Doctor Who – “Listen” Review

Doctor Who - "Listen"Poor Danny Pink. He finally gets a date with the girl that catches his fancy and he bumbles it up. Sure, it isn’t entirely his fault, but the fault of the effects of his time at war. It’s made him neurotic and touchy about certain subjects and the dream goes horrid. Danny is damaged goods. Even though his date with Clara is positively dreadful and swings from high moments to low moments just as quickly, we see that Clara is disappointed rather than annoyed. It seems she wanted the date to go well and the sensitive Danny certainly felt the same way. He just didn’t know what he was getting into with a time traveler. Even when she went back and tried to make things good, things went bad.

The premise of the episode was both fascinating and terrifying. The idea, is why does everyone seem to have the dream of waking up and thinking something is under the bed. Now, maybe I’m buying into the concept fully, but I’ve had that dream before that fear. So being able to watch the episode delve into the topic was interesting. While I’m not fully behind the idea of having a silent traveler with you at all times, I don’t fully get or buy. That said, Doctor Who has made me believe stranger, but I don’t get the connective threads this time.

Doctor Who - "Listen"The Doctor goes off to find a young Clara and what made her so scared in her past, when she first had the dream. That meant Clara was forced to hang around and not join as she’d otherwise encounter herself. (Though many characters have done this, to the point I’m not sure why Clara couldn’t help). But her staying behind allowed her to meet Rupert Pink(actually Danny as Rupert is his real name, but I will continue to distinguish them). and young boy who reminded her of Danny. Clara being the caregiver, did her best to make the boy not scared, until while the two were under the bed, something laid on top. So much for the scary thing being under the bed, in this case it sat eerily under the cover on the bed. The result of what continued was a very well done scene. One in which it was extremely heart pumping as it was tense and creepy. As the figure remained and even approached them it was thrilling.

Finding Orson Pink, a far future version of Danny Pink was then found. it was strange as it seemed a complete detour from The Doctor’s previous goal of figuring out what it was under the bed was immediately uprooted as he wanted to know how the Pinks were connected to Clara. It seemed almost as though The Doctor was jealous of the connection that Clara had with that man. The ties that brought it together with the fear of Rupert of the thing on the bed, with Orson of the fear of outside. It worked well even though the tone had a disparate shift.

With the Doctor knocked out, Clara again got a chance to sow her worth as a companion. Clara crept out alone and encountered a crying child. She wanted to make things good, but managed to make it worse. She grabbed the boy’s ankle who she’d overheard as a potential time lord and scared the life out of the already crying boy. Though she did try to make it better, only to learn that it was Doctor who she both scared and proceeded to comfort.

Doctor Who - "Listen"While, overall I liked the episode, it distinctly felt like it was missing things. For one it felt rather rushed in the revelation of what was happening. it provided little explanation as to what the thing in the sheet was. It also left us with Clara teaching the Doctor something from the past. However, Orson and Rupert Pink felt like haphazard ends. It was as though they demanded more of the episode, but instead felt swept under the rug. One of the great things about Doctor Who is that it doesn’t always answer all the questions, but it will leave you with a properly formed question. This episode left muddled questions and vague ideas as to what is going on. The episode did make it very clear that Danny Pink seems to end up with Clara and that he becomes a time traveler. The moment with Clara and the young Doctor at the end also felt beautiful. It was nice seeing that Clara had a lasting impact on the Doctor just as he does on all his companions. But the ending also made it clear that this was a Clara and the Doctor show. Bringing in Danny and laying so many seeds that were never tied up felt unnecessary. Any character could have been the young and the old, but they wished to tie it in to the horrible date.

What did you think of the episode?

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