One of the greatest things about the 12th Doctor is he is endlessly hilarious without trying explicitly to do so. Hi quips are top notch. The fact that he thought he thought he was going into deep cover by changing his coat. Even better was Clara realizing something was up with the Doctor when he was actually nice to her. Nice is not something the Doctor does anymore.
This episode was a nice way of bringing the Doctor into Clara’s life and slowing down from their adventures. However, like all recent incarnations of the Doctor, staying put is not something that he is keen on. With the Doctor milling about poking and prodding around in Clara’s life it was rife with a number of funny situations as he seems even less adept at dealing with people than previously. Also by being set at Clara’s school we were able to see more of what her life is like. We see the kids, many of them rather cheeky.
More importantly we see more of the budding relationship between Clara and Danny. The pair is firmly in dating territory as the two are seen frequently going out and sneaking chats when too many students aren’t looking. The two of them have great chemistry on screen. It also gives Clara a chance to shine. This season has really given Clara a chance to grow as person in comparison to last season. The end of season 7 was about Clara adapting to being the Doctor’s companions, making sense of the world that she’s been sucked into. This season Clara has come into her own and know knows what it is she’s in for. Her life has flourished and she’s become a person rather than an idea which I’ve much appreciated.
In getting close to Clara, it was becoming progressively likely that an intelligent man like Danny would figure things out. He’s smart and his curiosity ended up getting him caught up in the midst of the Doctor’s plan where he saw the strangeness. The actual scene of Danny learning about who the Doctor really is was both a hit and a miss. It was wonderful seeing how startled Danny was and rattled by the reality he was just dealt. However, the scene seemed to drag as Clara fumbled to make sense of it all for her beau while Doctor was equally as flummoxed at the revelation that the soldier was her boyfriend.
Danny’s attempt to reconcile the information that he learned was moving. Danny seemed more hurt that Clara was keeping things from him. Not just keeping negative things, but keeping fantastic things from him. The confrontation between the Doctor and Danny was one of the best scenes on the show in a while. It was heartbreaking to watch. You can almost see Clara’s heart breaking before as the two men she cares about clearly can not get along. Their personalities are simply not compatible as yet. Danny reminds the Doctor of a man he once was. While Danny sees the callousness of the Doctor. The two do see something in common and that is protecting Clara.
The Skovox Blitzer plot was rather weak. Apparently the whole world was in trouble, but I never felt the threat. It makes sense that the plot took a backseat to the more important revelations that surrounding Danny Pink’s character. That said, this felt particularly haphazard rather than integrating into the story. It is completely possible, but this time it just felt like an excuse for various story devices. Generally shows use characters as plot devices, but this show often uses plots as character development devices. Either way, it didn’t feel seamless.
What did you think of the episode?