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.

Deep Breath(s): The Doctor Is Back!

Okay, first off, imagine me doing my best River Song impression: Spoilers! I will not be held responsible if you read on and get spoiled for Doctor Who‘s first episode “Deep Breath” of Series 8!

I went into this episode feeling a lot like Clara. I conciously knew that the Doctor had regenerated, but he also changed (meaning not just his face) and I didn’t know what that meant for me. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Peter Capaldi. Matt Smith was my first Doctor, and therefore always had a special place in my heart, but now there was this new man. A man who is the Doctor, although he doesn’t yet look like it because I still had this very different image of him in my head. After watching the Time of the Doctor, I knew that Matt, my beloved Eleven, was gone, but somehow it didn’t actually hit me until Deep Breath what that meant. I can’t believe it still fazes me so much when the Doctor regenerates and I will embarrassingly admit that I cried multiple times during Deep Breath. By the end of the episode though, it was settled – Capaldi is the Doctor. He is still the great man/alien we all know and he’s going to take us on some mindblowing and brilliant adventures in space and time. All of this isn’t just new for us, it’s new for him too. I cannot wait for the rest of Series 8 and the everything that follows!

But let’s get more specific concerning Deep Breath! Here are my thoughts about the episode:

  • Amongst my friends, I am the only one who likes Clara. I don’t have to have the same opinion as everyone else, so that is totally fine with me, but I think she is a brilliant companion and I loved her in this episode. I just think that it is so easy to relate to her. Just like I was heartbroken when the Doctor left her behind in the Time of the Doctor, I could totally understand her reservations towards his new appearance and character.
  • The Paternoster Gang is back! You just have to love Madame Vastra, Strax and Jenny. I think they were a great addition to the show and I always like the dynamic they bring to the episodes. Sometimes they bring great comic relief and other times they ground us and remind us who the Doctor really is.
  • The droids/humanoids/robots from The Girl in the Fireplace were back. I didn’t care so much about the robots or whatever they are, but the Girl in the Fireplace was one of my all time favourite episodes. Just the reference to it made me happy.
  • I know it’s silly, but I tried holding my breath whenever the characters did during the episode. That was insanely long! I couldn’t stand doing it even for half of the time they did. Maybe I should practice holding my breath, just in case I run into some crazy humanoids who want my body parts.
  • Who is Missy (played by Michelle Gomez)? And why on earth does she call the Doctor her boyfriend? Colour me surprised and definitely intrigued!
  • The girl from the shop, who gave Clara the Doctor’s phone number, was mentioned again. Is she behind the advert in the newspaper that brought Clara and the Doctor back together? Is the girl the mysterious Missy from the point above? I’m glad they are diving into that matter! Who wants the Doctor and Clara to stick together? I so want to know!
  • The Doctor-Clara dynamic is of course different than it was between Eleven and Clara, but I think it is still great. Their bickering and teasing each other is hilarious to watch. I am looking forward to them getting to know each other all over again.
  • One of my favourite parts of the episode was Matt’s/Eleven’s phone call! What a fantastic idea to give Clara closure and at the same time give her reason to stick with the Doctor. It was heartbreaking to see Twelve struggle with Clara’s attitude. Wanting her back as his friend and his companion and her finally realising that Twelve is still her Doctor – I loved that scene from start to finish!
  • So, this is the last point and it’s about Twelve’s new face. Apparently, there is a reason he chose to go with that face. He still can’t remember where he knows it from, but I hope there will be more hints as to why he got the face he has now throughout the season.

What did you think of the first episode of Series 8? Do you like Capaldi as the new Doctor? I sure do!