|The episode's writing is perfectly matched by a dynamic|
direction that uses colour instead of using "cool" washed
It's very difficult to discuss this episode without spoiling it, although seeing as I was spoiled from the outset and liked it anyway might be somewhat telling. The episode goes out of its way to play on the "nothing is scarier" trope of the unseen, the evil hidden in the dark, the thing in the corner of your eye - common Moffat themes/repetitions, except this time the whole thing feels a little half-assed, and more effort is put toward's Moffat's strange blend of attempted character development and using Time Travel to stalk people, this time focussed on Clara's beau Danny Pink, his distance decendant and, for a brief moment at the end of the episode, The Doctor himself. The twist, as lame as it sounds in text form, is that the monster simply doesn't exist. It really all is paranoia, and all of the rational explanations for the various phenomena that they've experienced are the real deal. The villian was fear itself.
Now, I think the episode was most definitely better when I knew the twist all the way through, even if it did lead to some hilarious moments of hindsight where what originally looks like genuine concern becomes hysteric melodrama. I liked the way that the themes and motifs of the episode were self-consistant and actually built up around a fairly (and I say fairly in the most generous sense) realistic set of character interactions. In this vein, it became less about the whole background suspicious evil thing and more about the development of each of those characters - explaining why Danny is a soldier, why The Doctor is afraid of the dark, and giving us hints to Clara's future. As annoyed as I am with the fact that Clara has effectively no control over her future now (she's gonna settle and have kids with Danny, because Moffat's eventual "happy ending" for all female characters is a life of domesticity), the fact that she actually had a consistent characterisation was quite surprising.
|I liked this week but seriously, can we stop stalking our|
companions as kids already? It's weird, Moffat.
While its message and its character focus was a little garbled, I can say that Moffat is making some small progress, and I didn't come away from the episode feeling outrageously offended by anything in particular. The episode's way of building up its threat and then tearing it down for a mixture of fun character moments meant that something was actually different at the end of it, characters got developed, there was CHANGE! And I know that shouldn't be much to ask from TV, but the fact I left this episode smiling has to give me some hope that Doctor Who's redemption is in sight. Even if it's just a star through a telescope.
Next Week: We rob a bank... or do we? It's Time Heist.