Saturday, 13 September 2014

Doctor Who: Listen

YOU GUYS. I feel like I’ve been waiting YEARS for this episode! OH WAIT, I HAVE! Not since series five’s Vincent and the Doctor have I been this impressed, this touched, this emotional, and this much in love with Doctor Who. THIS WAS AN AMAZING EPISODE. MOFFAT IS BACK, BAYBEE. THE MAN IS A GENIUS. I’M SO SORRY I FORGOT THAT.

I mean, to tie in the War Doctor’s barn with this episode is just BRILLIANT! And Capaldi! MY GOD, CAPALDI! He KILLED IT in this episode! If you weren’t sure about him as the Doctor before, you HAVE to be now! He epitomized everything the Doctor is, and it was beautiful!

And if you missed it, Moffat went right back to episode one, The Unearthly Child, when Clara said, “Fear makes a companion of us all.” The very First Doctor said that exact same thing to Barbara. 

Isn’t that just perfect? Damn, I love it when Moffat does this to me! I’d let myself forget how he can make me feel! I LOVE STEVEN MOFFAT, YOU GUYS. DON’T LET ME FORGET AGAIN.
This is going to be an instant classic, and it’s now easily in my top five favourite episodes!


Listen”, is how we open, and listen is what we’ll do. The Doctor meditates on the top of the TARDIS as it floats above a planet—earth?

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor wonders to himself why we talk out loud when we’re alone. He believes it’s because we’re never alone. How scary is THAT thought?!

He maintains that there’s perfect hunting, perfect defense…so why no perfect hiding? I mean, we’d never know if there was a creature that was the perfect hider, right? So…he wants to find it, of course!

He puts his chalk down as he talks to himself…or to whatever may be listening…but when he reaches for it again, it’s gone. We then see it on the floor, where it rolls into his foot. As he stands and glances at the empty chalkboard—it’s not empty anymore. The word, “Listen” is written….


At Clara’s, she’s apparently had a horrible, horrible date with Danny. Okay, I’ma say this: I wish there didn’t have to be a romance in this show. Why is it that as soon as the Doctor regenerated into someone older, they had to add a handsome younger love interest for Clara? Ugh. Regardless, here he is, and I do like him.

During the date, Clara and Danny get on well, at first. Then they both stick their feet further and further into their mouths, and they just fight. Like, a lot. About everything. It’s weird.

Clara ends up storming off, and finds the Doctor hiding in her bedroom at home. He needs Clara for a “thing”, and she joins him in the TARDIS.  He explains his theory about a silent, hidden companion. What if no one is ever alone?

He shows her the “listen” written on the chalkboard. Clara says it looks like his handwriting. However, he says he doesn’t remember writing it…

He then explains about a certain nightmare everyone has; waking alone, in the dark. Putting your feet on the floor, and someone from under your bed grabbing your ankle…Doesn’t everyone have this dream? The Doctor has, Clara has, hell, even I have!

To find out when Clara has had this dream, the Doctor links her with the TARDIS. I didn’t know that could be done. Neat.

Clara needs to focus on when she had the dream, but her phone rings as she’s trying to concentrate.
The TARDIS lands and the Doctor is certain they’re in the right place. It’s a children’s home, in the mid-90s. The year is right.

The Doctor goes inside, and tells Clara to wait inside the TARDIS. Instead, she looks up to see a boy in a window. He calls to her, and they talk. He tells her his name is Rupert Pink, but that he wants to change it….Yup, she’s landed in DANNY’s childhood, not her own!

She sneaks inside to talk little Rupert-Danny as the Doctor is speaking to the night watchman (OH, HAI PSYCHIC PAPER!).

As Clara bonds with scared little Rupert under his bed, the springs creak as if someone sits on it. When they emerge, the bedspread takes the form of a person. THIS PART IS SO FREAKING CREEPY.

The Doctor has been watching from the chair, where he was trying to find Waldo in a book. Apparently Waldo, who’s called Wally in the UK, ISN’T in every book. WHAT THE HELL?!
He tells Rupert that being scared is like having a superpower. It makes a person stronger, faster, smarter, and the being scared is absolutely okay.

He guides them to the window. He tells Rupert and Clara to turn their backs on the thing under the bedspread; to not look at it, and to promise to never look at it. The bedspread monster pulls the bedspread off—we only get a blurry glimpse of what’s underneath—and then it runs out the door. DAT WAS THE CREEPIEST BEDSPREAD I’VE EVER SEEN.

Clara helps Rupert feel braver by using plastic soldiers. She places them so that they’ll watch over him as he sleeps. Rupert calls the head soldier, “Dan the soldier man”. The Doctor puts Rupert to sleep, and the two leave his timeline.

Back on the TARDIS, the Doctor wonders why the TARDIS landed at Rupert’s dream instead of Clara’s.  Clara lies/doesn’t tell him, and the Doctor mentions that Rupert won’t remember a thing because he gave the child a dream about being, “Dan the soldier man”. So, um, the Doctor pretty much made Danny Pink who he is. Ha!

Clara has the Doctor take her back to the end of her date with Danny, and she goes back in to try to fix things. She fails, but this time Danny’s the one who storms off, because he knows that Clara is lying about, well, pretty much everything.

Oddly, a man in a spacesuit, complete with full face mask—much like the Doctor’s familiar orange spacesuit!—beckons to Clara from the kitchen of the restaurant. Clara follows, where she finds, not the Doctor in the suit, but a man who looks exactly like Danny! The Doctor enters and explains that the man is Orson Pink, and he’s from one hundred years into her future.  The Doctor has used some of Clara’s psychic whatever stuff, and that brought him to Orson. So Orson must have something to do with Clara’s timeline. HAHAHAHA! Okay, so we’re supposed to think Clara and Danny have kids, hmm? That’s adorable!

The Doctor brings Clara back to where he found Orson—the end of the universe. No, not like in Utopia, a different end of the universe. The TARDIS isn’t supposed to go there, but he’d turned the safeguards off to bring them into Clara’s past earlier.

The Doctor explains that Orson is the very first time traveller, but he was over shot. Like, way over shot. He’s been stranded for 6 months, and the Doctor promises to take him home.

The Doctor tells Orson that the TARDIS needs to recharge, and so they need to stay where they are for one night. Orson doesn’t like that idea.

Clara puts him into the TARDIS to be safe, and from his bag falls a small toy soldier. Yep, it’s Dan the Soldier Man! A family heirloom that brings luck, as Orson explains.

Orson tells Clara that time travel runs in the family. According to a story, one of his great-grandparents was a time traveller. Orson gives the toy soldier to Clara.

Outside the TARDIS, Clara and the Doctor wait for whatever Orson was afraid of. Orson’s ship starts to make noise, clangs and bangs, and the Doctor explains them away. Temperature changes, pressure changes, systems switching to low power…But, of course, he doesn’t believe that.

Suddenly, there’s a knocking on the hatch—or is it the hull cooling? The Doctor needs to see, and unlocks the hatch. He orders Clara into the TARDIS, but he stays. He has to know…

Clara watches on the TARDIS viewer, which craps out as she watches. An alarm on Orson’s ship goes off. The hull has been breached. The Doctor holds on for dear life as things are sucked out. Orson grabs him and pulls him into the TARDIS.

The Doctor was hit on the head, and he’s unconscious. The cloister bell rings as the TARDIS shakes, and Clara once again joins with the TARDIS to try to get them home. They land, and Clara exits to see where they are.

It’s a barn full of hay. In a bed in a small loft, a child is crying. As she’s about to comfort the child, a man and woman enter, and Clara hides beneath the bed.

The man and woman remark on the crying child, and why he sleeps in the barn. The child doesn’t want anyone to hear that he cries. The woman tells the child that he’s welcome to sleep in the house, and that he’s not alone. As they leave, the man says that the boy can’t just run away and cry all the time if he wants to join the army. The woman says that the boy doesn’t want to join the army, and the man says, “Well he’s not going to the academy, is he? He’ll never make a Time Lord.” Right around here is when I started screaming. Like, literally screaming, “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING THAT’S, WHAT, OH MY GODDDDDDDD”. My dogs freaked out. It was horrible. I scared the whole house. And then I started crying.

The Doctor in the TARDIS wakes, and yells for Clara. The boy hears, and calls out a, “Hello?”  Clara has also realized who the crying boy is, and as the boy puts his feet on the floor, she grabs his ankle. SHE GRABS HIS FREAKING ANKLE. SHE’S THE DREAM, YOU GUYS. IT WAS HER ALL ALONG!

She realizes what she’s done, and she tells the boy it’s all a dream. The boy lies back down in his bed, and Clara comforts him. We never get to see his face, which I’m VERY okay with, and she tells him to listen. She tells him she knows he’s afraid, and that being afraid is alright. Fear is a superpower that makes you cleverer, and stronger. And one day, he’s going to come back to this barn, (YOU GUYS, I’M SOBBING NOW. I CAN’T EVEN……MOFFAT, YOU DAMN GENIUS.) and he’s going to be very afraid. As we see the War Doctor walking to the barn—because when you’re afraid, you often go to the place that’s comforting and familiar and safe—Clara tells him that, on that day, if he’s very wise, and very strong, fear doesn’t have to make him cruel or cowardly, fear can make him kind. Clara tells him there’s nothing under the bed, or in the dark, and she tells him that it’s okay to be afraid. He’s always going to be afraid, but fear is like a constant companion. It’s always there, and that’s okay, because fear can bring people together, and fear can bring people home. And she leaves him Dan the Soldier Man so that he remembers that, “Fear makes companions of us all.” (SOBBING. JUST UGLY, UGLY SOBBING. THE SAME THING ONE SAID TO BARBARA. THE SAME FREAKING THING. EXACT WORDS. EXACT!)

On the TARDIS, the Doctor asks where they are. Clara tells him to leave; to just not look, and leave. He doesn’t like it, but trusts her, and leaves.

They drop Danny off in his time and say goodbye.

Then Clara hugs the Doctor, and he’s against the hugging. And I’m still freaking crying, but now I’m laugh-crying. It’s a huge mess. I’m a blubbering fool. It’s awesome. I love it.

Then Clara rings the bell at Danny’s, and the two make up, and smooch.


Okay, so who else is sure that Dan the Soldier Man is going to come into play again very soon, when both Danny and the Doctor pull him out of their pockets?! Ha!

Now, I’m hearing some grumbling about this episode. Some say that it’s all about Clara, again,  (It’s so not), and many just didn’t understand it. To those of you that feel this way, please watch it again. Please. If you still feel this way, than I guess you’re probably a Moffat-hating person, and there’s nothing I can say to change your mind.

To those of you who loved it, my kindred spirits, I adore you. You get it, and you get me. I heart you guys! ♥

I’ve also heard a few people asking these questions:
-Who was under the sheet?
 It was just a kid playing a joke. Another student trying to play a trick on Rupert. Nothing more, nothing less.

-Who moved the chalk?
No one, it fell. Stuff falls.

-Who made the noises?
No one, it was exactly the things the Doctor said it was. Pressure, temperature. Houses creak, spaceships clang.
Regardless, who cares?! Like in the episode, Midnight, not knowing makes it scarier!

Thoughts and theories:
-Clara is now all over the Doctor’s timeline, right from his childhood. However, he never actually sees her this time, so I have no problem with that. Yes, this makes Clara a very important companion. Perhaps the most important. Again, I have no problem with this. It doesn’t change how I feel about her, for better or worse.
-Why did the Doctor suddenly think this all up? I guess because he’s 2000 years old, a bit mad, and seemingly has been off travelling on his own, without Clara, for a while? I guess it doesn’t really matter, does it? It made for a great frickin’ story.
-Why was the TARDIS able to land on time-locked Gallifrey? I think for a couple of reasons. 1) The safeguards were off. 2) Gallifrey itself isn’t time locked. Only Gallifrey during the Time War is.
-I’m hearing that some people are saying the little boy in the bed wasn’t the Doctor, but the Master as a child. To those I say, “WHAT THE ACTUAL F**K?! What show were you watching, because it sure wasn’t this episode!”
-No Missy/Promised Land in this episode. I’m okay with that, too.

Best lines:
Why do you have three mirrors? Why don’t you just turn your head?

What’s wrong with your face, it’s all eyes, why are you all eyes?! Get them under control!

She’s doing to all eyes thing, it’s because her face is so wide, she needs three mirrors.

What’s that in the mirror, or the corner of your eye,
Footsteps following, but never passing by,
Perhaps they’re all just waiting,
Perhaps when we’re all dead,
Out they’ll come a’slithering,
From underneath the bed.

Okay, now go watch the trailer for Time Heist, and we’ll meet back here in a week! 


  1. Wonderful show, and a truly awesome recap. My heart was racing through both. Love watching Doctor Who through your eyes.
    I said in an earlier recap 'trust Moffat' he's done this to us before. And he was up to the task - thank goodness.
    I agree with you about the romance aspect- also IN Every Episode since Capaldi became The Doctor- AGE has been mentioned , either as a bad thing ; 11 saying ' no don't tell me I'm old' or as an insult. Get over it hes a distinguished older gent that's it .
    Once again thanks for a very well written and funny recap.

  2. You hit the spot with your views LISTEN was absolutely fantastic

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  3. I enjoyed this episode a lot. I watched it in the middle of the night which made it extra creepy for me. And I loved the creepy poetry.

    I did get emotional during it and I loved how Clara was the one who grabbed him by the ankle under his bed and all the emotional implications of her speech.

    The only thing is, I didn't like that there was no explanation for the creature under the blanket. I am having a hard time believing it was actually just some random child. Because there was no noise of a door opening. If the door had opened, then it would be logical that it was one of the kids.

    And if it was one of the kids, then what was the point of them turning around while this child left instead of just ripping the blanket off? He made it seem like something bad would happen if the blanket was ripped off.

    Also, I've never had the nightmare of being grabbed from under the bed. I've been afraid of it, but never dreamed about it, so of course, the impact of that wasn't as significant to me.

    But even so, I wanted the story to wind up being an explanation as to why we've all had that dream, so I was disappointed when it was only an explanation about why the doctor has had that "dream."

    But I still did get emotional about it and still did enjoy it a lot. I just don't think I was necessarily blown away by it to the degree other people were.