Warning: This blog post contains both personal opinions and especially SPOILERS about the Series 8 episode of Doctor Who “Listen”. Reading beyond this point guarantees that you will encounter information regarding the episode that will ruin any and all of its surprises for you. Spoilers…
This week’s Doctor Who recap is going to be a little different. It’s less of a recap and more of my opinion of how this particular episode fares in comparison to what newcomers to Whovianism (wait, is that a word? Is now.) have come to expect in Doctor Who. There’s been too much talk about how “dark” this episode was not to spend more time talking about that than anything else.
For the record, I watch every episode of Doctor Who twice. Once for myself and once again for blogging purposes. This episode got me both times. I literally have goosebumps on my arms and legs. Terrified? No. Freaked out? Absolutely. This episode was somewhat medium paced. It had it be… for the sake of keeping one’s interest. Too fast and the audience would have been so terribly lost (I admit to being still confused about some things). Too slow and I’d have been asleep at my screen.
I just got chills again simply thinking about this episode. ‘Listen’ was creepy… a much darker, more edgy Doctor Who and I have to admit that I’m loving it. Don’t get me wrong because I adore Matt Smith and I loved his silly, quirky ways. But this Doctor? He’s what dreams and nightmares are made of.
If I am being honest… I am having a very difficult time writing about this episode because it left me with so many questions that I have found writing to be an inconceivable notion. I really liked ‘Listen’ and I look forward to more episodes like it in the future, but these questions have me spinning my wheels…
How long has The Doctor been traveling alone? Maybe he never was. But my question is – why is he traveling alone? This concept of a companion that leaves and goes about her life and returns when he needs her is very foreign to me. I don’t entirely dislike it. I do enjoy the idea that Clara is her own person and she isn’t in this friendship for what The Doctor can give her, but rather for the adventure of spending time together. She genuinely cares about him in a platonic way and it’s nice to see.
Clara can suddenly pilot the TARDIS? This has never been brought up before. It was once stated that a Timelord and only and Timelord could pilot the TARDIS. It was like… an absolution. Yes, I know there have been plenty of other instances of companions doing this but it was less the companion doing the steering and more of an understanding between the companion and the TARDIS that it needed to go somewhere for the sake of The Doctor. Those companions did not control it… the TARDIS controlled itself.
What in all the living hell was on Rupert / Danny’s bed as a child!? The whole episode leaves us with the impression that there is nothing under our bed after all. That creak in the floor, the light banging in the pipes… it’s just fear. But then wtf was on his bed? It creeped me out so much and there’s zero explanation for it.
How are they in Gallifrey? This is my biggest question and forgive me hardcore Whovians who perhaps understand the Whoniverse better than I… but how is that even possible? Okay, fine… I know it’s possible I guess, but it still makes no sense to me. Yes, Gallifrey exists again as of the 50th Anniversary Episode. It’s all out there waiting for The Doctor. That said, crossing his timeline is still a very, very big no-no and perhaps that is why Clara insists he doesn’t look to see where they have been or walk outside of the TARDIS. But if it is that simple for the TARDIS to just go to Gallifrey whenever they feel like it, why doesn’t The Doctor just go there? He spends hundreds of years pining for his home planet. You’d think he’d go there to be with his people and we would see more adventures concerning Gallifrey.
Moffat, I love you… I honestly do. I know there’s a lot of crap talking about you online and maybe a lot of people feel that you aren’t up to being lead writer for Doctor Who… but I believe in you. But as much as I loved so much what this episode offered me in suspense and feelings, I am left somewhat befuddled and it’s made writing this post so difficult for me. Great episode. Just… confusing to the story line in my opinion.
How do you feel about this week’s episode? Are you as confused about any of this as I am?