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Listen - First Response | www.ed-rex.com


Listen - First Response

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Blogging Doctor Who, New Series 8

 

 

Listen (take one)

Image: Clara and the Doctor with blackboard on which is written the word, LISTEN. Screenshot from 'Listen'.Clara, the Doctor and Slate - will the chalk tell all, some or nothing? Screenshot from 'Listen'. Doctor Who Copyright © 2014 BBC.

I made no notes while I watched "Listen" the first time round. Not sure if that was a sign of good or of bad things.

I definitely enjoyed it, definitely want to watch it again.

"Listen" is drenched in atmosphere, which is augmented by its tiny speaking cast. The Doctor, Clara, Danny and Orson Pink (played by the same actor) and a couple of child actors.

Steven Moffat brings us back to one of his favourite motifs, making strange and terrible the stuff of everyday life — think gas masks (okay, not really "everyday life", but nevermind), think shadows, think statues. This time, it's the dark, and ... something under the bed ...

It sounds silly when I type it out, but it gave me the shivers as I watched, and might have had me hiding behind the proverbial sofa when I was small.

And further, it had some clever time play (yes, another favourite Moffat trope), Jenna Coleman stretching her thespian wings and a visit to a moment in the Doctor's life we've never been privilege to have before (so far as I know). And also, some awkward flirting between Clara and Danny Pink that, while exaggerated, still rang true.

All in all, a compelling episode. At first glance.

But I feel uneasy, as if the confection will shatter upon re-view like some snow-castle in a spring morning's sun.

Whence came the Doctor's sudden obsession with the universal dream of something under the bed? Why drag Clara into it and out of her date? He's got a time-machine, for god-sakes! Couldn't he wait 'till morning (or afternoon) to go get her? And was there something under the bed (besides you-know-who) or not? Do we have something to fear, or not?

I dunno. A lot of questions, not so many answers. And a track-record that, in recent years, doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.

No judgement, yet. I liked what I saw, but distrusted it, and so feel compelled to post this note, like some over-worked, sleep-deprived obsessive. Am I about to forgive Mr. Moffat his many transgressions, or add another charge to his long list of crimes against Time and Space?

Come back tomorrow (I hope) for my answer ...

Spread the word!

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I am just so happy right

I am just so happy right now.

I'll be blunt—I'll watch DW when it's total shit. Shit DW is still better than most things. But when it's actually good, scary and entertaining and with mood and atmosphere and good acting, it fills me with utter glee.

It has to be a big deal that they were able to land on Gallifrey, right? It can't just be a massive plot hole.

Re: I am just so happy right

I think you might do well to avoid my follow-up. I've just watched it a second time and I'm much less pleased than I was last night.

Fucking Steven Moffat just doesn't get science fiction! To him, it's no different from fantasy. And to him, fantasy means that nothing matters from one episode to the next, that death isn't real and that, well, nothing matters so long as you can type out another page of cleveryness.

It has to be a big deal that they were able to land on Gallifrey, right? It can't just be a massive plot hole.

No, I don't think it will prove to be a big deal they were able to land on Gallifrey. And if it does, it will only because Moffat will ret-con it to be a big deal at the last minute. The man's middle names are Massive and Plot and Hole.

Well, at least my Moffat anger distracts me from my anger at the creeping fascist take-over of the world ...

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