Episode 4 – LISTEN

Right from the off, this was an atmospheric and spooky masterpiece. Steven Moffat’s head must be a wonderful place. He’s invented the Weeping Angels, Vashta Nerada and Gas Mask people, but this episode tops anything dark or mysterious he’d ever previously attempted. The concept that there was a species that had mastered the art of defence and could hide from sight perfectly was terrifying. I loved seeing the Doctor procrastinate alone, going through creatures that could hunt, creatures that could defend themselves, and then coming to the possible conclusion, if evolution had produced species that could master these skills, what it their was a species whose skill was to hide. The Doctor’s delight at dealing with the creepy and unknown throughout the episode was also great to watch. When the Doctor and Clara went back in Danny’s timeline and met his younger self, then named Rupert, we were treated to one of the most gripping and hair-raising scenes in the modern era. Initially Clara and Rupert were under the bed to prove there wasn’t anything there, but then something got on to the bed. As they emerged, the Doctor persuaded them to turn their backs on the mysterious life form and told it to leave in peace and promised not to look at it. It was a scene that didn’t let up for one second and I didn’t have a clue what was going to happen next. The episode then continued at the end of the universe where the Doctor was convinced these creatures must surely emerge now all other life had died. Again, the intensity was ramped up as the Doctor demanded Clara go into the TARDIS so he could face the species alone. But once again we never actually got a look at any sort of monster. Moffat eventually left it to the viewer to decide if there is a species that’s mastered being unseen. This is a stroke of genius as he stoked the fire but didn’t really prove anything. Was it a kid playing a prank on Rupert’s bed or was it a monster? Was it debri that hit the Doctor at the end of the universe, or was it a monster? And to top off an already stunning episode, we got a glimpse of the Doctor’s childhood on Gallifrey. When he had the dream that was part of his theory, it was in fact Clara who grabbed his ankle as he got up from bed. It was a very clever way to resolve a flawless story. It’s thought-provoking, chilling and exciting, everything Doctor Who should be. 10/10

Episode 5 – TIME HEIST

Any story that follows such a perfect episode would struggle to live up to the hype of fans who are expecting more of the same. Look at The Long Game after Dalek and Curse of the Black Spot after the stunning two part opener to series six. Time Heist is actually quite enjoyable, although it’s not one of the best series eight stories. The whole concept that the Doctor was the architect and he’d set the whole thing up so it was easy for his future self to rob the bank was quite clever. Psi and Saibra we well written and likeable side characters too. There were just a few scenes that slowed the episode down. The Teller was a very cleverly thought of villain who was designed excellently too. On the whole though, the Teller was underused. We could’ve seen more of it chasing the Doctor and co. through the bank, and some more scenes where he turned his victim’s brains to “soup” would’ve been good too. I liked the idea that the Doctor gave Ms Delphox his phone number at the end of the heist, and later in life she called him earlier on in his timeline to actually carry the heist out. Rescuing the Teller’s partner and freeing them was a fitting resolution to an enjoyable story. Mrs Delphox was quite a generic female villain, similar to Mrs Foster and Madam Kovarian. It’s a good episode, but I could’ve been much better. 7/10

Episode 6 – THE CARETAKER

This could’ve been brilliant but it was spoiled by Danny’s involvement in the story. I’m going to be harsh, I don’t know why Danny Pink was needed in series eight. He made absolutely no difference to the overall plot of the series. Throughout this episode, he and Clara’s romantic escapades took away from what should’ve been a fun and enjoyable episode where the Doctor had to integrate into the school. We were shown far too many scenes of Clara trying balance her life between the Doctor and Danny rather than what could have and should have been golden moments of the Doctor being the caretaker. I think we were actually meant to like Danny too, I think his role was meant to reflect how us as viewers would react if we found out someone close to us had been travelling through time and space with an alien. So why did Danny act so arrogantly and rudely when he met the Doctor? It put me right off of his character, and the Doctor wasn’t reflected very well either from their altercations. To top it off, the episode was resolved by Danny performing a quite ridiculous somersault to buy the Doctor more time before his gadget worked. It was an ending that wasn’t in keeping with the rest of the episode. The Skovox Blitzer could’ve also been brilliant, but because so much was focussed on Danny and Clara, we only saw it kill one policeman. The invisibility watch the Doctor used was another feature I didn’t like. I don’t like such extravagant utilities being introduced so late in the show’s timeline and only used once. All it does is make you think why on earth such a useful device has only been used once and so fleetingly? One thing I did enjoy about the episode was the twelfth Doctor assuming Clara was dating an eleventh Doctor lookalike, that was a well written and humourous sequence. Other than that though, this is an episode that’s completely overshadowed by Danny. 4/10

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