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S08.E08: Mummy On The Orient Express

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Aboard the most beautiful train in history, speeding among the stars of the future, a legend is stalking the passengers. Once you see the Mummy, you have 66 seconds to live. Clara sees The Doctor at his most deadliest and most ruthless - and finally she realises she's made the right decision. Because this is their last adventure: it's time to say goodbye to the Time Lord.

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Oh, that was better. I enjoyed that. See what a difference it makes when both leads are given a perspective?

 

I mean, I could grumble at length about having wasted half a season building up to Clara's little meltdown, only for her to realise at last that the Doctor is still the Doctor, trying to save the day wherever he goes, he just doesn't have the patience for social niceties any more - and I mean, seriously, she's supposed to understand him better than anyone but clearly she doesn't, any one of his previous companions would have made this breakthrough weeks ago - and I could talk how she has been projecting totally unrealistic expectations onto him and then punishing him for being fallible...but I'm always so much less inclined to pick nits when I enjoyed an episode.

Edited by Llywela
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I mean, I could grumble at length about having wasted half a season building up to Clara's little meltdown

 

 

Me too because it's the kind of "character" "development" that's ultimately pointless in a series like this and particularly for this character.

 

In this season of Doctor Who, Clara slowly learns something she already knew.

 

Thanks, guys!

 

I won't grumble however about it - or about the fact they had so little for her to do she spent the episode locked in a room talking about her feelings - because this was the best episode by far this season. I must have just gotten used to Doctor es machina because even that didn't annoy me like it should.

 

The first scene was genuinely creepy, which I haven't seen in a while, and I liked the other characters and the pacing for once worked.

 

Missed who wrote it. It had a typical Moffatt existential villain but the writing was tight and the characterisation on point so I'd be surprised if he wrote it. Would be glad to be proved wrong.

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Missed who wrote it. It had a typical Moffatt existential villain but the writing was tight and the characterisation on point so I'd be surprised if he wrote it. Would be glad to be proved wrong.

According to one review the writer was "newbie Jamie Mathieson" (www.ign.com)

 

I feel like today has been a "Mummy Day" with TCM showing Hammer's The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb and another channel showing "The Mummy's Return".  What would round it for me is somebody airing "The Mummy" with Boris Karloff.

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Missed who wrote it. It had a typical Moffatt existential villain but the writing was tight and the characterisation on point so I'd be surprised if he wrote it. Would be glad to be proved wrong.

 

Jamie Mathieson. First-timer, but he's also written next week's. He wrote the script for the Chris O'Dowd movie Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, whch I've always quite enjoyed.

 

He had a pilot, Alt, that was supposed to air on E4 a few months ago, but never did. The star, Craig Roberts, just had his Amazon sitcom picked up, so I assume the E4 show is dead.

 

I enjoyed the episode, though the ending scenes with Clara deciding to stay felt like they were from another episode and slotted in here by necessity.

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I was amazed by the final scene with the Foretold. I don't know if it was the actor's body language or something in the makeup, but the damn thing looked so releaved to finally be able to let go. It made you feel sorry for the poor soldier.

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That was better than last week's episode, though that isn't saying much. The Doctor is still caustic, but I feel it was better served to us this week. Also, Clara looked good. Just sayin'.

 

One question . . . why was "Gus" intent on getting the mummy thing solved? Was it a Max Capricorn-type deal, where Gus was trying to forestall his own demise? I didn't get it.

 

elle . . . would this count for you? I took the picture this past Monday.

 

ETA: "Are you my mummy?" . . . a joke that never gets old.

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Nice to see some positive early returns.

 

This was a good episode and, for me, pretty much the only one that actually felt like a full-on Doctor Who episode instead of some lesser Doctor Who-like ripoff.  My only big complaint, not to beat a dead horse, was with Clara.  I seriously rolled my eyes a few times early on at her pouting and sulking, and I was sorry to see her stay at the end.  I can't stand having a Doctor Who episode interrupted by Clara having a chat on the phone with her boyfriend. 

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Dammit! Clara is still there?

 

There is a disturbing trend in NuWho where the Doctor is the bearer of bad news in the form of "I'm sorry but I'm going to have to watch you die now." At least he was true to his word. When he was targeted by the Mummy, he stopped it in 66 seconds. Of course, stopping a weapon by giving in reminded me of ST:TNG's "The Arsenal of Freedom" when Picard stopped a planet killing weapons system by agreeing to buy it.

 

I find it very strange that the Doctor would go somewhere like that on an invitation and not know what the hell was going on. I have my suspicious that Gus has something to do with Scary Poppins.

 

From what I gathered at the end of the episode, Clara has now accepted that she is addicted to danger, but still bargaining (as long as I get home on time, safe and sound). There are some companions who wished they could have gotten the same deal.

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Guest Accused Dingo

My Name is Clara Oswald...and I am an Addict.    Just say "no" Clara.  Some people do say "no" Clara  one dude just did (his name escapes me).

 

My first thought when someone said "Its not just a mummy. its a vampire" was "great now its going to start to sparkle.  

 

Well at least whatever imprisoned them offered grief concealing after it killed off whoever it killed off that was nice of it.  

 

Meeting real monsters isn't that everyone's dream?

 

My favorite line though was "It turns out it is three.  The amount of people who have to die before I stop looking the other way."

 

Not a bad episode.  I am not sure if it was filler or not.  I keep saying this but I will say it again; I am not a Clara hater but I am not sure what the season is doing with her storyline this season.  Is it doing the push/pull it did with Amy and Rory but with different results. Not taking Pink (What the hell is his first name - not a good sign that I don't know it by the way) or is it having Clara realize that no yes she is an addicted.  That she is addicted to the adventure the Doctor brings and it will eventually get her killed or worse...like it has with so many of the Doctor's other companions.   Because has things ever ended well for any of the Doctor's companions?  

 

Not talking about old Who because my knowledge of that is spotty at best (I have watched but it was a long time ago and out of order and not all episodes)  

1.  Rose Tyler -   trapped (mostly)  in an alternate universe.

2.  Martha Jones  - Ok this one ended relatively well so I give this one a pass.  

3.  Donna Nobel  -  Got the mind of a Time Lord Stuck in her head and had her entire memory of the Doctor erase and turned back into the woman she used to be.

4.  Amy and Rory - Trapped in the Past after getting zapped by an Angel.

 

Am I missing anything?  

Edited by Accused Dingo

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My favorite bit was when he said he was the conductor's worst nightmare, showed him the psychic paper, and it turned out the conductor's worst nightmare was a mystery shopper. 

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Liked it.  Loved the sets and costuming -- it really had the feel of an classic suspense horror thriller.

 

A bit disappointed at the end -- I liked Perkins, but he doesn't want the job, and instead we're stuck with Cla . . .I mean to say, Clara's going to stay on. How nice.

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I loved this episode.  Loved Clara and the Doctors conversation at the end.  This one just felt real to me instead of the usual Moffat "no consequences"  nonsense.  So many good lines.  The monster was actually scary.  And what a cool effect when he came through Capaldi's face.  I loved the orient express setting.  I loved Clara's dress.  I guess this one was perfection for me.       

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Who was the engineer supposed to be?  There seemed to be some kind of tacit understanding between him and the Doctor.  When the engineer was leaving the Tardis at the end the Doctor was watching him with a look that suggested "now I'm going to reveal your true identity, Gus!" but that never happened. 

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I really enjoyed this episode, easily the best of series 8. The writer actually seems to understand this Doctor, he cares its just buried beneath Moffat"s ego. Sarcasm aside I got a strong 9th Doctor vibe from Capaldi and that's fantastic. If that's where they want to draw inspiration from go for it. This might be the episode 12 clicks for me if they keep writing him this way. When he had the Doctor talk about having to make hard decisions I was so happy.  Not everything has a happy ending and the person who makes the choice isn't a bad guy or doesn't care. This writer gets that and hopefully it makes its way into other writers scripts.

 

Why even have that blow up with Clara last week when they gloss over it? I guess you could say it was still happening this week but their reconciliation seemed more about the events of this episode than anything else. I still hate the idea of Clara traveling with the Doctor is an addiction. Why can't we have a companion who just enjoys it? That's why Rose and Donna will always be the best. I want to be mad about the lies at the end but its happens all the time on TV I just expect it. It'll probably lead to Danny's death or something that causes to Clara to reevaluate her life again,

 

Gus knows what a Tardis is? And more than likely who the Doctor is? Is this that setting up the Rani for next season, it did come off like one of her experiments. Foxes is real looker and her cover of Queen was really good. BBC put it up on Youtube. And until proven otherwise that beach was on New Earth.

 

 

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Who was the engineer supposed to be?  There seemed to be some kind of tacit understanding between him and the Doctor.  When the engineer was leaving the Tardis at the end the Doctor was watching him with a look that suggested "now I'm going to reveal your true identity, Gus!" but that never happened. 

Not sure, but he seemed to more than what he claimed to be.  I liked the character a lot, hope we see him again and discover who he really is.

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In addition to the cracking story I loved it when Twelve channeled Four's voice whilst talking to himself in his berth about what the mummy was.  And the jelly babies in the cigar case, and the callback to the end of "The Big Bang."

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What was the callback to Big Bang?  I missed that.  And I didn't realize he was supposed to be channeling 4 when talking to himself... will have to rewatch.

 

I've been rewatching late Classic Who recently -- I never really watched much of 6 and 7 back in the day.  An episode or two but didn't really like the 'modern' take on it as opposed to 4... heh... how times change.  I actually quite enjoyed 6.  He was arrogant, but I didn't find him cruel.  I can believe the idea that something went wrong with his regeneration and that's why he was so abrasive.  Watching the Trial of a Timelord series I'm now joined those wondering when/if we're going to ever see anything about the origins of the Valeyard.  

 

Which led me to a few thoughts... 1) 12 is a lot like 6, arrogant and abrasive.  2) This is also an unusual regeneration.  Maybe getting a whole new cycle, and especially added to the way 11 expended his regeneration energy so dramatically and so stubbornly clinging on (much as 5 did at his end), made this regeneration somewhat wonky too.  3) The Timelords are a nefarious and plotting bunch.  Maybe they even deliberately 'contaminated' the regeneration energy they sent through the rift.  Maybe they didn't respond out of love for the Doctor, the way Clara begged them to, but merely for their own benefit -- if the Doctor died, after all, they'd be stuck forever.  So, send him more lives, but manipulate it to be somehow to their advantage.  And so 4) maybe 12 is actually so abrasive because he's developing into the Valeyard.  After struggling for awhile with trying to be good, he's eventually going to be so dismayed by the futility of it or whatever and give over to his dark side, even to the point of deciding he has to stop himself from doing what he's done in his own timeline, wipe that clear off and start again from there (thus going to the trial).  

 

So I'm not sure how this episode fit into that.  He did seem to be saying 'I am a good man who has to make bad choices.'  But then when he says to Clara "Is that what you would like to believe about me?" it sort of implies that it's not the truth -- he was NOT pretending to be callous and uncaring in order to achieve a plan, he actually WAS callous and uncaring.  Which would fit.

 

"Gus" was definitely being set up to return later.  

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ETA: "Are you my mummy?" . . . a joke that never gets old.

Indeed. It will never not be awesome.

 

I loved this episode. Last week was a dud for me, so this was a welcome return. Clara's 180 at the end didn't seem earned after her issues the last several episodes, but I think this writer did the best he could within this one-episode script.

 

The cap guy (who the Doctor invited at the end) seemed off to me the whole time. I was waiting for some reveal with him, but it's kind of nice that he was just as he was. 

 

This episode allowed the Doctor to be the Doctor, with no apologies involved. For me, that's what had been missing up to this point. The Doctor always seemed to be less than 100%.

 

Much better.

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Even though it was written by Jamie Mathieson, I really began to see the Moffat Sherlock/Watson parallel.  Capaldi would make a great older Sherlock, btw.  Anyways, just as in Sherlock, we have The Doctor being clueless and callous of the feelings of others, inside his own head, and brilliant.  His Watson realizes that he is addicted to the danger of being Sherlock's companion.  And Watson's wife, who started off as a nice woman, is actually a trained killer, i.e. Danny Pink. I hate what Moffat has done to Sherlock and it's odd seeing it on Who.

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I agree that this episode was better, especially since it seemed to focus more on the Doctor.

 

Little throwaway line I liked - the Doctor revealing Gus phoned the TARDIS to lure the Doctor to the train (directly referencing the end of "The Big Bang")

 

I also thought the Doctor's line about bad choices was his way of acknowledging what Clara and the others went through on the Moon (and possibly apologizing for it).

 

I'll add Perkins to the list of supporting characters I'd like to see become a companion.

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On a shallow note, can Capaldi wear that tux every episode? Because if he's not going to get any decent material to work with, at least he can look damn good not doing anything.

 

Me too because it's the kind of "character" "development" that's ultimately pointless in a series like this and particularly for this character.

 

In this season of Doctor Who, Clara slowly learns something she already knew.

 

Thanks, guys!

Perfect summary! Next week: Clara realizes the TARDIS is more than a police box...

 

This was a good episode and, for me, pretty much the only one that actually felt like a full-on Doctor Who episode instead of some lesser Doctor Who-like ripoff.  My only big complaint, not to beat a dead horse, was with Clara.  I seriously rolled my eyes a few times early on at her pouting and sulking, and I was sorry to see her stay at the end.  I can't stand having a Doctor Who episode interrupted by Clara having a chat on the phone with her boyfriend. 

Don't worry, I'm right alongside you beating that dead horse until someone at the BBC takes notice. I'm so damn sick of Clara I can barely stand to watch. In fact, if I wasn't a fan of Capaldi (and what Twelve could be, if we had a decent head writer) I would have stopped watching weeks ago.

 

My first thought when someone said "Its not just a mummy. its a vampire" was "great now its going to start to sparkle.    

That's funny, because mine was, "Damn, does that mean lame angsty teen werewolves are going to show up next?" (and I don't mean the Tooth and Claw werewolves)

 

Not talking about old Who because my knowledge of that is spotty at best (I have watched but it was a long time ago and out of order and not all episodes) 
1.  Rose Tyler -   trapped (mostly)  in an alternate universe.
2.  Martha Jones  - Ok this one ended relatively well so I give this one a pass. 
3.  Donna Nobel  -  Got the mind of a Time Lord Stuck in her head and had her entire memory of the Doctor erase and turned back into the woman she used to be.
4.  Amy and Rory - Trapped in the Past after getting zapped by an Angel.

Martha may have left with her skin intact, but having the memories of a year of torment, exile and death - as well as what her family went through - isn't exactly getting off scot-free. JMO

 

Even though it was written by Jamie Mathieson, I really began to see the Moffat Sherlock/Watson parallel.  Capaldi would make a great older Sherlock, btw.  Anyways, just as in Sherlock, we have The Doctor being clueless and callous of the feelings of others, inside his own head, and brilliant.  His Watson realizes that he is addicted to the danger of being Sherlock's companion.  And Watson's wife, who started off as a nice woman, is actually a trained killer, i.e. Danny Pink. I hate what Moffat has done to Sherlock and it's odd seeing it on Who.

Very astute observation and one of the reasons I can't stand Moffatt's cheap bag of tricks. Once you know his cheats, they're so obvious and lazy as to be insulting.

 

I also thought the Doctor's line about bad choices was his way of acknowledging what Clara and the others went through on the Moon (and possibly apologizing for it).

And I'd say it was the closest we've gotten to getting a look inside this Doctor's head since he took over. Which is pretty sad after 8 episodes.

 

Overall, I'm with everyone else: better ep tonight, but it's not saying much. The focus needs to shift away from Clara the show-eater back to the Doctor. I really want to be as excited about this show as I was during the Eccleston and Tennant years, but it's a challenge just to get through an episode for me these days.

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Jamie Mathieson mentioned in his AMA that he wrote Mummy before he knew the casting, so he pictured Twelve as Gregory House. I think that's part of the vibe I'm getting from more than just this episode. I've only watched a handful of House MD but that doctor is often callous, is more interested in beating the illness than treating the patient and has to be the smartest one in the room. The difference between House and the Doctor is that Twelve doesn't seem to have an axe to grind.

 

I would be less critical of the show if the season was longer, but many episodes wasted time when there will only be 13 episodes (or less, I have no idea) episodes in a year. If there were 22 episodes, I might not be frustrated by the countdown to the "good" episodes at the end of the season.

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It was nice to see the Doctor being the main character of his own show this time. And doing Doctor things. I thought this episode was going to be free of Clara, and I guess it was for the most part, but eh. JC rocked that haircut and dress though.

 

I had to roll my eyes at the locked door though. I thought the point of the sonic screwdriver was that "locked doors shouldn't be a plot point on Doctor Who." 

 

In general, I like the episodes on paper, but they tend to over do it and they've been largely plodding. This one was less so. Honestly, I don't think they even needed Clara here. 

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One question . . . why was "Gus" intent on getting the mummy thing solved? Was it a Max Capricorn-type deal, where Gus was trying to forestall his own demise? I didn't get it.

I think that might end up tying into the Promised Land/Missy arc, or at least come back to be re-explored some other time. The Doctor told Clara that he was unable to unpick any information about Gus because he had to prioritise saving the lives of everyone on board, and since we were so specifically told that the person behind the whole escapade was such a mystery, I can't imagine it will be left hanging indefinitely...

 

...or then again...

From what I gathered at the end of the episode, Clara has now accepted that she is addicted to danger, but still bargaining (as long as I get home on time, safe and sound). There are some companions who wished they could have gotten the same deal.

Tell me about it! Clara has no concept of how lucky she is.

Not a bad episode.  I am not sure if it was filler or not.  I keep saying this but I will say it again; I am not a Clara hater but I am not sure what the season is doing with her storyline this season.  Is it doing the push/pull it did with Amy and Rory but with different results. Not taking Pink (What the hell is his first name - not a good sign that I don't know it by the way) or is it having Clara realize that no yes she is an addicted.  That she is addicted to the adventure the Doctor brings and it will eventually get her killed or worse...like it has with so many of the Doctor's other companions.   Because has things ever ended well for any of the Doctor's companions?  

 

Not talking about old Who because my knowledge of that is spotty at best

I know you were thinking about New Who only, but it's worth pointing out here that this 'tragic ending' is very much a New Who thing. In the classic series, the default was for a happy(ish) ending. The companions would realise that it was time to move on, and move on, amicably, to a new phase of their lives that the Doctor couldn't be part of, because he doesn't stay still. It would be so refreshing for a New Who companion to travel for a while, learn and grow, and then leave just because it's time to move on with their life, no tragedy or epic conflict to force their hand. But that wouldn't be dramatic enough for New Who, I suppose.

So I'm not sure how this episode fit into that.  He did seem to be saying 'I am a good man who has to make bad choices.'  But then when he says to Clara "Is that what you would like to believe about me?" it sort of implies that it's not the truth -- he was NOT pretending to be callous and uncaring in order to achieve a plan, he actually WAS callous and uncaring.  

I think what that exchange was all about was Clara wanting to believe that the Doctor had a wonderful plan for saving Maisie all along, because Little Miss Control Freak needed to believe that she hadn't really lied to Maisie, or whatever, but the Doctor was trying to make her see that his world is not that black and white, it wasn't as simple as Clara wants it to be. He didn't know he could save Maisie, but he did know that anything he learned from her might help save the next one. He was never callous and uncaring, he was focused, blinkered - detached. Clara wanted to make it out as a binary opposition - if the Doctor had a plan all along and was just being sneaky to get around Gus, then it wasn't callous and uncaring of him to make me lie to Maisie, but if he didn't have a plan all along and still made me lie to her, it can only mean that he really is callous and uncaring. The Doctor knows, though, that there's a middle ground between those two positions, that being painfully aware that he might have to watch Maisie die doesn't make him callous or uncaring, he'd have cared a great deal, but he wouldn't have shown it because a) that's not his current personality, and b) continuing to work in hopes of saving the next one would be too important to waste any time or energy. Sometimes the grieving has to be put on hold until the crisis is over, because too many lives remain at risk. As the Doctor himself explained to Clara, "Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones, but you still have to choose."

 

And now that at last the Doctor's perspective is being explored, instead of deliberately obscured so that Clara's is the only perspective shown, the Doctor's accumulated wisdom and expertise is apparent once more (without losing the emotional detachment and lack of social graces that is this one's calling card), with Clara coming off rather poorly in contrast. She isn't as perfect as she likes to believe, and she certainly isn't always right, although she always thinks she is.

Edited by Llywela
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Now THAT's more like it. Honestly, I don't know that I'm ever going to love Twelve, since my favorite flavor of the Doctor leans more to the empathetic side of the spectrum (I didn't love Four either, for that reason), but he was portrayed here as a complex character I can enjoy watching. Was he selfish, deceptive and cold? Hell yeah. But he was also super-competent, engaged with the adventure and with the people he met along the way, risked himself to save another, and gave a solid, if not entirely satisfying, explanation for his callousness. And after last week "Sometimes there are no good choices" was a very welcome message indeed. Then, apart from the Doctor's characterization, the story was intriguing and the side-characters had actual personalities. Jamie Mathieson wrote next week's episode as well - hope it's another winner!

 

This is also an episode I actually want to continue discussing. A few thoughts, in no particular order:

 

- The Doctor and the Foretold seem to be set up as foils here. They are both centuries-old, legendary beings (old soldiers, even) whose effect in some way depends on time, but in opposing ways. The Foretold is deadly because once you see him, you only have a tiny, finite amount of time until you die. The risk posed by the Doctor is the reverse - he gives you all of time and space, but you risk getting so lost in that life that you can never really return to your own. It also maybe reinforces why the Doctor has to be "addicted" to danger -- because if he ever actually "wins" and concedes that the fight is over, he has nothing left. The same thing that destroys him is also what sustains him. The final scene with Clara also seems to put its own spin on the magic words the Doctor discovers - I surrender. Clara is finally giving in to the Doctor's world, and giving up the attempt to negotiate a strict balance between "real life" and travels with the Doctor. And that's a relief, but also a risk.

 

- What did other people think of Clara's motivations for lying to Danny and the Doctor and continuing? Certainly, she seems to have been won over by the Doctor saving Maisie and the others, as well as his explanation for why he has to be brutal and make hard choices. But the way she does it seems abrupt. Is it just that she, too, has the "addiction" - she also seemed to want some excitement on the Orient Express -- or something more? 

 

-- I didn't see Perkins as suspicious. But I do wonder if Gus is more than a one-off villain. Is it possible that the Mummy was a blind, and that the person he really wants to learn more about is the Doctor? Is he allied with Missy, who is perhaps also collecting those who have encountered the Doctor to acquire information? 

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- What did other people think of Clara's motivations for lying to Danny and the Doctor and continuing? Certainly, she seems to have been won over by the Doctor saving Maisie and the others, as well as his explanation for why he has to be brutal and make hard choices. But the way she does it seems abrupt. Is it just that she, too, has the "addiction" - she also seemed to want some excitement on the Orient Express -- or something more? 

Well, when she was asking if it was an addiction, I definitely felt she was projecting herself onto the Doctor. And the thing is, the adrenaline rush of danger can be addictive, for humans. I think Clara came to the point of saying a final goodbye, realised that it really would be final, and then also realised that she wasn't ready to stop this - she is the one who is addicted. She's been fighting it, insisting on that rigid control over her travels and circumstances, but her need to be in control is a good part of why she blew up last week. She's been trying to control situations that are fundamentally uncontrollable. It's driven a wedge between her and the Doctor, because she's wanted to control him and can't, he's another thing that is fundamentally uncontrollable. He no longer reacts in ways she can predict or understand, and she's struggled with that. And now, like you say, she's given in and surrendered to it, because she doesn't want to let go.

 

It's a decent enough character story, now that it's out there. I just wish it hadn't been so clumsily told for most of the season - and really don't think it needed to take so long to get to this point!

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If we go by most forms of fiction people who backslide into their addiction, here Clara traveling with the Doctor usually ends in some sort of tragedy for that person. So either she dies or something horrible happens to Danny because of it. As for her reasons well I think the show ignoring the cause of her split from the Doctor says volumes. She had to leave to set up the decision to travel with the Doctor again willingly so whatever happens she's responsible. She had an out and didn't take it. I think we're going to see something similar to what happened to Martha.

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Clara lying here is similar to her lies in Listen;she doesn't want to admit to her own flaws or make herself look bad. It would have been easy to tell the Doctor that the phone call from Danny messed up the psychic link and they're not in the right place but she doesn't. She lies again because to tell the truth would be like admitting she's the one who can't let go of the high risk TARDIS lifestyle. The Doctor will be sorry to see her go but he's not begging her to stay like he was in episode 1. 

 

Finally an episode where the Doctor has a voice of his own, I like this new writer and I hope he sticks around. I will headdesk if the engineer turns out to be the Master but other than that I hope he's a recurring character either as a villain (he'll grate a lot less than Missy) or as someone who goes on mostly unseen adventures with 12. 

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This episode joins Time Heist as the best of the season so far. Clara's dress was gorgeous; if she wore it every week (and had the same limited amount of screen time) I might find her more tolerable.

 

Oh Clara, how can we miss you if you won't go away?

Edited by NeenerNeener
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What was the callback to Big Bang?  I missed that.  And I didn't realize he was supposed to be channeling 4 when talking to himself... will have to rewatch.

 

At the very end of "The Big Bang", when Eleven, Amy, and Rory are in the TARDIS, the TARDIS gets a phone call.  Eleven answers and it's (allegedly) from the Queen (we only hear Eleven's side of the conversation), asking him to deal with a situation on "the Orient Express...in space!"

 

Listen closely when he's talking to himself in his berth.  The "A mummy no-one else can see" line as well as the next line in that "side" of the converation are a very close Tom Baker impression.

Edited by QuantumMechanic
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I've tried. I've tried to like Clara but I don't, I can't and I won't.

Please give us a new companion before I crawl into my television and push her out of the TARDIS myself.

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Jamie Mathieson mentioned in his AMA that he wrote Mummy before he knew the casting, so he pictured Twelve as Gregory House.

Who was a riff on Sherlock Holmes as well, tying into the "Doctor as Sherlock" feeling.

This was a pretty good episode until the end. I realize there are five (?) episodes left until the finale, but to have Clara "suddenly" decide that everything she found wrong with traveling with the Doctor before didn't matter anymore because he saved a few people...?

 

I wish she'd been written like the Companion version of the Doctor with Martha -- where she was mourning the loss of "her" Doctor, and it made her very skeptical about this one and less likely to trust anything he said. Instead, her character has become a series of plot points -- when it makes sense for her to distrust the Doctor, she does. When it makes sense for her to trust him again, she does. Her "Impossible Girl" schtick has made her less like a fully-formed character, and more like a Marionette -- when the writers/story need her to act one way, they just yank on her strings.

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The Doctor was better in this episode, although his defeat of the Mummy/Foretold seemed too easy.  Once the Doctor was the target, you knew he was going to win.  Peter Capaldi is much more believable when they don't try to make his Doctor too quirky.

 

It was cruel of the show to make us think that this was the last episode with Clara, and then give her a quick change of heart.

 

P.S.  If you're interested in seeing Jenna Coleman in another role, see the Small Talk thread.

Edited by tv echo

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Guest Accused Dingo
I know you were thinking about New Who only, but it's worth pointing out here that this 'tragic ending' is very much a New Who thing. In the classic series, the default was for a happy(ish) ending

 

 

There will always be a debate between New Who and Old Who.  I think a lot of People are quick to blame Moffatt but I have seen some of his other stuff and he does have a writing style but it isn't a bad one just not one that appeals to those who prefer Old Who.  Alot of the endings, like a lot of other things in Who are determined by the time we live in.  Like I said in my previous post I have watched old Who just not in order and not all of them.  The ones I have watched were also seeped in the times they were made in.  80's who had plenty of guns (I think even the Doctor carried at times)  and one of the things I didn't like about old who the companion was just there to hold the Doctor's water and say "how brilliant you are."   New who has Clara at times find vital pieces of the puzzle the Doctor misses because he doesn't think to look.  Yes the doctor is the smartest person in any room....that is a given but sometimes he is also an idiot.  

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I did not think I would ever dislike any companion more than I disliked Martha, but I've hated Clara from day one and last night did nothing to endear her to me. She's like fingernails on a chalk-board. There were so many wonderful ways she could have died last night:  the mummy, sucked out into space, beaten to death by Maisse's shoe, locked in sarcophagus, blown up with train...is that so much to ask? I loved the parts she wasn't in, and as stated before this episode got to be about the Doctor and not about her. And I totally lost it with both the mystery shopper bits and of course "Are you my mummy?" 

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I've tried. I've tried to like Clara but I don't, I can't and I won't.

Please give us a new companion before I crawl into my television and push her out of the TARDIS myself.

LOL! I do get tired of all the repetitive whining by those who hate Clara, but I do love this post, tveyeonyou!

The personality of Clara doesn't exist for me, so I neither hate nor like her. I do love looking at her face, however, so I was happy with the close ups in this episode.

But what was up with the extreme cleavage baring dress in this episode--especially in the first scene in the train car? I think they adjusted it a bit in the other scenes, but none of the other women onboard had such low cut dresses. I found myself distracted with wondering if it meant this really was Clara's last Tardis trip, and, if so, was the dress chosen by Clara or by Jenna Coleman, or by wardrobe? And was it chosen to give either the actor or the character an opportunity to show off? Or did it serve as a distraction for the writer/magician's sleight of hand in telling the story, with Clara as the "lovely assistant" who keeps the audience from noticing how the rabbit/mummy gets hidden in the hat/train car?

Edited by shapeshifter

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I am not a crackpot, but here's what was weird about Perkins: no one spoke to him, acknowledged him, or made eye contact with him except the Doctor. He had all kinds of lines that he just delivered into the air and no one reacted to. There was one moment where the Doctor tossed him a gadget and one of the extras read the display over his shoulder, but otherwise this was scripted as though an early draft had Perkins as the Doctor's imaginary friend/way of dealing with Clara leaving. (Even the last Tardis scene, Clara doesn't so much as look at him!)

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...this was scripted as though an early draft had Perkins as the Doctor's imaginary friend/way of dealing with Clara leaving. (Even the last Tardis scene, Clara doesn't so much as look at him!)

Thank you for bringing this up, DS1077. In addition, early in the episode (perhaps only before Perkins' entrance? I'm not sure) The Doctor is carrying on a conversation either with himself or an invisible/imaginary friend.

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Are you my mummy?" . . . a joke that never gets old.

mmv, I am so over that joke, needs to be retired!

 

Speaking of; did the Doctor actually say "I am your worst nightmare"?  Again, needs to be retired.

 

Little throwaway line I liked - the Doctor revealing Gus phoned the TARDIS to lure the Doctor to the train (directly referencing the end of "The Big Bang")

Big throwaway line, which I really disliked.  It implies that Eleven & co. didn't go on that adventure, maybe the Tardis took them somewhere else, and it sounded like a good premise for a show.

 

I also dislike the feeling of whatever happened to Eleven, it is being negated by Twelve "oh, and then there was this phone call, that really wasn't what it was...."  Did other Doctors' refer to previous incarnations adventures?

 

 

Well, when she was asking if it was an addiction, I definitely felt she was projecting herself onto the Doctor. And the thing is, the adrenaline rush of danger can be addictive, for humans. I think Clara came to the point of saying a final goodbye, realised that it really would be final, and then also realised that she wasn't ready to stop this - she is the one who is addicted. She's been fighting it, insisting on that rigid control over her travels and circumstances, but her need to be in control is a good part of why she blew up last week. She's been trying to control situations that are fundamentally uncontrollable. It's driven a wedge between her and the Doctor, because she's wanted to control him and can't, he's another thing that is fundamentally uncontrollable. He no longer reacts in ways she can predict or understand, and she's struggled with that. And now, like you say, she's given in and surrendered to it, because she doesn't want to let go.

 

It's a decent enough character story, now that it's out there. I just wish it hadn't been so clumsily told for most of the season - and really don't think it needed to take so long to get to this point!

I hated her line of "as long as you get me home on time"!  What is is time for is the TARDIS to start malfunctioning again.  Please bring back that element of uncertainty that was key in the classic Whos.

 

I am not a crackpot,

Are you sure?  This would certainly be the place to embrace such crackpot tendencies as your denial suggests about your observation. ;0)

 

but here's what was weird about Perkins: no one spoke to him, acknowledged him, or made eye contact with him except the Doctor. He had all kinds of lines that he just delivered into the air and no one reacted to. There was one moment where the Doctor tossed him a gadget and one of the extras read the display over his shoulder, but otherwise this was scripted as though an early draft had Perkins as the Doctor's imaginary friend/way of dealing with Clara leaving. (Even the last Tardis scene, Clara doesn't so much as look at him!)

...which is a good observation.  I thought it was odd that the conductor didn't seem to be objecting to him being around the passengers as much as he was.  It is probably a point that will not be explored, much like the mysterious object under Rupert's blanket.

 

I do wish that they had the mummy/solider do something other than a standard salute.  I wondered do all soldiers know that particular 'hand to head' move and what it signifies?

 

There has been a definite theme of soldiers, and soldiers suffering from PTSD, so far this season.  And yet, they still are not directly addressing it with Twelve.

 

I wonder if the whole "he's not your boyfriend", besides the obvious, is also a callback to when Clara had Eleven pretend to be her boyfriend.

 

On a personal note, I laughed and was insulted at the comment that the "expert"  Professor Moorhouse was targeted by the mummy because he suffered from "occasional panic attacks".  I thought first, oh that's it for me then!; as well as, right because panic attacks are right up there with a blood disorder or being over 100 years old.

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I loved it, but then, I've loved almost every episode this season (sorry, Robot of Sherwood). However, Clara's fibbing at to the Doctor is going to come back and bite her on the arse, and I'm sort of hoping it will lead to a parting of ways. I don't hate her, like some of the nutters over on GB, but I'm ready to move on.

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So I guess this means we'll see Clara keeping her travels from Danny.  Then Danny finding out and being all pissed.  Then Danny saving Clara and the Doctor and probably humanity and Clara almost losing him, I'm guessing.  And then Clara and Danny heading into the sunset together with the Doctor looking all sad with some kind of twist at the end.

 

Did the Doctor say he teleported all the survivors into the Tardis?  If he could do that, why didn't he do it before any more people died?  That would have left him as the only target for the mummy which is what he wanted.   I wonder if all the cook staff will end up in Paradise.  And the sonic screwdriver was once again fairly useless. And where the heck is Gallifrey?  Didn't Moffat say this season would be about finding Gallifrey? 

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Did the Doctor even believe Clara? It seemed like he could hear their phone conversation. Obviously, he couldn't hear what Danny was saying, but when she said "he is ok with it" I don't think he bought it. I don't think he cares, but Clara isn't putting one over on him.

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I liked Clara with Eleven - they were a fun pair. This Clara is too much. I know Rose wanted "her" Doctor back as well, but she quickly warmed up to Ten (and, for me, a lifetime with 10.5). Martha pined over Ten until she woke up and left on her terms. Donna flat out said No, but they were the best of friends, which is what Ten needed. I didn't really like the Ponds, but would actually go back and watch them over Clara and Twelve. I think what it boils down to is that I don't like part-time companions. We're supposed to see the Universe through the companion's eyes and we can't really do that if they need to pop back home in time for dinner. YMMV.

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Did the Doctor say he teleported all the survivors into the Tardis?  If he could do that, why didn't he do it before any more people died?  That would have left him as the only target for the mummy which is what he wanted.   I wonder if all the cook staff will end up in Paradise.  And the sonic screwdriver was once again fairly useless. And where the heck is Gallifrey?  Didn't Moffat say this season would be about finding Gallifrey? 

1. Yes, he did.

2. He couldn't, he got the teleport from the mummy.

3. Galifrey is still lost.

4. Moffatt lies, which is not news. I'm sure it will come up at some point in Capaldi's run, but TBH, I think his first season is too early for that story line. We have seen him dong the occassional (presumably mathematical) scrawling on walls / white boards etc; which I like to think is part of him thinking about the problem.

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Well, when she was asking if it was an addiction, I definitely felt she was projecting herself onto the Doctor. And the thing is, the adrenaline rush of danger can be addictive, for humans. I think Clara came to the point of saying a final goodbye, realised that it really would be final, and then also realised that she wasn't ready to stop this - she is the one who is addicted. She's been fighting it, insisting on that rigid control over her travels and circumstances, but her need to be in control is a good part of why she blew up last week. She's been trying to control situations that are fundamentally uncontrollable. It's driven a wedge between her and the Doctor, because she's wanted to control him and can't, he's another thing that is fundamentally uncontrollable. He no longer reacts in ways she can predict or understand, and she's struggled with that. And now, like you say, she's given in and surrendered to it, because she doesn't want to let go.

 

It's a decent enough character story, now that it's out there. I just wish it hadn't been so clumsily told for most of the season - and really don't think it needed to take so long to get to this point!

When the Doctor found Clara through whoever gave her the phone number, he was desperate to find out who she was. The Doctor begged her to come with him, even letting Clara decide to go on an adventure and right back home. Now that she fulfilled her impossible mission at Trenzalore, Clara is just a more or less regular girl. The Doctor isn't begging her to stay, but still wants her around. Her times with Eleven were very much about her, like "Hide" and "Journey to the Center of the TARDIS." With Twelve, she isn't a mystery anymore, and maybe she's hurt by that.

 

With all the talk about Perkins, I did notice how out of place he seemed to be. He was crew, and Gus didn't seem to have any problem with killing crew. PLus, he seemed the only one who was actually giving the Doctor useful information. He was also the only one who was still on the TARDIS near the end.

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I really enjoyed this up until Clara boomeranged right at the end. They could have used the time to set up a clear, calm, bittersweet exit for her by the end of the season instead of going the addiction route and thereby telegraphing that Clara's going to have to hit rock bottom before she admits she has a problem.

 

I do wonder about Gus since not only did he(?) know about the Doctor but how, and when, to get a hold of him. I'm assuming he wanted the mystery of the Foretold solved because it would have been excellent to use as an assassination weapon.

 

Perkins, when he declined the invitation to stay, showed himself to be the smartest person in the room. ^_^

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