about?

The Doctor arrives in his very own torture castle with projections from his memories and bad dreams. Not finding a way out, he is forced to relive the same scenarios 2 billion years until he can create a passage out of his personal nightmare, having to make some confessions on the way. He eventually ends up on Gallifrey and is hell bent on making the people pay who were responsible for Clara’s death and his entrapment. 

My thoughts?

I don’t think I have as much to say this week as I may have had in previous posts. I was originally very excited to have a Doctor-centered episode and I am not sure what I was expecting, but it didn’t quite hit home with me. I get the slow storytelling, but the first half of Heaven Sent was just a little boring to me nonetheless. I was hoping for more emotion, more devastation on the Doctor’s part, but somehow I didn’t really get that. I know that Twelve isn’t the type of person to dissolve in tears and he obviously had the tiny issue of needing to survive somehow, but there were only few moments where I really felt his pain (hint: it was Clara’s actual cameo). Maybe it’s just me, but a lot of the time Twelve is a little too composed for me, even when he is supposedly scared for his life.

Also, whatever was “chasing” him through the castle simply didn’t scare me. If anything, the sound of flies just annoyed me. I hate it so much! Most of it was cleverly done though, I am just wondering why room 12 is the only one not resetting itself like the other rooms. In addition to that, I have to say that I feel quite proud because I mentioned to a friend that I think the castle is like a real life confession dial and then lo and behold it turned out to be the confession dial. I got something right!!! I still can’t believe he hit a material seven times thicker than diamond for two billion years. He couldn’t remember it all, which is helpful I guess, but still … that’s such a long time. A great mind-blowing cycle though!

I realise now that I’ve made it all sound very bad, which it wasn’t. I’m just saying that it could have been better. The second half of the episode was more intriguing to me because it picked up in pace and the puzzle pieces started to put themselves together. The final confession of the Doctor, the one that he is the Hybrid, startled me though. Just like how? He’s clearly part Time Lord but what other master race is he made of? You can’t be a hybrid without being made of different components. (And yes I know about what the 8th Doctor said … are they seriously picking that up again?)

I’m really looking forward to next week’s conclusion. What did you think of Heaven Sent? Did it resonate with you or was it another miss of the season?

Doctor Who: Face the Raven

So, as I’ve mentioned in my previous post about the VIECC, I was a little busy this weekend, which is also the reason why I haven’t written about Doctor Who‘s Face the Raven yet. Well, that and that I had difficulties finding the right words … Spoilers ahead!!!

face the raven

What was it about?

Rigsy calls the TARDIS because he has a mysterious tattoo at the back of neck that’s counting down. He can’t remember what happened, but with the help of the Doctor and Clara, they discover that he stumbled upon a secret street amidst London. It is full with aliens looking for refuge and Ashildr is their mayor, who think that Rigsy killed one of their own – the numbers on his neck are the countdown to his death. Clara convinces him to give the death sentence to her, but it turn out everything was just a trick to catch the Doctor and now the death can’t be taken back. It’s the end of Clara Oswald and by the end the Doctor gets teleported to his own personal prison world.

My thoughts?

So, how do I do this? I know people’s feelings about Clara were mixed and it definitely was time for her to go. I won’t argue with that, but I loved her and her ending was just lacking something for me. Her growing recklessness had to end in something bad at some point, I am well aware of that, but her death was just stupid and useless. In a way, her end was a lot more finite and a whole lot darker than the one of Amy, Rose or Donna. They all got to live their lives happily ever after, they just weren’t with the Doctor anymore. Here it’s sort of the other way around.

All in all, I did somehow enjoy the episode. There were quite a lot of really good one-liners, but Capaldi‘s Doctor scares me sometimes. He’s just not acting like the Doctor anymore. Remember back in the day when you called upon him to fix things, these days barely anyone survives the episodes, except for Clara … that is until now of course. He really went mental on Ashildr and I get it, but saying “The Doctor is no longer here, you are stuck with me.” made me kind of sad. That was probably also why Clara’s last speech was the way it was, saying that he shouldn’t be a warrior and not take a revenge after she’s gone. The goodbye scene was really what got to me. Clara made it all about him, about wanting to help him get through this but not being able to. As much as I’ve struggled with their dynamic sometimes, they worked so great together this season.

I also really enjoyed Rigsy in this episode. I didn’t expect him to have a family of his own by now. He was sort of this innocent bystander who got mixed up in the Doctor’s business without really knowing why, but in the end his memorial for Clara was truly beautiful. I hope he won’t feel guilty though, I don’t think anyone could have stopped her really.

tardis

After the episode I ended up watching the saddest Doctor Who scenes on YouTube and continued to sob until I finally fell asleep. It showed to me that a lot of other departures were sadder than this one. Maybe it’s because her story isn’t actually all that over? She is supposed to appear again in the finale and I am hopeful that it will give me more closure. I know that many of you won’t miss Clara at all, but I will. I think she was an important companion, even if there were highs and lows with her. However, I am also looking forward to whoever will become companion next. Can everybody please just stop saying it’s Maisie Williams? Because that makes no sense whatsoever, especially not after Face the Raven. I am still no sure how I feel about her character on the show, but I just hope the new companion someone entirely new!

What’s your take on the episode? Did you like how Clara excited the show? Are you glad she is gone?

Doctor Who: Sleep No More

Okay, I like Mark Gatiss, I really do! But what was he thinking, writing this episode? As you can probably guess by now, I am fairly confused about Doctor Who‘s Sleep No More, but let’s just dive into the review. Spoilers ahead!!!

sleepnomore

What was it about?

Told via found footage, the Doctor and Clara have to face creatures called the Sandmen. They came to life after people started using Morpheus machines, which prevent them from sleeping. In the end, the Doctor and Clara can escape, but the Sandmen may have spread across the universe anyway.

My thoughts?

I know that I have written better summaries for episodes, but I am still struggling with what I have actually seen tonight. To begin with, I am not a huge fan of the shaky-camera/found-footage trope, however, if done well, it can be quite cool. I am not sure Doctor Who handled it all that brilliantly though, because from the beginning you knew something was off. The POV’s just didn’t fit at all! (at least the Doctor caught on to that as well)

The crew was a fairly standard mix of leader, goofball and grumpy-guy. The Sandmen as monsters were a little scary, but not as great as e.g. the ghosts in the first couple of episodes. Sometimes, when the light hit them just right and you could see their gaping hole of a mouth that could swallow you whole, yes, that looked freaky. But other times, they just looked a little too clumsy and heavy to really frighten me, especially considering that they are blind. The only time I was really freaked out, was during the last scene. The Doctor and Clara had gotten away in their TARDIS and everything just felt incomplete. Something still wasn’t right, the Doctor even remarked on it and then the self-recorded message of Rassmussen continued to play. He looked the part of psychotic scientist, but Rassmussen didn’t exactly sweep me off my feet until the finale of the episode, when he crumbled to dust/sand in front of us.

That scene is also what I have the most issues with. Did the bad guy just win? Was the message sent to the entire solar system and do I know have to be scared of the sleep dust in my eyes? Sleep No More was the first stand-alone episode this season and it ended with worst of a cliffhanger than some of the other episodes. I get that Doctor Who has to remain an aura of mystery around itself, but I can honestly tell you that I did not like that at all. I don’t want this to be resolved or picked up again in two seasons-time. I was excited to finally get a stand-alone episode and I wondered if they were going to be able to keep up the fantastic work of the two-parters, but I have to say I was fairly disappointed.

Last but not least, Clara has been infected and the process has begun. Did we all just forget about that? Will that be her ultimate demise or just another plot hole in the show? Or wasn’t she infected after all, since it was the broadcast message and not the pods? Why were there cameras from her POV then? I obviously don’t know the answers to any of this, but somehow I feel really unsatisfied with what I got from Doctor Who tonight.

So, as freaked out and confused as I was about Sleep No More, I am now kind of looking forward to Face the Raven as it is the return of Rigsy. Even though I don’t want him to become the new companion, I’d like to see how he’s doing and how the Doctor will hopefully prevent his death. Until next time! Gimme your thoughts on Sleep No More!

Doctor Who: The Zygon Inversion

Although the title may seem very similar to last week’s episode, it is indeed a new one. The Zygon Inversion is the conclusion to the Zygon Invasion, so let’s do this! Spoilers ahead!!

inversion

What was it about?

The Doctor could escape Zygilla’s (=faux Clara) attempt of assassination and the real Clara is seemingly also still alive, but trapped in her own mind while being in the Zygon Pot. Through some clever (mind) tricks involving the Osgood box, or rather boxes, ceasefire between humanity and the Zygons could ultimately be restored again.

My thoughts?

I was really worried that the Zygon Inversion wouldn’t hold up to it’s predecessor episode, but all the fretting was for naught. Twelve and Osgood escaping the airplane crash actually made sense, Clara fighting her “evil” counterpart was extremely well done and Capaldi finally got to make a speech that will keep you thinking for a while.

That was actually my favourite part of the episode – Twelve trying to get through to Kate and Zygilla/Bonnie. I’m not sure if my brain fails me or if Capaldi really hasn’t had the chance of performing a great monologue, but I feel like his previous dialogue was a lot more clunky. This one was very Matt Smith-esque though and even reminded me in parts of his speech in The Rings of Akathen. I also liked it when Twelve mentioned that it was the 15th time that he wiped Kate’s memory because of the boxes. There’s just no way around it, there are always consequences to a war and the Doctor pointing out that it can only end with the parties sitting down to talk and that being something they should have done from the beginning melted my heart, because there is so much truth it that. Another lesson of how important communication is.

For a moment there, I was really confused about the two Osgoods. I am happy though that they are likely to appear in the future. However, I don’t want them or one of them to become a companion. Somehow I don’t think it would work with Osgood being such a fangirl in the TARDIS.

Last but not least, was the scene at the end another ominous reference to Clara’s dooming fate? Only time can tell and I’ll let the Doctor be the judge of that.

Next episode will mark the first standalone this season, so I am fairly excited to see if they are able to create a great arc for just one episode. Any thoughts you would like to share?

Doctor Who: The Zygon Invasion

A little late this time around, but the NaNoWriMo kick-off and generally getting ready for Halloween prevented me from watching Doctor Who live. However, I finally had time to watch The Zygon Invasion and am now ready to talk about it. Spoilers ahead!!!

zygon

What was it about?

We are back on the Day of the Doctor. Osgood and her Zygon counterpart explain how the peace treaty works, Zygons living peacefully among humans, in human form. But there is a splinter group of rebels that no longer wants to hide their true self. They kidnap the Osgood who is still alive and blackmail/threaten UNIT. The Doctor is of course already on the way to help, but little does he know how far the invasion has already progressed and that this time around he can’t count on his beloved companion, Clara.

TO BE CONTINUED …

My thoughts?

I loved this week’s episode, mostly because it felt very current. While the hints aren’t connected to any real life situation per se, there are parallels to the current refugee crisis, the paranoia and fear coming with it and also some references to terror units and drone strikes. I like how Doctor Who can tackle those topics and make them relevant without overdoing it, making you think without actually connecting it to real life events. And I get the Zygon’s point. They want to be themselves. Doesn’t everyone? Just that resorting to emotional blackmail and terrorism isn’t the way to get anywhere.

Another thing I loved, was the fact that Osgood is back. She clearly mourned the loss of her “sister” and I like how they dealt with the story and (after 2 years) finally filled some plot holes. Also, she has a new awesome fashion statement. Her character just feels so genuine, so I’m interested to see what part she will play during the Zygon Inversion. I have to say though that I am not a huge fan of Kate’s part in the story. Besides Doctor Who showing off that they can shoot all over the globe, we don’t learn anything new about the Zygon threat. It’s just supposed to build up tension I guess, but it didn’t do much for me.

While the Doctor’s guitar playing and disco references are getting a bit on my nerves by now, I keep liking Clara better each episode. I thought she was brilliant and her Zygon version was really awesome too. You just knew that something had to be up with her, that she wouldn’t just leave a child screaming behind with some strange people. But for some reason I didn’t think she was a Zygon until we saw the pods. Also, I get more and more curious as to how she’ll be leaving the show.

All in all, I am excited about next week! What did you think? Like or loathe or no opinion at all?

Doctor Who: The Witch’s Familiar

Tonight we got to see the continuation of last week’s Doctor Who episode “The Magician’s Apprentice” which was called “The Witch’s Familiar“. As always, beware of Spoilers from this point onwards!!!

Can I just say one thing up front? I WILL NOT ACCEPT SUNGLASSES INSTEAD OF A SONIC SCREWDRIVER! NOT EVER! Puh, now that that is out of the way, I can continue.

What was it about?

The Doctor may be without friends, without the TARDIS and without his Sonic Screwdriver, but he can still manage to stay alive surrounded by who knows how many Daleks. He has an “honest” heart to heart with Davros, while really they just keep deceiving each other (seriously – who can think that far ahead except for the Doctor?). Meanwhile Clara and Missy of course aren’t dead, neither is the TARDIS lost forever. Everything ends with the Daleks basically destroying themselves. 

My thoughts?

Sorry for keeping the summary a bit short, but I am guessing you watched it already anyway and I wanted it to be more succinct than last week.

I thought we would jump in right where we left of, but instead that particular scene with young Davros is kept for the very end. I liked the Witch’s Familiar a bit better than the Magician’s Apprentice. It felt more focused and had some really nice surprises in there. The thing is, Moffat had to come up with some freaking good reasons as to how things could revert from the dire state of last episode and I am glad he took some time to explain. I thought the Clara and Missy teleporting-story was quite alright and the TARDIS was always capable of relocating itself I guess, so it made sense.

What I probably liked most about the episode was a more vulnerable and partially funny Davros. Even if it was only fake, it was still interesting to see him pose all those questions. In fact very similar questions to the ones the Doctor asked himself last season aka “Am I a good man?”. Also, pushing him about why he left Gallifrey in the first place and the constant references to the Doctor being the one constantly on the run made me curious.

I personally didn’t enjoy the Clara-Missy team-up very much; they have terrible chemistry – which could have something to do with the fact that Missy keeps trying to kill Clara. However, I did like the translation from human to Dalek. It was so interesting to see how their brains work and made me wonder if sometimes they have to say things they don’t actually mean. As for the end and the whole mercy-business though, I thought that was strange. Why was the Doctor so surprised that the Dalek knew the word “mercy”? They’ve used it before (watch proof by clicking here), maybe not in the same context but they have used it.

It felt like this time around the focus was more balanced between showing the Doctor and his companion(s). The story could have used some more depth every now and then (e.g. I was a bit confused about the Colony of Sarff’s role), but I think it was a satisfying conclusion. Now, if only we could keep exploring Twelve’s motives some more in the future. On a completely different note, I am assuming that the titles of the two episodes were referring to the Doctor being seen as a magician or witch, but beyond that I have no idea what their connection was to the actual content of the episodes. If you do have more insight on that than me, please enlighten me!

When it comes to the rest of this season, I am looking forward to finding out what’s in the confession dial. What about you? Thoughts on any of this?

Doctor Who: The Magician’s Apprentice

Season 9 of Doctor Who has finally started with the first episode of a 2-arc story titled “The Magicians’ Apprentice“. Doctor Who is one of the few shows where I review and recap each single episode. So SPOILERS!!! If you haven’t watched the episode yet, proceed with caution!

dws9

So, after finishing the episode, my first thought was “What the heck did I just watch?”. As a fair warning here, I don’t give myself a lot of processing time after an episode, I just jump right into writing the review. Sometimes I’ll even have changed my opinion a little by the time I get up the next morning. However, this way you definitely get my uncensored and unfiltered first thoughts.

What was the episode about?

War wherever you look, in the middle of it a child. Creepy handmines (mines made out of hands with eyes that grab you and suck you into the earth) have trapped said child in the middle of nowhere. He is crying for help and lo and behold who shows up: The Doctor. He asks the child for his name, who is the boy that won’t die today? Davros. (Yeah, I didn’t see that coming either)
Meanwhile in the presence: The Doctor is in hiding, no one knows where to find him. There is a mysterious guy made of snakes looking for him. Clara is off teaching when suddenly every plane on the planet is frozen in the air and she rushes off to help UNIT solve the mystery. Turns out Missy isn’t dead but needed Clara’s attention because she received the Doctor’s confession dial (a sort of last will that gets delivered to his best friend shortly before his death, but doesn’t open until he is dead). Missy and Clara team up to find the Doctor partying in the 12th century and all of him is invited. But he can no longer escape snake-guy, who’s employer is Davros.
“Davros knows, Davros remembers.”
They head off to meet with him, but it turns out it was all a trap so that the Daleks could get to the TARDIS. The Doctor, Clara and Missy are all brought to Skaro where Twelve finally has to face Davros. Meanwhile Clara and Missy go exploring and find out about the Daleks having the TARDIS. They exterminate Clara and Missy.
The Doctor travels back in time to young and deserted Davros to kill him in order to save his friends.
TO BE CONTINUED … 

My thoughts?

Unfortunately, I didn’t love it. In fact, I have very mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, some of the dialogue was really great and funny. I am definitely going to try and use the “Pardon my sci fi.”-remark sometime soon in the future. Also, it had a handful of references, which I probably didn’t catch in their entirety, because I am still not as familiar with the original episodes as I should be, but that were still awesome. It was fast-paced and definitely not a soft opener. They did have my attention the moment the kid said his name was Davros.

On the other hand, this felt like a very lengthy prequel. (Which I know, it kind of was with being the first part of a 2-episode storyline …) Still, it felt strange. Twelve was basically missing the first half of the episode, even though I was hoping he’d be more front and center this time around. Clara clearly had no lingering grief for Danny and was just living her life as a teacher and UNIT agent (and apparently she’s bi now?). Missy isn’t dead, even though it is not explained how she survived. Yet everyone was basically dead and the TARDIS destroyed by the end of the episode. And the Doctor was about to do something that would change history forever. But Davros is in the next episode, so he couldn’t have killed him … I mean, he wouldn’t shoot a child in the face, would he? This was just confusing to no end.

So, as I said, I didn’t like it that much. I didn’t hate it either though. I think it much depends on how they’re going to round it all up in “The Witch’s Familiar” next week. There better be a VERY GOOD explanation as to how everyone survives and the TARDIS gets restored. Maybe Davros wants the Doctor to take over his place and become leader of the Daleks? Nah, probably not. He maybe wants to turn him into a Dalek as well though. I don’t know, that’s just sort of what I gathered from the promo below. What was your impression of the start of Series 9?

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.