I’m beginning to think that the Doctor points and laughs at paradoxes.
- Who Wrote Beethoven’s 5th?: Interesting opening, I was wondering how it was going to tie in to the episode. And I did indeed end up googling it.
- What do you say to someone who’s scared?: I find it interesting that Clara suddenly finds herself on the other side of the “everything is going to be okay” conversation. I think she also realizes that the person on the side she’s on at that moment doesn’t believe a word of it.
- The War Minister: Really, Moffat? Really? We’re gonna use the “arc words” thing again to build up the mystery of the season? Get some new material dude.
- It’s Bigger on the Inside: O’Donnell is such a fangirl, and we love her for it.
- Enter the Undertaker: You really have to wonder about a race that enjoys being conquered and oppressed.
- The Fisher King: Not sure if there’s anything to the naming here, except that it’s kind of a cool name to give something, but it’s a nice little Arthurian reference all the same.
- The Doctor Can’t Change the Rules: Oh, come on Doctor! You ignore the rules of time all the time! Your relationship with the rules of time is roughly equivalent to Kirk’s relationship with the Prime Directive. You only acknowledge their existence in passing when it’s convenient for you!
- The Death of O’Donnell: You know, I’m beginning to think that Moffat has a vendetta against fangirls. First Oswald and now O’Donnell. Or maybe there’s some kind of curse on people with “O” names.
- The Doctor wouldn’t save O’Donnell: I know that Bennett is grieving here, and he’s not in the best place mentally, but he does have a point. The Doctor didn’t do all that much to save O’Donnell.
- Trapped in Time: I wonder if the Doctor being time-locked, as it were, has anything to do with the TARDIS not being happy in the last episode.
- Cass’ Question: Has traveling with the Doctor changed Clara? Of course. Traveling with the Doctor changes everyone who’s had the privilege, whether or not it’s for the better depends entirely on the person. I have a feeling Clara may realize that the changes it’s made in her are not really all for the good.
- The Courage of Lunn: Lunn is an interesting guy; I’m fairly sure that he’s just there to translate for Cass, but he turns out to be a pretty brave person.
- I Have no Mouth, But I’m Still Pretty Eloquent: Interesting that they gave the Fisher King such an erudite voice. Especially since he doesn’t have a mouth that would be capable of making those kinds of sounds.
- Where the Fisher King’s Story Ends: Another fine twelve monologue delivered with flair by Peter Capaldi.
- Bad Vibrations: Naturally that’s how Cass would be able to tell that there’s something behind her. Also, props for giving the audience her point of view for that whole sequence.
- Security Protocol Seven One Two: I bet the Doctor thought that making it sound like something an airline stewardess would say was funny.
- The End of the Fisher King: Hmm, so that’s what happened to the other power cell.
- Morning Breath: I figured it out about a minute before the reveal.
- The Doctor’s Sunglasses: Still not entirely sold on those things, but they did prove useful for getting those coordinates out of everyone’s eyes.
- Cass and Lunn: You know, I figured her protectiveness of him had to come from more than just “he’s the only way she can communicate effectively.”
- Back to the Beginning: And there’s how the Bootstrap Paradox ties in. He knew all that because he’d already done it.
Overall I think that this was a pretty satisfying conclusion to this two parter. We got to see a little development for Clara here, I think. And, of course, more arc words. Hooray.
On the other hand, next week we get some vikings and Maisie Williams!
Maybe I was wrong about the ghosts not really being ghosts.
- Taking Risks: Sure, bring the strange craft that you have no idea where it came from into your underwater base, I’m sure nothing will go wrong.
- Moran Came Back…Wrong: Well, that’s going to put a cramp in team dynamics.
- The TARDIS Isn’t Happy: This little sub-plot runs through the whole thing like a strange chord in the background, which helps to keep the tension of the episode nice and high.
- Clara Wants an Adventure: Be careful what you wish for Clara, with the Doctor you just might get it, and then some.
- The Crew in the Cage: I find it interesting that the “ghosts” (and I’m still not entirely convinced that they are, in fact, ghosts) don’t seem to deal well with electro-magnetic energy. Not sure if that’s going to pan out in the conclusion, but it’s interesting none the less.
- O’Donnell the Fangirl: Be honest with yourselves for just a minute. You’d have the same reaction.
- Token Greedy Guy: I kind of like how the Doctor brushes Pritchard off as “an idiot”. You just know he’s going to die.
- They’re Ghosts!: Sorry Doctor, still not buying it. But I do kind of love how he gets all excited about something that he’s never seen before and has no idea what it really is. Also, shoutout to the great Shirley Bassey!
- Cards for Humanity: He needs cards now, not sure what to do with that.
- Cabin in the Woods Thing: Cass, I like you. Not just because you’re awesome representation for the deaf, but also because you’re just awesome in general. I really hope you don’t die.
- Catching a Ghost: I really like the rapid fire teamwork going on here. I also think I know why Lenn didn’t end up joining the ghosts, but more on that in a bit.
- The Dark, The Sword, The Foresaken, The Temple: Way to use your assets Cass! Although, figuring out that those words were coordinates was a bit of a stretch, even for the Doctor.
- Ear Worm: And this is why Lenn wasn’t taken. He never saw the words on the inside of the ship like everyone else did. Thank goodness Cass is really protective of her translator.
- “I want to kiss it to death!”: Classic Doctor right there.
- Speaking of Death: Given that last scene, I think the Doctor might just get his wish.
So not only do we get another two-parter, but we also get another solid set up episode! So far the writing has been much better than last season, and I’m really hoping it will keep going strong.
And next week, we find out how the Doctor is going to evade death…again.
Can my house being gutted right now be a dream too? ‘Cause I’d really like that.
- Up On the Housetop: Was one of the elves driving? ‘Cause if one of them was, they’re a crappy driver.
- Nobody likes the Tangerines: My mom likes tangerines, I don’t however.
- The Dancing is Working: Hell, if it’ll keep your mind of something that it shouldn’t be thinking about, I say dance your heart out sister!
- Telepathic Aliens: Can I just say that I really liked the idea of these monsters. Their introduction is really well done, the exposition is delivered in a way that gives us just enough information to know they’re a threat without giving the whole game away.
- Danny is Dead: Well, that was inevitable.
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Nice entrance there Big Red, little overdone for my liking but nicely done all the same.
- Santa Goes Badass: I liked Nick Frost’s Santa, for a (spoiler alert) dream construct, he’s not gonna put up with any crap.
- A Second Sled: If I didn’t know any better, I’d be saying that Santa is a Time Lord.
- Alien is Offensive: The Doctor’s never seen Alien? You’d think that someone would have shown it to him somewhere along the way.
- Clara’s Dream: Yup, Danny’s there and giving her everything that she wants for Christmas, gotta be a dream.
- Danny and Clara’s Last Christmas: Interesting how even in her dream Danny’s first instinct is to sacrifice himself to save Clara. Even Dream!Danny is still Danny.
- We Are All Dead: I was wondering about that, and (for once) Moffat delivered a satisfying answer.
- All the Touchy-Feely Stuff: The Doctor’s never been good with the touchy-feely stuff.
- Missing the Obvious: And yet again, Moffat doesn’t use a cheap cop-out to explain away something that has been simmering away in the back of the viewers minds. I’m not going to say that Moffat’s writing has turned a corner with this episode, but I like how he’s not taking the easy way out and just hand-waving everything away.
- Who You Gonna Call?: The guy with the sleigh that’s bigger on the inside of course!
- Santa’s Midnight Ride: You know, I really love it when the show leaves the angst on the side and just has some fun.
- Waking up from the Dream: Interesting to see what everyone’s lives are really like. The dream could be a reflection of what they would like to be, instead of what they are.
- 62 Years: The Christmas Cracker, just that damn Christmas Cracker. Ouch.
- Second Chances: So Clara isn’t leaving; okay Moffat, I’m willing to go along with you on this one, just quit with the “Clara is the answer to everything” plot resolutions please.
So that’s another Christmas Special in the bag, now the long wait begins for the next season, let’s hope it will be better than the last one.
All aboard the Feels Rollercoaster!
- Clara is the Doctor, again: This was actually a smart move on Clara’s part, even if it wasn’t entirely clear what she hoped to get out of this gambit, it did buy her time for something to happen.
- Selfies with the Cybermen: If you’re surprised by people taking pictures of those things instead of running for their lives, I’ve got some beachfront property in Arizona you might be interested in.
- U.N.I.T. Surprise: Damn guys, that’s some S.H.I.E.L.D. level sneakiness right there!
- Bowties are cool: You go, Osgood. You go.
- Kate Introduces Herself: Can I just talk about how much we learn about Kate from her little speech? Character Expansion done right, people.
- The Doctor: “Guard the Graveyards!” Clara: *Wakes up in graveyard* Me: …Oops.
- U.N.I.T. is looking a lot like the British version of S.H.I.E.L.D., can we say crossover?
- Clara in the Graveyard: This scene was just plain creepy, and I loved it. More like this please!
- The Brig’s Goal: I really like how Kate keeps a portrait of her dad on the plane, a friendly reminder of how important he is to her.
- Hail to the Chief: Somehow I don’t think that you could get every country on the planet to agree on one President of Earth, even if it is the Doctor.
- It’s Raining Cybermen: Now, this doesn’t really fit with what we’ve seen of the Cybermen, but I think that Missy did some upgrading of her own.
- Danny the Cyberman: This can only end badly.
- The Death of Osgood: Excuse the unladylike language but; fuck you, Missy.
- The Inhibitor: See?! What did I tell you?!
- Missy vs. The Doctor Part 1: Killing Osgood, bad move Missy. Sending Kate out of the airplane, really bad move. Blowing up Belgium, have you ever heard of overkill Missy?
- The Disintegration of Seb: Bye Seb, you won’t be missed.
- The Doctor’s Intervention: Ouch, I knew that was gonna hurt, I just didn’t know how bad.
- Missy vs. the Doctor Part 2: Okay, so Missy’s plan was to build a massive Cyber-army to give to the Doctor so he could use it to save people and worlds that he couldn’t on his own. I know that Missy is nuts, but jeez, this is what she came up with to get him to pay attention to her? Missy, you need some therapy girl.
- Danny Steps Up: Danny you beautiful idiot, you will be missed.
- A Salute for the Brig: Okay this? This is where I teared up. Where else would the Brig be indeed.
- One Trip: This is such a Danny thing, we almost should have seen it coming.
- The Parting of the Ways Redux: The more I think about this ending, the more sense it makes given everything we’ve seen from the these two. Would they lie to each other just to keep the other one from worrying? You bet they would. And given the lies they told, it makes sense that they would see their partnership as over. The lies will come to light eventually, at least I think they will, and when they do there’s going to be a lot of hurt feelings and explanations that are going to need to be made.
- Guess Who’s Coming to Town: If they can have a Robin Hood episode, why can’t Santa show up?
And that’s it ’till the Christmas Special! A mixed season overall, but it did get better at the end.
So that happened!
- Wait, what?! : Not five minutes in, and we’ve already had a major character death. This does not bode well.
- Clara’s Betrayal: Clara, nothing good ever comes from threatening the Doctor. You should know that!
- The Doctor Cares: It would have been really nice to see a bit more of this before now, but it is nice to see that the Doctor really does care about what happens to his companions.
- I’m Exactly What You Deserve: Given what we saw in the previous scene, and what we’ve been seeing this whole series, I’d say that’s true.
- Danny’s Dead: *nods* Yup, that’s about the reaction you’d expect.
- Giving the Doctor Some Attitude: I think that the Doctor is a bit weirded out by Clara’s grief and her betrayal. He’s far more used to her being right there with him and right now she isn’t.
- The Welcome Package: I…have no idea what to do with this. And apparently the Doctor doesn’t either.
- It would be a serious problem if Clara was okay: I’m gonna agree with the Doctor on this one, what with the creepy skeletons in water and the snogging androids and all that.
- Ipads in the Afterlife: I don’t think that Steve Jobs had much to do with the Ipad, but whatever.
- Dark Water: You almost have to wonder what’s in those thanks that you can’t see…
- Clara Will Be Fine: Nothing really interesting to point out here, I just really liked Clara threatening to detach something from the Doctor if he spoke for her again.
- Danny and the kid: Oof, yeah, I can see how that might haunt someone.
- Three words: …damn. If that were true, I would be changing my living will so fast!
- “Be Strong, Even if it Breaks Your Heart”: Uh-oh
- And in case you’ve managed to miss any hints about what’s really going on here, the doors are happy to give you a nice big hint.
- So yes, the Cybermen are back! I’m actually glad about this, I like the Cybermen a villains and it’s nice to see a classic villain getting some love this series.
- Something Only Danny Would Say: Danny would say something that he knows will keep Clara out of danger, and that’s exactly what he did.
- Pesky Emotions: Oh shit…
- Missy is Short For…: CALLED IT!
So yeah, I really liked this episode. It’s a nice, strong first part to a season finale, now let’s just hope that they can keep it up next week.
(High pitched voice): Trees…they are us…*
To save some space on the front page, I’m just gonna put the rest under a “Read More” cut.
So, was last week the start of a trend? Or just a fluke? Let’s find out.
• Good, creepy cold open. I like it.
• Methinks that the Doctor is suspicious of Clara’s insistence that Danny’s cool with her traveling with the Doctor.
• The Readings are Ishy: That can’t be good.
• It’s the Incredible Shrinking TARDIS! With apologies to Richard Matheson.*
• Speaking of shrinking; Clara’s right, the tiny TARDIS is cute.
• A short note on tech here: I really love the way that they’ve been showing more varied kinds of tech in the show lately, not just sonicing everything and calling it a day.
• I’m the Doctor: On the one hand, good for Clara showing initiative like that. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that being the Doctor is a lot harder than it looks.
• An Inconvenient Call: Well, that wasn’t awkward at all!
• The Art and Skill of Lying: Well the Doctor would know, wouldn’t he?
• Taking Charge: Now this I find interesting; Clara is basically acting as an extension of the Doctor, which means that she feels the responsibility that the Doctor must feel for getting everyone out alive. And sometimes that means having to rhetorically smack a bitch. Which explains why the Doctor gets so pissy when people as the age old “Who put you in charge?” question.
• You know, when you start really thinking about the concept of two dimensional aliens, it’s really cool.
• Doing the “Thing”: So clever, you wonder why the Doctor didn’t think of it first.
• Also, the Doctor’s little dance, I can’t be the only one who thought it was kind of cute.
• Somehow I knew that ramming the train into the aliens wouldn’t do anything. So, yeah, Rigsy’s sacrifice wouldn’t have done anything. So, bonus points to Clara for stopping him.
• For some reason, I really like the idea of graffiti saving the world.
• Clara is a good Doctor: Yeah, more on that later.
• I am the Man Who Stops the Monsters: Oh snap, 2D aliens are going down!
• Sometimes the Wrong People Live: Ain’t that the truth.
• Goodness had Nothing to do With It: Here’s the thing, I don’t think that the Doctor likes the idea of anyone having to make the kind of decisions that he has to make all the time. So now imagine that the Doctor has seen his companion having to make those kinds of decisions twice now. The first time was by his own choice, still not sure what that was all about, and this latest time, he had no choice in the matter. Something tells me he’s trying to prepare Clara for something; I’m just not sure what yet. I’m kind of wondering though if this situation isn’t a lot like the Seventh Doctor preparing Ace for whatever he was preparing her for.
• I Chose Well: Oh, hello there “Clara is the answer to everything” sub-plot. I didn’t miss you at all.
This one was rather meh in my eyes. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but not really a stand-out episode either. There was some good character stuff for Clara and the Doctor, and once again the side characters were well done and interesting. But I know Doctor Who can be better than this, and that’s the most frustrating part of this series.
Next week will either feature tigers heavily, or William Blake. Not sure which. Also, more Danny. Five bucks says he finds out that Clara’s been lying to him.