Doctor Who: Listen by Steven Moffat (TV review)

I did have a ponder this week as to whether ‘Doctor Who’ is still considered a children or a family show. Whatever, it goes without saying that both the SF and plotting elements need to be sharper. If youngsters are brought in to look at other SF material and see it done better than in the current season of ‘Doctor Who’, what will they think as they get older?

DrWho-Listen-2

Be careful: There may be some unintentional spoilers although I won’t give away the ending. However, this time, there’s more reaction than anything to do with the story.

With low cast members, ‘Listen’ is very much a bottle show and a psychological mystery story to boot as there is no actual adversary this time. I wonder how many kids will have sleeping problems tonight, wondering if there’s anything under the bed, let alone popping up on their top blanket now. It also says a lot about not talking to strangers who come into your bedroom late at night. Another bad imagery from the good people.

DrWho-Listen-1

One inaccuracy a lot of the Whovians are going to point out, the Doctor has been to the end of time more than once. By my reckoning, off the top of my head, I think it’s about five times, at least three of them in modern times.

I’m still wondering just exactly what was supposed to have been going on. Again, it seems to rely on Clara being the Impossible Girl and popping up in different times in the Doctor’s life. This time she really goes back to something we haven’t seen before except we don’t see much neither.

Again, much of the story is propelled by Clara than the Doctor. It’s almost as though Moffat is afraid to find out what else Peter Capaldi can do other than go otherworldly. Considering that Moffat has also written/co-written the majority of the stories in this season, you would have thought he would have had a better handle on what he needs to do in a new season than go so experimental. When you compare this opening season to that of the other recent Doctors, he’s hardly giving to allow this Doctor to shine yet.

None of this is helped by the fact that Moffat is resorting back to playing with time travel tricks and jumping in and out of a character’s timeline, not just Pink but also of a young Time Lord.

I’m still a bit ambivalent about this episode. Yes, I applaud the fact that Moffat is prepared to experiment with the stories, but for Gallifrey’s sake, wrap some story around it.

Geoff Willmetts

September 2014

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