Doctor Who – Series 8, Episode 4: “Listen”

(Warning: spoilers)

The Good

* Love the opening sequence, particularly that first shot of the Doctor sitting on the TARDIS.

* Some good callbacks. I initially thought the spacesuit was a callback to The Impossible Planet until it turned out it wasn’t actually the Doctor – maybe it’s a standard model. The Doctor blurting out about Sontarans perverting the course of human history – was that a callback to The Time Warrior? And then, surprisingly, the barn from The Day of the Doctor.

* Good to see Clara still has a way with children, just like her previous life as a Victorian governess. Also good to see her standing up to the Doctor with the “Do as you’re told” thing.

* “Scared is a superpower” – I liked this; could be linked to the opening monologue about evolution.

The Not So Good

* Just the whole story. Having the Doctor randomly decide he wants to find something out is a potentially interesting concept – he’s got a big brain, he’s got to have a thought like that every once in a while – but it ends up making the whole quest feel really weak. There’s not really anything at stake. And then it starts going off in weird directions like with the time traveller, possibly just to try and keep things somewhat interesting. It didn’t feel linear, and it really didn’t work.

* And while there were some tense moments, it certainly never reached Weeping Angel or Midnight levels of scary like it felt it was trying to. With that lump under the bedspread, I kept thinking back to Scary Movie 3 and imagining it was Michael Jackson.

* The young Doctor at the end would have been a much better twist if it wasn’t wasted on this confusing damp squib of a story. To be fair, I thought about it a bit more later and realised “Ah, that was when the Doctor thought he had the nightmare, wasn’t it?” so it wasn’t totally irrelevant.

* We didn’t find out anything about the monster in Midnight, either, but at least Midnight still had a real resolution.

* We’ve seen the end of the universe already in Utopia, and it didn’t look like that. Admittedly, this is probably a different spot, but shouldn’t all the stars have gone by the very end?

* Just nitpicking from somebody who likes zoology, but evolution doesn’t actually make perfect hunters or perfect defences, Doctor. Red Queen Hypothesis and all that. Then again, when thinking about perfect defences, shouldn’t his mind have gone to the Weeping Angels?

Ultimately I feel Steven Moffat was trying to be a bit too clever with this one, and the end result is a confused mess. However, most other reviews I’ve seen for this episode have been very positive, so maybe I’m missing something and I need to watch it again. I don’t particularly want to watch it again, however, as there was little that drew me in on the first viewing. Rating: 1.5/5.


About velociraptor256

Hi, my name's Richard. I created this blog to talk about my interests - and I have quite a few of those. I love zoology in general, herpetology in particular (especially snakes!), writing (have won National Novel Writing Month nine times so far), reading, astronomy, palaeontology, and travel. Thank you for coming to my blog, and I hope you find something that interests you here!
This entry was posted in TV Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s