back to article Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express

THIS IS A POST-UK-BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Brid-Aine says: Finally, someone has remembered that Doctor Who is supposed to be fun and that someone is James Mathieson, guest writer of Mummy on the Orient Express. It has to be said that neither that title nor the trailer last week filled me with great hopes for …

  1. Aqua Marina

    Are you my mummy?

    line of the episode for me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are you my mummy?

      Line of the series. Not going to be beaten (unless Clara can be persuaded to say "I'm from the North. Lots of planets have a North" or similar, at some stage).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are you my mummy?

      Without Jenna Coleman the series would have been unwatchable, though the blame lies squarely on the writing, the writers seemingly wanting more Soap Opera than Dr Who.

      Time to get back to the basics, Dr Who should be battling space aliens and megomaniac bad guys, his side kick is just that, a side kick and expendable and should not be The Story.

      It might appeal to the U.S. market but I want the raw Dr Who back not the 'I'm so in touch with my emotions and feminine side' one that we have now.

      The rot started with the over emotional Tennant when the bad guy persona of Eccleston was so much better, if you don't believe me ask women who watch Dr Who which one was their favourite?

      They all say Tennant, they all love him, he's in touch wih himself, he's nice etc etc. Proof enough that Dr Who is turning into a wuss and the series into mush.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Are you my mummy?

        If anything, I think the way to go would be to have half a dozen or so companions. Then kill at least a couple off semi frequently and pick up new ones along the way to replace the others.

        Battlestar Galactica got this right. When a major character then was shot (ie Adama at the end of the first series iirc) then when the doctor said that he's critical and might not make it, there was actually some dramatic impact.

        With two major characters, neither is going to die and everybody knows it. In this episode I doubt that anybody thought that the Doctor was actually going to die when the Zombie was closing in on him, which reduces the dramatic element to about zero.

        1. illiad

          Re: Are you my mummy?

          its not that 'he may die' - ANY who fan knows that!!!

          its the way he manipulated the 'emotional state' of the 'victim' to solve the case...

          pay more attention!!! :)

      2. ps2os2

        Re: Are you my mummy?

        The new Doctor is BORING. Time to regenerate and pick a Dr Who for the fans not for some unknown audience test subject matters.

  2. Jyve

    Clara must go

    I don't get why they feel Dr Who has to be turned into a pseudo rom-com, but her presence is a detriment to every story. I want to watch Sci-Fi with a time traveling alien who uses smarts (and a /bit/ of luck) to fix things than a mopey sidekick who's fretting about having a boyfriend and "oh look, an adventure to distract me, but I'm going to chew my bottom lip until everything is fixed through some odd coincidence of events that being there doesn't really impact much, and I've got to keep making him feel guilty about something"

    Capaldi's a great actor but the stories so far have been absolute dross, and Clara being there isn't helping.

    1. h3

      Re: Clara must go

      Yep they should have got rid and had that mechanic as the next companion for a bit.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clara must go

      I've got no problem wirh Clara - I have a problem with the whole Doctor's assistent fancies some other twat. It's like the Doctor's a nutty DJ from the 70s and his assistent needs a geezer who'll slap him if he gets pervy.

  3. chriswakey

    Two tips of the hat to the mighty Tom

    Obviously the jelly babies, but the very brief impersonation by Capaldi when mentioning the mummy.

  4. heyrick Silver badge


    I'm wondering, are the stories bad or is Capaldi just not suited to the role? He does a great job of "sarcastic slightly-bonkers irritated bloke", but... look back at previous Doctors. Isn't this going, well, wrong?

    As for Clara. Oh my God. She was so great as The Impossible Girl. But now, she's just so....<searches for adjective; can't find one: Abort, Retry, Ignore?>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ...

      "As for Clara. Oh my God. She was so great as The Impossible Girl. But now, she's just so....<searches for adjective; can't find one: Abort, Retry, Ignore?>"

      How about "incoherent"? Her character simply doesn't make any sense any more. The series needs a script editor who has a grasp of characterisation and can ensure that it's reasonably consistent from writer to writer. Moffet clearly isn't it.

      In fact, I suspect that he is actually the problem here, bending Clara's character in preparation for a final "Trial of the Doctor" episode/special where, OMG! Clara has to testify whether he is a "good man" or not. Damn whether it makes sense or not in the context of the character's history.

      The new series has suffered repeatedly under "story arcs" that no nothing but interfere with the smooth development of the characters, but this is probably the worst case of it (although I might argue that the execrable "Angels Take Manhattan" and the nonsensical end of Rory and Amy's parts was actually worse, but at least it was over in one truly terrible episode).

      I liked this episode but perhaps that's just in comparison with last week's terrible space egg crap.

    2. Wibble

      Re: ...

      > The Impossible Girl

      Odd how the Impossible Girl story line went OK, probably as it was a strong enough story to paper over the cracks underlying the Clara character. Sassy becomes downright annoying.

      Now it's painful. Almost like there's a petulant teenager as a companion. Which is just plain odd as it doesn't suit the new doctor at all. Would work better with a more Donna-like character. Or Frank Skinner!

      1. Vulch

        Re: ...

        "Would work better with a more Donna-like character"

        This. Much, much better.

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: ...

          I think by "Donna-like", you mean "believable". Donna (Catherine Tate) remains one of my favourite characters from the new show, simply because she was written as a character who had real dreams, motivations, worries, and weaknesses.

          The Clara character is none of these. There are some episodes where the disposable monster of the week is given more backstory.

          Even without the plot-driven personality disorders, the Clara character has never been properly anchored anywhere, physically or emotionally; she's just "generic cute but sassy female supporting character", with no motives, no beliefs, no background, and most importantly, no flaws in that perfect character. Why should I care about this person? - they'll get on fine whether I care or not.

          If this were some half-baked fan fiction (and I fear the gap is closing), you could say that she's a Mary Sue

  5. Chris G

    Shades of the King

    So the train was a Blaine after all.

    1. Kane
      Thumb Up

      Re: Shades of the King

      Blaine is a pain, and that is the truth.

  6. Arnold Lieberman

    Was that an Oric 1 on the table?

    In the lab?

    1. Andy Roid McUser

      Re: Was that an Oric 1 on the table?

      Good spot. It was indeed an Oric-1. Now I'm going to be playing spot the classic computer tech in next weeks episode.

  7. bex

    I don't get it

    Dr Who got too silly and gave up with making any sense by the end of Tennant's incarnation. SF is supposed to mean fiction not fantasy

    The every episode has to be an extravaganza turned me right off.

    1. Mister35mm

      Re: I don't get it

      It's turning into 'Harry potter in space'...

      It's a rip off, A bit like Marvel's "Agent's of Shield" which is a rip-off of Torchwood. Go on! Tell me I'm wrong!



  8. Blarkon

    Last reviewer missed the Tom Baker impression

    Capaldi was doing Tom Baker's voice as the other side of the conversation where he was working things out for himself.

  9. Suricou Raven

    Monster was alright.

    It kept you guessing.

    I guessed wrong, and thought until the end that it was some sort of telepathic parasite. When it was about to kill the professor and he took his glasses off, I was expecting his final words to be a shocked declaration that the mummy was still in focus - thus showing that he wasn't seeing it with his eyes.

    I notice the Doctor being very calm and unaffected by the lack of air at the end. Either the writers just wanted to show him still remaining in control under pressure, or they remembered that his alien physiology has already been established as capable of surviving for a short time in vacuum.

    1. Craig Chambers

      Re: Monster was alright.

      The Doctor and Clara carried on a conversation while everyone else around them started to choke immediately (as if all the air in the carriage had outgassed as soon as depressurisation commenced). Only once Clara had spoken two whole sentences did she show any signs of succumbing.

      That was the low point for me.

  10. WonkoTheSane

    Quote wrong?

    I could have sworn the Doctor said "It's the baggage car, but thanks for _lying_".

  11. We're all in it together

    We caught up with the Mummy

    Well thanks for joining us Mummy

    "It's a pleasure to be here!"

    Tell us a bit more about this weeks episode..

    "Well I play a scary sort of character desperately trying to escape a script"

    And how do you feel you faired?

    "Got paid didn't I?"

  12. A Non e-mouse Silver badge


    I'm warming to Capaldi as the Doctor. I think he could be a great doctor. But Clara and the stories (which just seem to revolve around Clara in some random way) just let the whole thing down. They need an assistant who isn't some cutesy pretty thing who just adds eye candy and adds no value to the stories about the Doctor (yes, Doctor Who is supposed to be about the Doctor!).

    Imagine the fireworks if they had a strong character like Donna with the Capaldi Doctor. Donna acted as the Doctor's moral compass and wasn't afraid to stand up to him. The moral decisions about the moon in the last episode or lying to the woman about to die in this episode? A Donna-like character would have had a field day arguing with the Doctor over them.

    The mechanic could also be a great 2nd assistant: Helping the Doctor to maintain the Tardis and help track Gus down too. (Hey, the mechanic could even *BE* Gus!)

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Assistants

      "A Donna-like character would have had a field day arguing with the Doctor over them." - but are the current scriptwriters capable of writing that sort of dialogue? Remember, this series began with what might be the most cringeworthy phone call in recent TV history.

  13. A Non e-mouse Silver badge


    Last night's ending was....*sigh*

    The writers appeared to have built up to a crescendo: The Tardis was off-limits and the air was being removed from the train. Then the writers realised that they only had 30 seconds of the episode left, so they cut to the end with the Doctor saying: "Yeah, I saved everyone".

    A textbook example of an anti-climax.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first

      Re: Ending

      Look on the bright side. No screwdriver was employed.

      Speaking of which, Frankie Boyle made me laugh when he revealed that Doctor Who was a stereotypical Scotsman:

      An old man with a screwdriver who drags young women into a phone box. "I'm taking you back to the 1970s".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ending

        "No screwdriver was employed."

        Not at the end. But it was there earlier in the episode, and (at the time) it appeared to not work very well.

        The sonic screwdriver not working right was actually on someone's wishlist round here a week or two back.

        Maybe said person knows something we don't...

    2. Jedit Silver badge

      "A textbook example of an anti-climax."

      Cutting to the beach was interesting, actually. The Doctor says he saved everyone, but not having seen it we don't know if he was telling the truth or not. He could have saved only Clara and Perkins, and lied to Clara about it so she wouldn't leave.

  14. SleepyJohn

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement from these three

    Well, none of this has tempted me to start watching again. I shall continue to sit and look at my cat; which thankfully does not display the inanity of one from Cheshire, or Clara.

  15. Banksy

    Dear Doctor,

    Since no-one else likes Clara could you drop her off at my house when you're finished with her?


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid reviews

    "A jelly baby last made its appearance in Who under a Thatcher Government."

    Yeah Gavin. Thats so correct and utterly makes your review hold up.

    The 8th Doctor, under Major's government in 1996 also was partial to Jelly Babies. Lets pretend you know what you are talking about though eh?

    1. AlexS

      Re: Stupid reviews

      Also references to 10th and 11th Doctor.

      I don't know what I'm taking about either I just use google:

  17. mr.K

    Idealism vs pragmatism

    Kind of weird that in the last episode the right choice was the ignore the wish of an entire planet and put them all at great risk on the long shot that some unknown giant space birdie wouldn't go full blown toddler on the nearest gravitational well. All because the right choice on TV is always "doing the right thing", like in the moral dilemmas "Could you kill one guy if it was the only way to save a planet." and if you just say no then it will magically work out anyway.* While in this episode the conclusion is: "Sometimes the choices you have are bad ones, and you still have to choose."

    It would have made a little sense if at least this was an argument between Clara and the Doctor, but it isn't, he endorsed her choice on the moon. And anyway, I do not think any characters opinion of reality should affect said reality, but in this world it clearly does. Stick to idealism: It works out. Stick to pragmatism: It works out.

    Overall a watchable episode though. I just wish the new doctor had some consistency in this new dark persona of his.

    *I am so glad TV-writers are not doctors doing triage.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "Kind of weird that in the last episode the right choice was the ignore the wish of an entire planet and put them all at great risk on the long shot that some unknown giant space birdie wouldn't go full blown toddler on the nearest gravitational well."

      Not only that, but it looks to me as if the writers are now also re-using plots from the past. Worse yet: the recent past. Because the "impossible choice" was already done in the episode The Beast Below.

      An episode I actually enjoyed because of the (small) plot twist. The British nation now lives on a spaceship with a "star whale" below them to drive / power it. Every once in a while they learn about the (ugly) truth of their spaceship (that they're actually torturing a rather magnificent creature) and are given a choice: release the creature or forget all about the issue at hand. And because it is implied that releasing the creature would also mean the destruction of the spaceship the choice is more or less already made.

      Until Amy Pond gets to make the decision... again..

      Lets see; who was the writer of that episode... Oh right; Steven Moffat again.

      1. Deryk Barker

        Re: @mr.K

        I just rewatched the end of series 5 - the Pandorica story - and right at the end, as Amy and Rory, just-married, enter the TARDIS, the phone rings...

        And during the conversation the Doctor says "no I get that it's important: an Egyptian godess loose on the Orient Express, in space".

        I have to say I sometimes wonder how far in advance "the Moff" plans. Did he have the entire River Song saga in his mind when he wrote Silence in the Library, for example?

        Anyway, just thought i'd mention it.

  18. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Well received in some quarters

    On Gallifreybase (other fandom websites are available) 80% of those contributing to poll (1900 votes) placed it as "8 It's certainly worthy of very high praise!" or better, 90% as "7. Well above average" or better.

    I think the 12 giving it the lowest rating "1 I'd rather listen to a tape loop of leaf blower noise" might be the fewest I've seen for that rating recently.

  19. ukgnome

    balanced view on the reg?

    Has Brid taken the comments to heart as that review seems more balanced.

  20. Rottenham

    So Far So Bad

    So far, the scripts and casting have been so gaggingly multicultural it has been a distraction. I actually looked up the demographics of England to see if I was missing something. Worse, the lite in Clara's eyes is long gone. She was one of the prettiest girls in the world. Now she's just another young girl with makeup on.

    Now you suggest a new writer is going to fix this show? I doubt it, but I'll take a look and see.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      And in news just in

      Moffat has announced plans to address your concerns. All writers have been informed that future episodes must take place in Midsomer. This will of course mean toning down the explosions but on the other hand the number of deaths per episode can be cranked up in compensation. When asked about the plausibility of having Midsomer invaded by aliens every other episode Moffat's only response was a blank stare.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too many simple faults....

    As well as (if that wasn't enough) all the bad dialogue and bad plotting already discussed at length above, even the simple things aren't being thought through.

    For example, as the Doctor and Clara come out of the baggage car, they stop and talk to the train captain bloke. And as they do so, at least two more couples come out through the baggage car door behind them? Where have they come from? And if the answer is "the front part of the train", why the hell is the baggage car in the middle?

    As the train 'disguise' is removed and the laboratory revealed, most of the passengers disappear (as they are "hard-light holograms") while the remaining passengers are revealed to be experts brought together to try to solve the case. And none of these experts is expert enough to be able to tell a hologram from a real person? That probably explains why none of them contributed to solving the case of the mummy, only standing meekly and silently in the background whilst the doctor did his thing.

    It would have been more appropriate to simply have them as passengers, their lives being the moral blackmail that Gus puts the Doctor under.

    And why exactly is the ancient soldier a mummy? Was he supposed to be an ancient Egyptian soldier? Aaaaggh! Bring back the Pyramids of Mars - much better.

    1. illiad

      Re: Too many simple faults....

      "none of these experts is expert enough to be able to tell a hologram from a real person"

      you don't think they KNEW, and were just 'playing along' ??? LOL

      Have you ever seen 'experts' fighting each other for a solution??? how juvenile.... no they observe, discuss, etc...

      if you dont know what they are watching, you must be dumb...

      if the 'mummy' looked just a plain soldier, he would be ignored!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too many simple faults....

        > "none of these experts is expert enough to be able to tell a hologram from a real person"

        > you don't think they KNEW, and were just 'playing along' ??? LOL

        Possibly. Would have made a nice plot twist - shame the writer didn't see fit to include it then.

        > Have you ever seen 'experts' fighting each other for a solution??? how juvenile.... no they observe, discuss, etc...

        Who said they had to fight each other?

        > if you dont know what they are watching, you must be dumb...

        Well, speechless at least...

        > if the 'mummy' looked just a plain soldier, he would be ignored!!!

        So, you're saying that the episode needed a gimmick, because a soldier alone wasn't good enough?

  22. Richard Scratcher

    There was one big scary moment for me...

    When it seemed Frank Skinner's character might become a regular cast member.


    1. Andrew Moore

      Re: There was one big scary moment for me...

      worse in the pipeline- a cameo from David Baddiel and a villain called 'Statto'

      1. John 62

        Re: There was one big scary moment for me...

        I don't know why I read all this stuff, because I have no interest in actually watching Dr Who, but an appearance from Statto would get me watching!

  23. Dalek Dave

    "A jelly baby last made its appearance in Who under a Thatcher Government."


    You may want to check that out.

    Sylvester McCoy enjoyed them in the Tardis just before his regeneration, that was 1996.

  24. Purple-Stater

    I'm okay with it...

    I saw a bit of no-time-to-be-pleasant Doctor fighting with himself to change something about his personality that Clara dislikes. I saw a bit of Clara trying to see things from the Doctor's point of view, which she's well aware of, instead of her overly emotionally-charged human perspective.

    I thought they both pulled it off in a way that was conducive to change, but without either of them openly admitting to having tried. I like it.

    My wife really liked Clara's dress and was pleased that I agreed with her.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      My wife really liked Clara's dress

      So did mine - and immediately complained I never take her anywhere she could wear such a dress.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My wife really liked Clara's dress

        I wish my wife would fit in such a dress.

        1. DiViDeD

          Re: My wife really liked Clara's dress

          My wife wishes *I* would fit in such a dress. But then she's always been a little outside the box

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pyramids of Mars, Robots of Death, Ark in Space, City of Death etc etc

    So much simpler, spookier and more effective than this modern smart-arsed, zippy-dialogued, touchy-feely, incoherent, overly-frivolous and overly-complex contrivance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      bring back the old format

      I know how TV is watched has moved on since the 70's. But I'd like to see the old format brought back, 4 or 6 part stories spread over weeks with cliff hangers that left you wanting more. I'm just about ready to switch of watching Dr Who. The last Dr was pretty poor, far to stupid and childish, I actually prefer this Dr but the stories are getting pathetic. I've not watched this weeks yet, but last weeks with the moon being a giant egg, what a total load of old sh1te

      1. Yugguy

        Re: bring back the old format

        I'd like some more of this too - time to let the story and characters develop.

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      I rewatched City of Death again recently

      and pretty all your complaints with the possible exception of 'touchy-feely"* apply to it. What would you expect when you have the genius of Tom Baker combined with the genius of Douglas Adams (and Lalla Ward in a schoolgirl outfit. It seems your main problem is that DNA is dead.

      *From the 'chemistry' between the leads I expect there was plenty of 'touchy-feely' going on behind the scenes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I rewatched City of Death again recently

        City of Death was an oddity (not least because of filming on location in Paris) but the point I was making is it that everything in the modern incarnation is taken to the extreme. I loved the plot of CoD but it was relatively simple compared to the some of the stuff dished out nowadays. It also had some great lines ("You're a beautiful woman, probably") but the witticisms were used in moderation and not relentlessly peppered throughout the story. Somehow the true face of the Jagaroth in all it's 7O's BBC SFX-budget glory was much more spooky than a mummy rendered with such great detail and intent to scare. Even the fact that humanity would never exist if not for Scaroth's ship blowing up somehow is less annoying and not quite so epic as the extremes of peril that 21st Century Who tries to deliver and keeps trying to out-do itself (the end of the universe, the death of the Doctor, the end of time itself, the demise of the Timelords, the demise of the Daleks etc) There seems little left for the Doctor save.

  26. Lallabalalla

    Bring back a "Leela"

    Speaking of Tom Baker....we could really do with a genuinely strong female asst. who makes decisions, goes off-piste, has an effect on the storyline and isn't a complete drip. IMO.

  27. Lallabalalla

    Look on the bright side

    at least we didn't have to allow for the inexplicable lezzie lizard woman, her slave maid lover and that annoying rough mechanical phil mitchell lookalike. WTF are they all about anyway?

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      I would love to explain

      what that's all about but in deference to the mods maybe you should just read the. ahem, fan fiction.

  28. steamrunner

    Proof reading?

    I'm hazarding a quick guess the author didn't go back and double-check their own words and that the Reg subs were a bit asleep at the wheel as well for this one. Why? Because we go from the "mysteriously brilliant Mr Perkins, played by Frank Skinner" to "Thomas the Tank Engine reject Frank Skinner hamming it up with a nod and a wink almost made me think: Come back Clara, all is forgiven!”. Zero consistency in the reviewing there, which of course immediately makes me think the worst and that the rest is hogwash and bullshit mixed ranting as well. Result: disbelief of the reviewers observations. #fail. Sorry.

    1. Brusselsgeek

      Re: Proof reading?

      There were three different reviewers, who clearly very much disagree.

  29. ScaredyCat

    I wish they'd just stop trying to turn Dr Who into an extention of Eastenders. Why do we have to have a drama queen event in every episode. Clara adds nothing to Dr Who, nether did the other one, the ginger one.. time for some stong side-kick. Even Ace was better... God, did I just say that.. it must be bad.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great Episode, Great Series, Great Doctor

    Scary monsters, great one liners, a darker more complicated Doctor, and Clara coming into her own as an interesting conflicted character.

    It bugs me that people say the plots are rehashes, after so many episodes there is always going to be elements that have some similarity.

    I think they are doing a remarkably good job this season, all the episodes have been quite strong, a relief after the last Matt Smith season which was mostly awful scripting and plots.

    If Doctor Who did not take things in a new direction with each new Doctor and each new companion, then it would get very old very fast.

  31. Lamont Cranston

    These reviews are just about spot-on (unless we want to quibble details).

    This week's Who was the best of the current series, to date. Plenty of "hiding behind the sofa", from my brood, and, whilst the story didn't make a huge heap of sense, it was quite fun (the 66 second countdowns were a good source of tension).

    The whole "I teleported everyone to the Tardis, then took them home while you were sleeping" device was a bit cheap, but I can forgive that, as Doctor Who is supposed to be cheap! What really let the whole thing down was Clara not leaving. She has a ready made happy ending (Rose and Amy both got tragic send-offs, we don't have to have another one), and everyone is sick of her - she was Matt Smith's Doctor's companion, and that story is done, so just let her go and have the new Doctor pick an appropriate companion. Even Mel wasn't this grating.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People are still watching this season?

    I gave up after 3 episodes of being bored senseless. It's a shame but Moffat has now effectively destroyed the franchise again.

  33. ShadowDragon8685

    I have to say...

    I disagreed - STRONGLY disagreed - with the second two El Reg reviewers.

    Frankly, the romance with Danny that's been played up infuriates me.

    "Oh, I made my life for a while running hither-tither throughout the cosmos with a bicardiac madman in a blue box and we saved the galaxy a hundred times over - oh, and I tore myself into a billion pieces and flung myself throughout the entirety of time and space to make sure that galaxy-saving takes place, making me definitely equal to and possibly a bigger hero/vital element of time and space integrity than the Doctor himself is... But I met a man and now my ovaries have told me it's time to hit the emergency break on anything else that's going on in my life and start having kids" thing makes me want to go thermonuclear.

    Clara Oswald is not just a girl. In fact, if she were CLARENCE Oswald, we'd not be having this discussion at all.

    Clara Oswald is an *Adventurer*. A heroine whose bona fides put her in the most exalted of company. Her fate should not be determined by her reproductive organs or hormonal balance, and that's what the whole "Clara's leaving the show" thing is. They're trying to predestine her out of the show via reproduction, and... >_<

    Clara's lived a life of adventure. She's gotten used to it by now. Why should she be in such a hurry to give up a life of adventure? Could someone who's become accustomed to fantastic things and heart-pumping adventure and running flat-out for your life from Daleks and Cybermen and what-have-you REALLY just forsake it all for a life of 9-5 educating the aggravating yoof and reproduction?

    I highly doubt it, and that's why I found her U-turn at the end so compelling. Does anybody else remember Martha Jones? She was my favorite (until Donna, and now Clara,) but she took that biggest step and got off the TARDIS voluntarily, again for reasons of "I'm a woman and my ovaries are ticking." (In her case, there was the addenda "and if you're not going to service them, I'll go find someone else who will.") I really hated that, I thought it was crap, but she'd been showing the whole "getting to fancy the Doctor" for most of her season.

    Danny Pink seems to have come out of nowhere, frankly. What attachment does Clara *really* have to him? He makes her laugh, takes her to dinner, okay. The Doctor takes her through time and space, gives her the opportunity to put herself in mortal peril for the sake of doing good. Can Danny Pink shrink her to the size of an ant's mandible and let her go crawling through the insides of a Dalek to try and turn it good? Can Danny Pink afford her the opportunity to save the galaxy?

    That's why I liked her U-Turn at the end. That was when she realized that she was about to get off the ride for good, and consign herself to a life of mundanity, after having proven that not only CAN she be an adventuring hero, she LIKES it. She doesn't want it to stop, isn't ready to get off the ride. She stood literally at the threshold of choosing between the end of the Impossible Girl and the beginning of Clara Oswald, Mum, or remaining the Impossible Girl, and she chose wisely. Or at least, correctly.

    Also, the most powerful bit of imagery in this episode was at the end, I thought. With Clara and the Doctor throwing the TARDIS's levers together. I mean, really, who else would the Doctor knowingly suffer to throw the controls of his TARDIS? Only River Song comes to mind, and I view the bond between Clara and the Doctor, rocky though it may be, as being just as deep.

    Frankly, I'd rather see Clara die than retire. Though, really, dying is to Clara what dying is to the Doctor. She'll just reincarnate again.

    (Wild and Irresponsible Speculation: When she tore herself apart in the Doctor's time-stream, she reassembled as a Time Lord who keeps regenerating into herself in different eras.)

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      And this got downvotes? Maybe we should just dress Clara in a pinafore and blow up stuff while the Doctor makes random pronouncements that turn out to be correct? <sigh>

      [need a "Huh?" icon]

      1. ShadowDragon8685

        It's hardly a surprise for me to take a stand on an unpopular opinion. It seems to be my lot in life, but thanks for standing up for me.

        I like Clara. I like the fact that when she stood on the precipice of forsaking what her life has become, she threw herself, almost literally, back into it.

        Heck, thinking about it, all of the Doctor's prior companions have been unable to let go of the life... At least, all of the ones whose ends we know enough about.

        Rose Tyler - become the Bad Wolf, basically an incarnated Goddess, then went back to being merely mortal, and later was trapped in a parallel universe where she wound up working for their version of Torchwood, but she eventually wound up with a humanized clone of the Tenth Doctor to keep her company. Somehow I doubt they settled down to be a soccer mum and a schoolteacher after that.

        Jack Harkness... Is Jack Harkness. See Also: Torchwood.

        Mickey Smith - Though once the boyfriend of Rose Tyler, was last seen carrying a gun and engaging in urban warfare with a Sontaran in the company of Martha Jones.

        Donna Noble - Was forced out of the life by the Doctor being an idiot. She was fully prepared to die as a human with the memories and intellect of a Time Lord (*the* Time Lord,) burning as the brightest candle that burns shortest, rather than consign herself to a life of mundanity. The Doctor consigned her for her, because he's thick at times and the show's writers have a habit of (in)conveniently forgetting McGuffins (is it MacGuffin in context of the Tennant or Capaldi Doctors?) that could solve the present problem quite handily.

        Martha Jones - Got off the TARDIS, promptly enlisted in UNIT as an officer-doctor. Was last seen carrying a gun and engaging in urban warfare against a Sontaran in the company of Mickey Smith.

        Sarah Jane Smith - See also The Sarah Jane Adventures.

        Amy Pond & Rory Williams - Possibly the only ones I know of to give up the life and settle down to a normal existence, though not voluntarily. A Sleeping Angel got Rory out of the blue, and Amy went and let it nail her to be with him. Also caused by the Doctor being thick - he knew the damn thing had sent them back to some time in the early 20th-century New York City, and that his TARDIS was prevented from landing anywhere near New York during that time frame. What exactly was stopping him from landing the TARDIS somewhere else on Earth during those time frames and employing earthly transportation to recover them - we've seen him go back to England during similar time-frames, so at the very most he could land in England and ask his friend HM the Queen to lend him a jet to go and pick up his pals. Or, if he can land relatively nearer to NYC, say, Newark Delaware, he could take a train. (Or he could ask Vastra to wait 20 years (we know she's in London in 1893) to have a look for them once or twice a year, bearing in mind that the publication date of the book should give them a good time-frame for when to start looking, and then pack them up in a stasis pod until he can retrieve them during the 21st century.) But I digress.

        River Song - She married the bloke, she sure as hell didn't get off the ride willingly! (In fact she was torn apart by something evil that lives in the darkness of the galaxy's biggest library. That's what you get when you build a gigantic paper library rather than, say, a massive distributed data-storage center.)

        And here we have Clara Oswald, the Impossible Girl. It remains to be seen, but given the track record and what we've seen of her... It doesn't seem in her character to say "That's it, I'm done. No more adventure, no more saving the galaxy, no more gallivanting through time and space, no more having fancy dinners aboard modes of transportation that have no business flying through the void of interstellar vacuum and no more carriage rides in Victorian London with Vastra and the gang, that's it. I'm off to be a schoolteacher to whom nothing exciting ever happens again."

        Clara could have gotten off the ride at any time, it's not like she was obliged to stay, not like Danny and his enlistment in the military. Clara has stayed on because she *likes* it, the adventure, the excitement, the occasional bit where she's personally responsible for the continuation of the galaxy as a whole. If she *did* get off the ride now, what then would become of her? I doubt she could just go and live a life of ordinary schoolteaching. Hell, remember Donna? She had *one ride* with the Doctor, and that was enough to make her spend her life poking her nose into news of crazy things happening, undoubtedly putting her life at risk and quite probably leading her into one or two jail cells for breaking and entering, or resulting in her having close brushes with murder and other things of ghastly nature, but she did it because she wanted to find the Doctor. Because she wanted to get back on the ride.

        Even if Clara got off, I don't believe she could live a settled life happily. She'd be bored with it, she'd probably wind up an adrenaline junkie, free-running through industrial parks or volunteering for dangerous humanitarian missions in war-torn parts of the planet, and that's just the earthly outlets, leaving aside the possibility (or even probability,) that she'd be snatched up by UNIT. It isn't as if she's unknown to them, after all, what with having walked through the doors in the Doctor's company during the Day of the Doctor and all that, or else trying to dig up Vastra in the modern day and see if she could get back into the Doctor's sphere of influence through a mutual acquaintance known to both of them. (Or else become a weirdness-chaser like Donna.)

  34. lee harvey osmond

    Another robot story, more or less

    The rubbish robots, Robot of Sherwood, the Skovox Blitzer, and now a long-dead soldier animated by military technology.

    Anybody would think that DW's writers have abandoned their Sixties counterparts' anxieties about invasion and nuclear annihilation, and instead exhibit some more contemporary anxieties regarding weaponised drones and lingering antipersonnel mines.

  35. Yugguy

    The singer was cute

    That was about all I took from this week's episode.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: The singer was cute

      The Singer was Foxes.

      1. Yugguy

        Re: The singer was cute

        She certainly was.

      2. FlatSpot
        Thumb Up

        Re: The singer was cute

        Thanks for that.. yep very Amy Winehouse

        1. Deryk Barker

          Re: The singer was cute

          And thankfully the editing managed to disguise that immortal verse:

          Two hundred degrees

          That's why they call me Mr Fahrenheit,

          I'm trav'ling at the speed of light

          I wanna make a supersonic man out of you

          And Brian May allegedly an astrophysicist!

          Gotta say I've never enjoyed a Queen song as much. But that's not saying a great deal.

  36. PassiveSmoking

    This episode felt like almost the exact opposite of the previous Kill The Moon. That was a horrible episode where the only good bit was Clara breaking up with the doctor. This was a decent episode where the only crap bit was Clara failing to break up with the doctor.

    I'm getting a little bored with horror stories in Who, though. There's been far too many this season, can we have a bit of a change of pace now please guys?

  37. pyite

    Spot on review

    I was thinking the same thing as the headline. It was the most fun since the Godfather scene in the first episode.

  38. bed

    Grow Down!

    The opposite of Grow Up! Dr. Who is not supposed to be taken too seriously, so don't. Take an un-reality check and watch some of the very early black and white episodes, the ones I used to watch from behind the sofa, on Youtube, shoogly (Scots word) sets, primitive camera work and all. Then settle down on a Saturday evening with an HD projector, 4982 inch screen (diagonal of 94*53 inch) and enjoy the rubbish, letting the nonsense flow past.

  39. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    Jelly Babies

    So, as a Yank, I've often assumed that Jelly Babies and Gummy Bears are the same thing. (They are very similar but not exactly the same.) However, in making this discovery, I was treated to an amusing display of Google's "pairing targeted ads with searches" gone horribly wrong.

    Upon searching for "Jelly Baby vs Gummy Bear" I was treated to several potential answers and the following ad:

    Vaseline® Jelly Baby


    Locks In Moisture To Treat & Help Prevent Diaper Rash For Your Baby!

    Lip Therapy - Vaseline Jelly - The Vaseline Story - Vaseline For Men

    Whilst I certainly understand how the search engine's algorithms would make such a connection, I saw "Vaseline Jelly Baby" and immediately though "Wow, I bet those taste AWFUL."

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cutting to the beach I was hoping he'd leave Clara there a la Rose

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hard to dump

    Problem with The Impossible Girl is she's impossible to get rid of, she's scattered herself throughout the doctor's timeline remember. Also means if she decides to leave before the doctor's done, he can just time travel to one of her time clones and carry on.

    Only way to leave her would be to reboot the universe again.

  42. J 7

    Frank Skinner as the next Doctor?

    Methinks Frank Skinner would make an excellent doctor, far better than Capaldi

  43. J 7

    re "The singer was cute"

    I thought she looked a bit foxy personally

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