Doctor Who Review: Series 8 - Episode 4 - Listen
NOTE: The following review contains spoilers for "Listen".
Poster copyright RadioTimes and Stuart Manning.
This episode sees us find out a little more about Danny Pink (in a slightly round about way) as he and Clara embark on their first date. However, being Doctor Who, it doesn't go well, the Doctor turns up with the notion that everybody has the same dream of the hand grabbing your ankle from underneath the bed. Clara replies that she has had that dream, so the Doctor decides to use the telepathic circuit in the TARDIS to travel to the moment when she had that dream. However, Clara gets distracted and (somehow) they travel to the moment when Danny has the dream.
Wow. What a wonderful, remarkable episode. I think the first 90% was pure genius and some of the best Doctor Who of the new series (ie. since 2005). Then, sadly, it ruined itself in the last 10%. Why did there have to be a connection to the barn from the Day Of The Doctor? Why was it all in the Doctor's imagination? How come there was something in Rupert Pink's bed (that may just have been one of his friends, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense). These questions were the only downfalls I could see in an otherwise almost perfect episode, reminiscent of the stories penned by Moffat back when the 9th and 10th Doctor's were at the helm of the TARDIS.
It was terrifying (something that Doctor Who rarely does any more), it was properly scary at some points. The moment where the whatever-it-was was on top of the bed when Clara and Rupert were underneath took me by surprise (even though I was sort of expecting something like that to happen). But, not only was it scary - it was funny as well. The banter between the Doctor and Clara continues, with the Doctor continuing his pokes at the way Clara looks. Also - like last week - there was no mention of Missy in this episode. Which is fantastic, but also makes me really wish we'd just had a series of great episodes, with no arc going across the top. Wouldn't that be great? Just 12 episodes of The Doctor and Clara getting to know each other again, as Clara tries to cope with two lives going on at once. Sure, it's been done so many times before it's almost a cliché now, but a load of fun, scary, funny episodes is just what the Doctor ordered (pun very much intended).
Also, as I said on Twitter to the Director last night, after the episode, the Direction in Listen was genius, perfection. I'm racking my brain trying to think of any little thing that wasn't spot on and I just can't. I'm really looking forward to next Saturday after that spectacle.