Sunday, 12 October 2014


Start the Clock!

An episode built around lies? Where do I start? From Clara stepping out of the TARDIS to the Doctor making her again do something she didn't want to - this episode saw an improvement over last week's 'sadistic choice'. That isn't to say this episode didn't have flaws. It does, but it also has some fine moments.

First, if you haven't already, catch up here with DEEP BREATH
Catch up the 2nd episode of the series here with INTO THE DALEK
Catch up the 3rd episode of the series here with ROBOT OF SHERWOOD
Catch up the 4th episode of the series here with LISTEN
Catch up the 5th episode of the series here with TIME HEIST
Catch up the 6th episode of the series here with THE CARETAKER
Catch up the 7th episode of the series here with KILL THE MOON

"My scene ends 12 seconds. Damn!"

Like the clock appearing on the screen every time someone is about to die. I thought the repeated use would get grating, but I sorta got used to it. It also helps that the first victim that dies is a bit of an asshole when you listen to the later dialogue. The mummy advertized as being 'too scary' was alright. I don't get scared by what happens on this show, so 'scary' translates as 'cool' for me. Yes, the design of the mummy was very 'cool' indeed. Kudos. Huge improvement over The Pyramids of Mars.  

"The production team have been watching Galaxy Express 999."

I enjoyed the Orient Express, both the CG effects of the train snaking through space, as well as the 1920s theme going on inside. All felt very Agatha Christie...which is both a lovely homage and makes sense as the title of the episode is just one big pun on one of her most famous novels.

"The number you are trying to call only exists in your head. Please hang up and have a nice day."

Onto the characters, the divide in the fandom over the 12th Doctor continues to grow by the episode, yet I still find myself enjoying the hell out of Peter Capaldi's incarnation. The Doctor boasts that he can take down the mummy in 66 seconds if he could see it - guess how long it takes to do it once he can? I also loved his admittance that he would have sacrificed as many passengers as necessary to beat the Foretold, because sometimes he encounters situations that only have bad choices, but someone still has to make them. This speaks volumes about his personality. He is not as aloof as he lets on. Also, who else wonders if the Doctor was speaking the truth to Clara regarding his off-screen moment of awesome when he saved the entire passenger list of the Orient Express? This is a lot like the situation with the half-faced man. Maybe he just saved Clara and double bluffed her about the others?

"Are we allowed to put me in a dress with this much cleavage. This is BBC One after all."

On the topic on Clara, I have several thoughts, so I'll just number them for you: 1) Foreshadowing an impossible choice in episode 6, making the choice in episode 7 and leaving in the same episode only to return in episode 8 really makes it feel like this series has no sense of actual pace. We get the whole 'I was mad at you for weeks' bit, but it does kinda take the flavor out of Clara's What the Hell Doctor moment at the end of last week's episode. 2) I was really hoping for a Clara-light episode. 3) I got a somewhat Clara-light episode as she, apart from lying - didn't actually do much except wear a dress which showed some nice cleavage. 4) Thank the stars Clara gets a major character development trait (not to mention a really realistic flaw) by embracing the concept of lying. In doing so and understanding why the Doctor sometimes has to do what he does, she has gains insight into his side of the story and it kinda looked like she even respects him for what she earlier observed only as his transgressions. 

"Only stand around doing nothing if you are NOT part of the main cast."

This episode was all about lies - both in-universe and out. Foxes was advertized in the press as the episode's joint main guest actor along with Frank Skinner, but her screen-time amounts to less than a minute and it's mostly part of the background. Speaking of the background, with so many clever characters on the train, why is it that only the Doctor, Quell, Perkins and Moorhouse contribute to trying to save them by deducing what the Foretold is? They might as well have been holograms. 

The resolution for defeating the Foretold is a strange one. I at first didn't understand it because the Scottish Doctor was explaining it too fast, but when the Foretold surrendered, I deduced that the mummy/soldier thing could only stop killing the 'enemy' after the enemy surrendered (telling it what he wanted to hear more or less) which makes sense as soldiers aren't supposed to kill those that surrender. Again, the resolution seems very vague and although it might make sense to some, I imagine it'll go over the majority's heads as being a 'they couldn't think of another way to solve the plot' thing.

"Ladies and gentlemen...what not happens in space."

Isn't it odd?
Doctor Who seems to take another jab at science, though not nearly as strong a punch as last week's 'let's f*ck with basic science and physics' theme or as I call it Kill The Moon Science. Thankfully the scene in question only lasts for two seconds and makes no big difference as the intended result would've been the same. The special effects people just seemed to forget that space is not actually cold.

The kitchen staff are shown frozen outside in space, yet "freezing" occurs when heat leaves your body. It can do so via two methods: 1) convection/conduction and 2) radiation. So why isn't space cold? Speaking about the first method, temperature and heat are physical properties of matter, but space is the exact opposite of matter. It is the absence of all matter. This means you cannot touch space because there is nothing to touch in the first place. This means heat loss by convection or conduction cannot happen in space. The second reason is that radiating heat is a slow process, especially if you are in a space suit. Again, this slip can be forgiven as it's more of a production error like making sound in space or the idea that falls into water from moderate heights doesn't cause harm.

Rating this story: 8/10. A mummy in the front, a pack of liars in the back.

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