contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Doctor Who

Filtering by Tag: TV Recaps

"Death in Heaven" (Aired November 8, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

After watching the Series 8 finale, I had a startling realization: somewhere along the way this season, Clara became my favorite companion. Ever. And that’s saying something because I still cry at the thought of Rose leaving the show. But I love Clara’s flaws. She also knows how to be the Doctor, something that was recognized by the fact that Jenna Coleman’s name was listed before Peter Capaldi’s in the title sequence. The credits also showed Jenna Coleman’s eyes rather than Peter Capaldi’s. I’m probably just using this as proof to solidify what I’ve been saying all season: Clara is the most important companion we’ve seen. She influenced every single one of the Doctor’s choices when she became the Impossible Girl, and she is the one who told the Doctor to use his fear, thus sending him out into the world.

 

The episode picks up right where “Dark Water” left off, with Clara being pursued by the Cyberman in the office where she was last seen talking to Danny via Wi-Fi. When the Cyberman goes to kill Clara, she attempts to trick the Cyberman, using those lying skills she’s been working on all season. She tells the Cyberman she is not Clara Oswald, but rather the Doctor. (Which if this was “Flatline,” it wouldn’t be a complete lie…)

 

Back on the streets of London, Cybermen are lining the streets. Missy the Master pulls out her remote control (I don’t know what the heck that thing is called, but it controls the Cybermen, so I’m sticking with it), and as it looks like a cell phone, a young woman, who we find out is named Osgood, shows up to offer to take a picture of Missy and the Doctor. Ms. Osgood is sporting a bow tie (because they’re cool) and converse sneakers, channeling both Ten and Eleven (where’s the shout out to Nine, huh?!) Anyway, it turns out she works for UNIT, and we see Kate Stewart is there to try to stop Missy the Master and the Cybermen. However, before UNIT can really make a move, the Cybermen take off flying in to the air and form a dark cloud that spreads throughout the world.

 

In the Nethersphere, Danny and Seb notice the clouds spreading, and Seb tells Danny that he really isn’t in the afterlife. Rather, his consciousness has been uploaded to a data cloud (which is weird considering they’re still connected to their bodies, but maybe that’s part of the Timelord technology). Seb then tells Danny that he will be returning to his body.  

 

Back in London, Missy tells the Doctor that the dead will be returning. Before she can explain too much more, a UNIT soldier tranquilizes Missy. The Doctor starts to get upset, as he needs to know what is happening. However, he is soon tranquilized himself. Before he is completely knocked out, he tells Osgood that UNIT needs to monitor cemeteries.

 

Sure enough, the dark clouds begin to roll in over graveyards, and it starts to rain, but only within the grounds of the cemeteries. Water then starts to roll down the streets, and we see it flow into the funeral home where Danny’s body is being held.  He sits up, now as a Cyberman, knocks out the funeral home attendant, and takes a piece of paper to help show the audience it is, in fact, Danny.

 

At UNIT headquarters, the Doctor awakes to Kate telling him they had to ensure his loyalty to the people of Earth. The Doctor wants UNIT to help retrieve Clara, calling Clara his friend, correcting Kate after she referred to Clara as his assistant. Kate puts the Doctor on a plane, and begins to refer to him as President. It turns out, the leaders of Earth reached an agreement. If the Earth was invaded, then someone needed to be in charge for the whole planet, and everyone agreed it should be the Doctor. This essentially means the Doctor is in charge of an army, which as we know, isn’t really his thing considering he isn’t big on soldiers.

 

Back inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, Clara lists off facts about the Doctor to three Cybermen to try and convince them she’s the Doctor. The Cybermen are still not entirely convinced, until Clara goes to mention the Doctor’s real name. Another Cybermen shows up and insists that Clara is in fact, Clara, and begins to state facts about Clara’s life. Clara claims she’s a liar, and the Cyberman says he knows. He then knocks Clara out, and kills the other three Cybermen.

 

Back on the UNIT plane, the Doctor explains the rain coming from the Cybermen cloud is actually pollen. Once that pollen comes in to contact with compatible living matter, it can resurrect the dead as Cybermen. He also explains that Missy the Master went back through human history to insert the concept of an after life into human history. Now, that afterlife is emptying, and the consciousnesses of the deceased are returning to their bodies.

 

Sure enough, Clara awakens in a cemetery to find that Cybermen are arising out of gravesites. It’s terrifying: Cybermen + Zombies = Terrifying and oh so deadly (thus perpetuating the cycle of creating even more Cybermen, and wiping out all of the human race).

 

Because UNIT is comprised of the best and brightest, they decided to bring Missy the Master on the plane. She starts talking to Osgood. In the process, she’s able to free herself and kills Osgood, and the two guards that were supposed to be guarding her. Good job, you guys! Missy then picks up her remote control and summons Cybermen who begin attacking the UNIT plane.

 

In the graveyard, Clara notices that newly created and zombified Cybermen are kind of out of it, walking about almost like newborns. She spots one Cyberman who seems to be fully in control. Clara asks if he is the Cyberman that brought her to the graveyard. When the Cyberman says he knows Clara is the Doctor’s associate, Clara corrects him telling the Cyberman she is the Doctor’s best friend. She also tells the Cyberman she will never give up the Doctor because he is the one person she will always forgive, the one person she will always trust, and the one man she will never lie to. Because the Cyberman is actually Danny, this last detail breaks his heart, and he pulls off his mask. He tells Clara that he wants her to turn on the emotional inhibitor because he doesn’t want to feel anymore.

 

On the plane, Missy tells the Doctor she’s been up and down his timeline, meeting the people who will sacrifice their lives for him. In a way, his soldiers, though he does not wish to think of them in that way. The phone on the TARDIS begins to ring, and Missy explains to the Doctor that she was the one who brought he and Clara together, and kept them together. Clara is the control freak trying to control the man who can’t be controlled. Missy points out that the Doctor would go to hell for Clara (and in fact, he did).

 

And, of course, the Doctor answers the phone. Clara tells the Doctor Danny is a Cyberman, and she needs his help to turn on the emotional inhibitor. She feels she needs to do it because she’s the reason Danny is hurting. The Doctor doesn’t want Clara to do this. First, he’s afraid she’ll die. Second, he loves Clara and the last thing he wants is to see her sad. She tells the Doctor to either help her or leave her alone.

 

Following the conversation with Clara, Kate informs the Doctor and Missy the plane is being attacked by Cybermen. Missy then causes part of the plane to break off, sucking Kate out into the sky. Missy teleports herself away, and the Doctor soon is sucked out of the plane as well. Missy watches from the Nethersphere, disappointed this is how the Doctor is going to die. However, he is able to use his sonic screwdriver to fly his way to the TARDIS, very James Bond-like. When Seb demonstrates his appreciation for this skill, Missy kills him.

 

The Doctor takes the TARDIS to the cemetery and tells Clara not to turn on the emotional inhibitor. Doing so will mean Danny kills her. Danny promises he won’t harm Clara. The Doctor, referring to Danny as PE, seems genuinely sad to see Danny in this state. The Doctor tries to convince Danny to keep his emotions, explaining that the pain the Doctor feels is the thing that kept the Doctor from turning into the Master. Danny questions if the Doctor can feel pain, and the Doctor assures Danny that he can.

 

The Doctor tries to figure out the Master’s plan through Danny, considering he is now connected to the Cyberman hive mentality. Danny explains that his emotions need to be turned off in order to completely understand the plan. The Doctor is faced with a dilemma: allow Danny to go full Cyberman to try and save the day, or try and save Danny only to have all of humanity die. Clara knows that she has to do this for Danny, and insists the Doctor give her his screwdriver. Before she uses it to turn on the emotional inhibitor, she tells Danny “I wasn’t very good at it, but I did love you.” Like at the beginning of “Dark Water,” she promises Danny she won’t ever say those words to anyone else, and Danny reminds her he won’t either. She then uses the screwdriver to turn on the inhibitor, and then runs over to hug him. The Doctor freaks out, thinking CyberDanny will kill Clara, but he doesn’t. He tells the Doctor that the rain will fall again, causing all of humanity to die and rise again as Cybermen.

 

Then, Missy shows up all Mary Poppins like. She tells Clara she must feel like Death (like with the scythe and everything), and pulls out her remote control to turn Clara into a Cyberman. The Doctor knocks the remote control away, allowing Clara the opportunity to grab it when Missy isn’t looking, then resumes hugging CyberDanny. Missy demonstrates the ability her bracelet has to control all of the Cyberman, instructing all of them to move in unison, except for CyberDanny. Missy reminds the Doctor it is his birthday, then slaps the bracelet on his wrist, giving him full control of the Cyberman army.  Basically, it’s the Doctor’s worst nightmare. Missy explains to the Doctor that she doesn’t need an army “because armies are for people who think they’re right, and no one thinks they’re righter” than the Doctor. Now, the Doctor will determine every battle, war, and invasion with his Cyberman army. Missy asks if the Doctor trusts himself, and there are see flashbacks throughout the season: The Doctor asking if he’s a good man; Danny saluting; talking to the Dalek.

 

Finally, the question that’s plagued the Doctor all season is answered. He isn’t a good man, and he’s not a bad man. He’s not a hero, and he’s not a president. He’s not an officer. But he is an idiot with a TARDIS and a screwdriver and his companions. He doesn’t need an army with his companions by his side. He tells Missy that love isn’t an emotion, it’s a promise and points out that Danny didn’t move according to her instructions. Danny will never hurt Clara. We then see CyberDanny reciprocate Clara’s hug. The Doctor then throws the controlling bracelet to Danny, giving him full control of the Cybermen. CyberDanny explains that the army of the dead will now protect the living, and he and the other Cybermen fly up, and burn themselves and the clouds covering the Earth, and ending the threat.

 

Missy then gives the Doctor the coordinates of Gallifrey, telling him it has returned to its original location. Missy tries to insist that she and the Doctor can return together. However, Clara has Missy’s remote control and is about to use it to kill Missy. The Doctor stops her, and Clara says if the Doctor lets Missy live, then everything that happened happened for nothing.  As the Doctor goes to kill Missy, Missy asks that he say something nice. He simply says, “You win,” because if the Doctor kills her, Missy does win. She wanted to show that she and the Doctor are cut from the same cloth, that they both have this darkness in them. Killing Missy will show that it is in there. But before the Doctor can kill Missy, a Cyberman appears and kills Missy, thus sparing both Clara and the Doctor’s souls.

 

The Cyberman then points to a direction in the graveyard, and Clara and the Doctor run over to find Kate lying on the ground. The Doctor realizes the Cyberman was Kate’s father, Alistair. The Doctor salutes Alistair, the one thing Alistair always wanted from the Doctor while he was alive.

 

Two weeks later, Clara awakes to the sound of Danny’s voice. It turns out the bracelet CyberDanny used to control the army of Cyberman can also be used to travel between worlds. Clara thinks this means Danny is coming back, but Danny tells Clara there is enough power to send only one person back. He sends back the little kid he killed during the war, telling Clara she needs help find his parents. Danny apologizes to Clara, but tells her he had a promise to keep.

 

The Doctor shows up to met Clara. He notices that she’s wearing the bracelet, and assumes that means Danny has returned. Clara tells the Doctor she has bad news. Rather than let her explain, the Doctor thinks now that Clara and Danny are together, it means she won’t be travelling with him anymore. He tells her it is ok because he found Gallifrey, though we see that he didn’t actually find it. Clara then does the thing she said she would never do, she lies to the Doctor, telling him that she and Danny will be fine. She asks for a hug, and the Doctor consents. Clara asks the Doctor why he doesn’t like hugging, and he says, “Never trust a hug. It’s just a way to hide your face.” And sure enough, we see Clara and the Doctor both tearing up hiding from one another.

 

As the Doctor goes to get on the TARDIS, Clara tells him travelling with him made her feel really special, and she thanks him for making her feel special. He says, “Thank you for exactly the same.”

 

So, that’s it until the Christmas special. It’s a heartbreaking finale. Truly. I’m excited to see Nick Frost as Santa Claus, and how he will reunite Clara and the Doctor. And while I am DEVESTATED that Danny is dead, I hope they keep him that way. If the show runners somehow bring him back to life, it just further cements my concerns that the show runners are too intimated to have any real deaths and consequences. I don’t want Clara to be alone, but bringing Danny back seems like an easy way out. 

"Dark Water" (Aired November 1, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

“Dark Water” is the first part of the Series 8 finale. And I feel like an idiot. I can’t believe I didn’t figure out the big reveal until moments before. I knew the Cybermen were going to be a part of the finale, but throughout most of the episode, I missed that the 3W Company’s logo was the eyes of the Cybermen. I’m both excited for and dreading next week’s finale.

 

The episode begins with Clara calling Danny to apologize. He’s on the way to see her and asks if it can wait, but Clara insists that she tell him some things now. Clara has all the things she wants to talk about written on stickies, but the first thing she tells Danny is that she loves him. Danny says it back, as he makes his way through the park, ever closer to a busy road. Use a freaking crosswalk, Danny! Clara tells Danny that he is the last person she will say “I love you” to, and then Danny doesn’t respond. After a few seconds of silence, and the quietest car wreck of all time, there’s a woman’s voice on the phone, telling Clara that Danny had been hit and killed.

 

Clara is standing in her kitchen, trying to call the Doctor. Right then, Clara’s grandmother comes in to see her, telling Clara it’s ok to cry. But Clara is too upset, telling her grandmother Danny’s death was ordinary. She’s in such shock; she’s refusing to accept what happened. She tells her grandmother that she is owed something better. Finally the Doctor answers, and when he asks her what’s going on, and she doesn’t tell him about Danny. He then asks what he can do for her, and it’s clear Clara is going to try and save Danny.

 

Clara enters the TARDIS as if nothing is wrong. She sets about collecting the Doctor’s keys to the TARDIS. She also tells the Doctor she wants to see a volcano. In a nod to Peter Capaldi's previous stint on the show, he tells Clara that volcanoes are “rubbish.” Clara also asks the Doctor if she can have a sleeping patch, but he tells her no. She finds one, and slaps it against the Doctor’s neck.

 

The Doctor awakens to find himself at a volcano. Clara emerges from the smoke, holding all of seven of the TARDIS keys. Clara throws one into the lava, the one substance that can destroy a TARDIS key. Clara tells the Doctor she wants to save Danny, and every time the Doctor refuses to help her, she’ll throw another key. The Doctor tells Clara that if he helps her, they’ll create a time loop and paradox, which will disintegrate Clara’s timeline. This means no, so Clara throws another key in. She tells the Doctor she doesn’t care about paradoxes and throws all but one key into the lava. The Doctor, thinking Clara won’t throw the last key, refuses to do anything, but she throws the last key. She sinks to the ground sobbing, telling the Doctor she wishes she could say she’s sorry, but that she’d do it again.

 

It turns out though, this was all just a dream. The sleeping patch Clara tried to put on the Doctor actually induces dreams, and it doesn’t work on him. Instead, he applied it to Clara, and let the scenario play out. Clara asks what they do next, and the Doctor tells her “Go to hell.” Thinking it is the Doctor telling her off, Clara accepts this, knowing what she did was wrong. But the Doctor tells Clara they’re going to literally go to hell. He tells her each universe has a myth about where people go when they die, and he wants to check it out, and that they’ll try to bring Danny back. Clara is shocked that the Doctor would help her after she betrayed him. The Doctor responds saying that he cares for her so much; her betrayal changes nothing about how he feels.

 

Meanwhile, Danny wakes up in an office in the Nethersphere. Seb, Missy’s coworker, comes in and tells Danny that he is dead. Seb then asks if Danny’s body is going to be cremated, but Danny says he never really thought about it. Still in disbelief, Danny opens the curtain to find a giant city. Seb tells Danny he is in the underworld/Nethersphere/promised land – whatever you want to call it.

 

Like in “Listen,” Clara sticks her hands in the TARDIS to find the place where her timeline and Danny’s timeline will intersect again.  They arrive in a mausoleum, filled with tanks containing water and human skeletons. As the Doctor and Clara walk through, one of the skeletons’ head turns to follow them.

 

The Doctor finds a welcome book, which actually plays an introductory video for 3W, the Doctor and Clara’s location. The video doesn’t provide much information other than to say that they provide alternative solutions for people after death. After the video plays, Missy makes her appearance. She greets the Doctor by making out with him. She tells Clara and the Doctor she’s a welcoming android, with an intimacy setting, which seems odd considering all season it appears she was in charge of the Nethersphere. When the Doctor inquires as to who maintains Missy, she tells the Doctor she maintains herself, except for her heart. She then holds the Doctor’s hand up to her chest, and the Doctor looks incredibly confused. When the Doctor asks who maintains her heart, she calls in Dr. Chang, who escorts the Doctor and Clara into the next room to answer their questions.

 

Seb is still showing Danny around, and Danny asks the question that everyone thought a few episodes ago: what is up with iPads in the afterlife? Seb tells Danny they have Steve Jobs. Seb then asks Danny if he’s ever killed anyone. This is the question that has haunted Danny all season. Seb tells someone wants to speak with him, and sure enough it’s the little kid Danny believes himself to have killed during the war. Danny tries to talk to him, but the kid runs away when Danny tries to touch his hand. Seb explains to Danny that he is still connected to his body, and so anything that happens to his body, Danny will feel. Thus the cremation questions.

 

Dr. Chang starts to answer the Doctor and Clara’s questions. He explains the skeletons are in Dark Water, a substance that only shows organic matter. He tells them the skeletons are actually in a case that is hidden by the Dark Water, thus allowing the skeletons to appear to sit up right. Dr. Chang also tells the Doctor and Clara that their founder reversed white noise from televisions to receive messages from the dead. When he did so, he found one message being said by the dead over and over again: “Don’t cremate me.”

 

The Doctor refuses to believe what Dr. Chang is telling him. Dr. Chang, after scanning Clara telepathically, is able to set up a connection between Clara and Danny. The Doctor tells Clara to make sure she’s speaking to Danny, while he and Dr. Chang go investigate more. The Doctor is sure he’s missed something. He gets in the elevator, and right then the doors closed and I finally see the symbol for 3W is the Cybermen eye. Ahhhh! Can’t believe it took me that long!

 

Missy, meanwhile, activates the skeletons who all push a button in their tanks. As the Doctor and Dr. Chang find Missy again, the Doctor tells Dr. Chang there is something wrong with his droid. Dr. Chang tells the Doctor Missy is his boss. Missy then toys with Dr. Chang, telling him she’s going to kill him, but not until he says something nice. He’s stupid enough to say something, and she incinerates him. The Doctor notices the Dark Water levels are going down to reveal Cyberman. He also notices that there is some Gallifreyan technology, capable of uploading human thoughts and no emotions. He asks Missy how she got the technology, and that’s when it’s revealed when the Doctor felt Missy’s heart, he felt two heartbeats. She’s at Timelord. The Doctor tries to run outside of the building, but finds himself on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

 

Clara starts questioning Danny, trying to prove it’s him. Danny, unsure what to say, keeps telling Clara he loves her. Clara tells Danny she will come save him if she knows it is him. Thinking the only way Clara can get to him is if she dies, Danny refuses her help. He tells her again that he loves her, and Clara says if he says that one more time, she’ll end their conversation. Thinking it’s the only way to save her, Danny says it again. Clara ends the conversation. She spins around in her chair to find that the tank with the skeleton has transformed into a Cyberman.

 

After the conversation with Clara, Seb hands Danny an iPad, giving him the option to delete his memories. Danny doesn’t know this will turn him in to a Cyberman. If he knew, he certainly would not willingly turn himself into a solider. Right as Danny, goes to press the delete button, the reflection of the kid Danny thinks he killed shows up in the iPad.

 

The Doctor runs down the streets of London, trying to tell people to run and hide. Missy apologizes to the crowd, telling them it’s another crazy Scotsman running through the streets. Missy tells the Doctor that the key to the human race is that the dead outnumber the living. The Doctor asks once again who Missy is and she’s very annoyed. Missy is short for Mistress, she couldn’t keep calling herself…. THE MASTER!

 

Are you kidding me? I mean I figured it out when it was revealed she was a Time Lord, but how on Earth did I miss this before this episode. I feel like such a fool. And now, I have to wait 7 days to see how this all wraps up. Well played, Steven Moffat. Well. Played.

"In the Forest of the Night" (Aired October 25, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

After a couple of heavy episodes, “In the Forest of the Night,” returns the show back to a bit of lighter fare. The Doctor is back to saving the world, rather than a few individuals. The episode is an opportunity for the show to be a bit goofy before the two part finale, which I have no doubts will be some heavy stuff. It also is a chance for Clara to come clean about the lies she’s been telling both the Doctor and Danny.

 

The episode opens with a little girl running through the woods with a red coat over her school uniform, reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood. She arrives at the TARDIS and knocks on the door. The Doctor lets her in once she explains something is chasing her. We find out the little girl, Maebh, ran to the Doctor because she thought she hard Clara’s voice tell her to do so. The Doctor is fairly uninterested. He’s more concerned with his failing navigation systems, as he is supposed to be in the center of London. Maebh explains to the Doctor they are in fact in London, it has merely been taken over by a forest.

 

After the opening credits, we see that Danny and Clara have led an overnight class trip to the London Zoological Museum. As they’re leaving the museum one of the students, Ruby, notices a tree ring is thicker and redder than the other rings. Clara doesn’t really have an explanation. When the class goes to leave the museum, they find what the Doctor and Maebh already know: trees have infiltrated London.

 

Excited that she found something to show the Doctor, Clara places a phone call to the Doctor to tell him about the forest. The Doctor tells Clara he already knows, and he also informs her that Maebh is with him.  When Clara goes back inside the museum, Danny asks if she called the school and the parents. She tries to lie and say yes, but he knows she was talking to the Doctor. He was under the impression that Clara and the Doctor were no longer talking, but Clara chalks up this conversation to the current forest infestation.

 

So off Danny and Clara go, in an attempt to get the kids safely home. This is Danny’s number one priority, whereas Clara is in full Doctor Companion mode trying to ask questions about how the forest ended up in London.  

 

Danny and Clara arrive at the TARDIS, and the kids start taking pictures of forested Trafalgar Square. Clara tells the kids that the Doctor will sort everything out, but the Doctor says this time he’s not sure he can figure out a solution. The Doctor thinks it’s a natural event, and not a problem that he can solve.

 

Clare refuses to believe this, and so she, Danny, and the students enter the TARDIS. Danny notices some homework books on the TARDIS, providing evidence that Clara has been with the Doctor more recently than she admits. The Doctor sees Maebh’s homework book with illustrations, and the Doctor needs to speak with her, but they’ve all just realized that Maebh is missing…again. Clara explains to the Doctor that Maebh’s sister went missing the year before and that she’s on medication and hears voices. The Doctor is upset that they aren’t listening to Maebh. The Doctor tells Clara and Danny that Maebh is tuned to a different channel and she can help them

 

As the Doctor and Clara are off to find Maebh, Lord Nelson’s column falls down and almost takes out the Doctor and Clara. The students and Danny leave the TARDIS, and Ruby chastises Danny for letting Clara go off with the Doctor when he is supposed to love her. They decide to go look for Clara, and Danny once again calls them a team, which they really get upset about.

 

As the Doctor and Clara are searching for Maebh, Clara notices the paths are growing over very rapidly. They find Maebh’s phone, and the Doctor realizes that Maebh is leaving them a trail so they can track her down. Clara and the Doctor come across a group of government workers attempting to burn down some of the trees for emergency routes. However, the trees are in control of the amount of oxygen, so they can quickly extinguish the flame.

 

The Doctor shows Clara Maebh’s homework in which Maebh drew a solar flare headed toward Earth, like the one that destroyed the Bank of Karabroxos. The Doctor says that the trees want something, and he also says that Maebh lost someone so she’s more attuned and listening. As they’re walking, they hear a wolf howl, just another fairy tale story allusion in this episode: Maebh running through the forest like Little Red Riding Hood, and her leaving school supplies as bread crumbs like Hansel and Gretel. The Doctor points out that the trees probably mangled the London Zoo’s gates so the animals are now free.

 

Maebh is still running through the forest, waving her hands about wildly. She stops and we see a couple wolves in the brush behind her. She turns toward them, and then screams. Clara and the Doctor hear it and take off running toward the sound of the scream.  Eventually, Clara and the Doctor meet up with Maebh, and the wolves are scared off by something. It turns out that something is a tiger. Luckily, Danny shows up in time to flash a light in the tiger’s eyes and scare the tiger away.

 

But Maebh is still batting at the air wildly, and the Doctor is intrigued. When Danny suggests she needs her medication, the Doctor says they need her without medication to find the source of what is happening. Maebh takes off running and everyone follows. Maebh runs to a circle with a bright light. She says that the forest is her fault because it was a thought that came to her. Since her sister Annabelle went missing, thoughts come to her, and the forest was one and she thought everyone would like it. She says the thoughts are coming to fast to her. The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver to create some gravity, ad we see a bunch of white dots flying around Maebh. These lights begin speaking, telling the Doctor that they live in the plants, and that they were there long before humanity, and will remain long after it is gone. When the Doctor asks why they summoned him, the lights tell him they don’t know who he is. After this interaction, the lights leave Maebh.

 

Clara and the Doctor realize that there is nothing that can be done to stop the worldwide forest infestation, or the impending solar flare. When Clara says that she and the Doctor have been to the future, he tells her those futures are about to be erased. She suggests that they head back to the TARDIS and save themselves and the kids they are with.

 

Once back at the TARDIS, Clara tells the Doctor that the kids aren’t going to go on the TARDIS, as they’ll want to be with their parents. Here, I think we get a glimpse into Clara’s feelings about her parents, which STILL remain a mystery. The Doctor offers to save Clara and Danny, but Clara says Danny won’t leave the kids. When the Doctor offers to just save Clara, she tells him that she doesn’t want to be the last of his kind. In the Doctor’s eyes, there is a bit of hurt and a bit of understanding. It’s a lonely life, how can he ask Clara to go through what he’s been through. Clara says she brought him back to the TARDIS to save him, because the only he would go back is if he thought he was saving someone. She says this time, the human race has to save the Doctor. The Doctor tells Clara that it’s his world too; he walks it and breathes the air. She tells him he’s welcome, but he has to go save the next world. After some hesitance and sadness, the Doctor gets on the TARDIS and leaves.  

 

On the TARDIS, the Doctor watches the solar flare. He realizes something on the TARDIS, and goes back. He calls after Clara and Danny, and Clara refuses to turn back until the kids run after him. The Doctor tells them large solar flares have happened before, flares that should have destroyed the Earth, but the trees saved the planet, and that’s what it’s doing again. Clara remembers the wide red ring that Ruby noticed, and the Doctor confirms it was part of saving the Earth. Danny tells the Doctor the government is sending out defoliant chemicals to get rid of the leaves.  The Doctor says they’re going to call everyone on Earth to stop them from harming the trees.

 

Together, the kids write the message and call everyone on Earth at the same time. Maebh reads the message, telling everyone that the trees are protecting the planet. She ends by asking her sister Annabelle to come home. Just then Maebh’s mother arrives outside the TARDIS, after she’s been looking for her all episode. Seeing Maebh reunited with her mother makes the other kids want to go home as well. Clara tries to encourage Danny to go with her to watch the solar flare from space, but he tells her he’s had enough adventure. He tells her there are wonders on Earth. He says one person is more amazing than universes, and they kiss in front of the kids. Oops.

 

As Clara and Danny are walking the kids home, he tells her he knows she’s been traveling with the Doctor. He tells her he doesn’t care what the truth is, as long as he knows it. She goes to say something, but he tells her to home and think about it first, he at least owes her that.

 

When the solar flare hits the earth, the Doctor and Clare in the TARDIS in space watching. The trees do exactly as the Doctor thought, and protects the earth. Back on Earth after the flare, the trees start disappearing, with everything going back to normal. When Clara asks what the explanation will be, the Doctor tells her that people will forget, and instead it will turn into stories (perhaps the reason for the Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel allusions).

 

As the solar flare happens, with Missy watching. She’s surprised by the turn of events, but again, we don’t yet know what her deal is.

 

The episode ends with Maebh and her mother returning home. As they approach their house, the trees to a bush disappear, and there’s Maebh’s sister, Annabelle. It feels a little silly, since there’s no explanation for Annabelle’s disappearance, but I guess they had to wrap it up somehow, huh?

"Flatline" (Aired October 18, 2014)

Samantha Wessel

“Doctor Who” is just setting me up for heartbreak. I’m growing to love Clara even more, making her inevitable departure from the show that much more painful. What I loved about this week’s episode is that we get to see, through Clara’s eyes, what it’s like to be the Doctor. And though it’s only for a brief period of time, I think it help answers a lot of questions about the Doctor’s morality, and the decisions he has to make. It also deepens the complex relationship between Clara and Twelve, which has been a really interesting relationship to watch develop. God dammit, you “Who” showrunners- you’re gonna make me cry my eyes out.

 

The episode begins with a man making a phone call, begging for help. As he’s on the phone, he’s sucked up by something that we can’t see. As the camera moves around the apartment, we see some strange markings on the wall, and realize it is the man who just disappeared screaming. (It actually reminded me a bit of “Love & Monsters” from Series 2. Ten & Rose foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!)

 

The Doctor drops Clara off, allegedly at the proper time and place so she can meet Danny. Clara is, rather unconvincingly, telling the Doctor that Danny is totally ok with her continuing to have adventures with the Doctor. As Clara goes to leave the TARDIS, she notices the doors are smaller. The two manage to squeeze their way out, and Clara realizes that they are in Bristol. This makes Clara very unhappy as it’s not at all where she needs to be to meet Danny. The Doctor says they need to figure out what his happening before he can get her where she needs to go, and sends her off to see what she can find.

 

As Clara walks around, she comes across a group of community service workers who are painting over graffiti. One of the workers, himself is a graffiti artist, is being reprimanded by an Argus Filch wannabe (Harry Potter references!) who hates happiness and art. Clara comes across a mural in a tunnel. The graffiti artist, Rigsy, explains to Clara that the paintings are of people who have recently disappeared.

 

Clara returns to the TARDIS, filling the Doctor in with the information she’s learned. She finds the TARDIS even smaller than when she left it.  The only thing the Doctor can do is stick his hand out, which Clara does not enjoy. She ends up putting the TARDIS in her purse, and the Doctor gives her an earpiece so they can communicate. This earpiece also locks into her optic nerve so the Doctor can see what she sees. He also gives her his psychic paper and his sonic screwdriver. She’s the Doctor now, and even introduces herself as such when she bumps into Rigsy again, much to the actual Doctor’s consternation.

 

Rigsy takes Clara to the apartment where one of the victims disappeared. He tells her that everyone who has disappeared did so from locked homes. She tells Rigsy that she’s from MI-5, and that she’s communicating with someone via her earpiece. However, Clara and the Doctor’s hypothesizing starts to sound a little crazy, and Rigsy starts to wig out and is about to leave. Clara then shows Rigsy the tiny TARDIS and the Doctor. Why this doesn’t freak him out even more is beyond me, but he accepts this life changing information that aliens do in fact exist, and decides to stay and help. The Doctor tells Clara that something in the apartment is draining the TARDIS’s energy even more, and they leave before anything else can happen.

 

With the assistance of a local constable, Clara, Rigsy, and the Doctor (in Clara’s purse) visit another apartment whose inhabitant disappeared. The Doctor believes that the people may still be in the wall, so Clara and Rigsy take a sledgehammer to the room. Meanwhile, the officer is another room on the phone when she is sucked into the floor by whatever is causing all of this chaos. When Clara and Rigsy run in to figure out what is going on, the Doctor notices the mural on the wall is actually a nervous system. He realizes that whatever this species is flattens 3D objects to try and learn about them. When Rigsy and Clara go to leave, they realize the doorknob has been flattened, keeping them from escaping. As they stand in the room, the creatures begin to flatten the furniture around them.

 

Clara and Rigsy hop on a chair hanging from the ceiling to keep from being sucked up themselves. Right then, Danny calls to see check on Clara’s whereabouts as they were supposed to meet for lunch. Rather than waiting a hot second until she’s out of her current life-threatening predicament, Clara answers the phone while swinging the chair back and forth. She tells Danny she won’t be able to make it. Danny seems to have some kind of idea that she’s lying about where she is, and may even on some level know she’s with the Doctor. He asks where she is and if she’s in trouble. Clara is able to swing the chair enough so she and Rigsy break through the window and out of the room. The crashing of the glass startles Danny, but Clara assures him she’s ok and she’ll talk to him later.  The Doctor realizes that Clara has been lying to him about Danny’s approval of her continuing to travel with him.

 

Clara and Rigsy head to the mural under the bridge where the cleanup crew is about to paint over the mural. The Doctor realizes these are the missing people and tells Clara to stop them from destroying the mural. When Clara shows the Filch wannabe, (who’s name is actually Fenton) the psychic paper, he just sees blank paper, meaning he has no imagination. Fenton tells the crew to start cleaning up the mural, but as he does so, he’s sucked in and the people in the mural start turning around.

 

The remaining crew, Clara, Rigsy, and Fenton take off for a nearby building. Clara then realizes she’s going to be in charge of keeping these people safe, and she accepts this responsibility with calm and ease. See everybody, there CAN be a female Doctor. (Billie Piper for Thirteen!) Clara realizes that she’s going to need to lie to everyone in order to give them hope so that they continue running. She realizes this is what the Doctor has to do all the time.

 

The Doctor tells Clara that the creatures exist only in 2D and that they may not realize that humans need three dimensions to live. Clara goes about setting up a speaker so that they can hear what the creatures are saying. However, the creatures begin reading the number on the jacket of the cleaning crewmember they intended to take next. The creatures absorb the crewmember, and the remaining four take off for the train tunnels.

 

After running into the tunnels, the Doctor slips Clara a “2DIS” (pronounced two-dis, clever, clever) to flatten the handle to keep the creatures from getting to them. However, the creatures have now somewhat mastered three dimensions and can make 2D objects 3D again. They also create a hand to grab the last remaining crewmember that isn’t Clara, Rigsy, or Fenton. Then, the creatures begin to rise out of the ground as the people they have taken. They’re flickering in and out of three dimensions and their movements are slow, giving an almost zombie-esque feeling to them.

 

Clara and Co. are able to get away from them for a second. Fenton and Rigsy get into a shoving match, and Fenton knocks the TARDIS out of Clara’s hands and on to the train tracks below. Of course a train is coming, and the TARDIS is already in bad shape because so much energy has been drained from it. The Doctor sticks his hand out and tries to pull the TARDIS to safety, but right as he thinks he’s safe, the TARDIS shifts back on the tracks. Right before the train comes, the Doctor pulls a handle putting the TARDIS in siege mode.

 

Clara, Rigsy, and Fenton head down to the train tracks, but they get trapped between another oncoming train and the creatures. Clara doesn’t panic, but uses the sonic screwdriver to stop the train. Rigsy is going to sacrifice himself to drive the train into the creatures, but Clara calmly explains to him that all they need is her headband to keep the gears in place. She truly is a great Doctor. As the train approaches the creatures, they flatten it before it can reach them. As Clara, Fenton, and Rigsy walk away, Clara finds the TARDIS on the tracks in siege mode. The Doctor tells her that the TARDIS does not have enough energy to leave the siege mode.

 

In some sort of storeroom, Clara ponders what the Doctor would do now, but then realizes the only thing she needs to know what she would do now. Clara reaches full Doctor mode when she comes up with a plan to recharge the TARDIS. She pulls out a poster and has Rigsy use his graffiti artist skills to paint a realistic, flattened door handle. As the group work on their plan, the Doctor fears he may be dying, and he tells Clara that she has been “a might Fine Doctor.”

 

Clara, Rigsy, and Fenton hang the fake door. As the creatures use their energy to try and unflatten the handle, it recharges the TARDIS. With its full power back, the TARDIS returns to normal size and the Doctor emerges telling the creatures he gave them a chance, but they’ve chose to be monsters and he is the man who stops monsters. He goes on to warn them not to return to this planet and dimension because he is the protector. It’s the first time we’ve seen this type of speech from Twelve. I’ve seen some comments that it isn’t as satisfying as when Ten or Eleven gave similar speeches, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

After returning to the ground level, Clara says bye to Rigsy and Fenton, essentially her companions for this episode. Fenton proves that he’s truly a jerk and ungrateful, and even the Doctor is a little disappointed that he survived. Danny calls yet again, and this time Clara ignores it. Really, Clara? You don’t answer when you can talk, but yet you answer in a moment of life or death? I love you, but your phone answering decisions make little sense to me.

 

The Doctor tells Clara that she should talk to Danny. He’s clearly annoyed that Clara has been lying to both Danny and himself. Clara wants the Doctor to admit that she was good at being the Doctor. He tells her, “You were an exceptional Doctor, Clara. Goodness has nothing to do with it.” This brings us back to one of the overarching themes throughout this season. The Doctor doesn’t make decisions necessarily based on goodness, sometimes he has to make decisions based on what is going to have the best long-term results and this may mean sacrificing people. And perhaps he’s a little concerned that he’s turning Clara into a bit of a soldier.

 

Meanwhile, Missy is looking in on the action via an iPad. I guess tablet technology stopped developing after 2014. She looks approvingly upon Clara saying, “Clara. My Clara. I have chosen well.” Umm…what? So she picked Clara for something AND she refers to the Doctor as her boyfriend? What the heck is going on?

 

Concluding Thoughts

 Clara’s propensity to lie is going to come back to bite her in the butt. The Doctor is genuinely upset that she was lying to both him and Danny. She’s going to turn the two men she cares about the most against one another and that isn’t fair.

 

And Danny told Clara that if she lies to him about the Doctor pushing her, then they’re done. But the thing is, the Doctor didn’t push Clara, Clara pushed herself. As things stand now, Danny and Clara end up together because we saw their future great-grandson. I’m assuming he’s not a fixed point in time though, but her lies could change the future.