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Tara Ariano

S08.E09: Flatline

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I've never seen any of the episodes with Clara and Eleven (except for the Christmas episode with the killer mutant snow goons), so I wasn't aware of that promise to always get her back on time. However, with all of the previous decades of Doctor Who history involving the Doctor missing the time and place he was aiming for (sometimes quite spectacularly), Clara's frustration over the matter will continue to bug me. Unfair on my part, perhaps, I just have no patience for her anymore. Hey, Clara, at least he didn't get you back a year too late when everyone thinks you're dead. Just ask Rose how much that sucked.

I agree, because what I resent isn't that Clara wants to always be home on time - I can understand the compulsion that drives her there. What I resent is how ungracious she is about it. She doesn't know that she is the first person to have had this kind of dual lifestyle - with the Doctor and his companions it has previously tended to be all or nothing - but she still doesn't have to be so ungracious about it. That's what bothers me about her.

Edited by Llywela
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This was a good ep, the Doctor Who we've been waiting for.  I miss the Oncoming Storm, the Doctor whose name is known all across history.  The Big Damn Hero moment.  I also liked the touch of the nice guys dying while the asshole survives.  I loved the conductor's "I always wanted to ram something".  I'm liking Jamie Mathieson as a writer and he seems to like trains, which is cool.  Wouldn't mind seeing Rigsby come back too.

 

The only problem is Clara.  You could feel the episode screeching to a halt when she talked to Danny.  Jenna Coleman seems like a nice person and is definitely easy on the eyes, but Clara is the kind of person that if you had to deal with in real life, you would have throttled her by now.  In the middle of the attack you take a call from your boyfriend? That's the kind of move that makes you monster-fodder.  What's next Clara, skinnydipping in the lake where the sexy teens were murdered a hundred years ago tonight?  Only at the end, after the world is saved does she not take his call.  I feel like this ep could have really turned it around for Clara, but they failed.

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What's next Clara, skinnydipping in the lake where the sexy teens were murdered a hundred years ago tonight? 

I would probably like that episode more than most this season.

Were there sexy teens 100 years ago?

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Other Companions have had their moments when everything relied on them, fate of universe dependent on them pulling through and generally doing things they never thought themselves capable in their 'real' life. Why cant it just have been that? Clara the PERSON saves the day based on having grown thru her travels with Doctor?....

It's a shame too because this episode was a chance to really have Clara shine but instead it was the same old nonsense. Literally no situation phases her AT ALL. It's just utterly ridiculous and boring, at the height of danger facing certain death she is answering the phone to talk to Danny? That was so lame, absolutely cheapens the graveness with which they want you to take the threat. Cant they show her legitimately terrified AND performing well? That would be a great character/companion, instead she isnt bothered by any of it really and the major point we're supposed to now notice is whether she takes Danny's calls or not at any given moment. *YAWN*

These excellent points make me think that Moffat is consciously using Clara to go the opposite way of RTD when it comes to the Companion-Doctor dynamic.

Rose: falls in love with the Doctor and gives up her home-life to be with him--Clara: (after the change to Twelve) firmly not in love with the Doctor and wants to keep her home-life intact.

Martha: in love with the Doctor but can walk away from him when she realizes he's bad for her--Clara: can't walk away from the Doctor

(By the way, Clara taking the phone call from Danny reminded me of how Martha had to take calls from her mom in "42."  In both cases, the loved one at home didn't approve of the Companion's relationship with the Doctor.)

Donna: is unable to remain Doctor-Donna; being the Doctor almost kills her--Clara: breezily handles the Doctor role (granted she doesn't have a TimeLord's consciousness inside her).

 

It'll be interesting to see how Moffat wraps up Clara's time with the Doctor--I hope he does it in a way that doesn't cheapen all the sacrifices former Companions had to make.

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I liked it. It was no "It is DEFENDED!" but it will do.

 

The effects were good, the monsters were creepy, the murals were beautiful, and I had no problem with the Doctor. He stepped up despite being locked into the Tardis. Still, faint praise, I guess.

But again, I can't handle Clara. Taking phone calls from boyfriends you lie to. While lying to the Doctor too. Why is all this necessary? She just annoys the hell out of me. I still don't know or understand whether she remembers her running through the Doctor's timeline. Not that I care too much at this point but even if not, she's been traveling long enough with the Doctor that this waffling back and forth is super annoying.

And the way she talked when the guy was about to sacrifice himself. You, my dear are no Doctor and have no right to be so endlessly sarcastic about it for at least a minute that they didn't have to spend. It reminded me of Eleven and he was much funnier about it. So, don't remind me of him because I'm still not over that breakup.

 

No, she isn't the first person who has a life besides the Doctor but I wish she would just shut up about it and make a decision instead of lying to everyone. It's stupid to do it to the Doctor and unfair and insulting doing it to the boyfriend you claim to love. Especially in the middle of a crisis. Why should I like her again?

 

With Amy, it made sense that she couldn't stop but it felt like natural character progression when she and Rory started thinking about the impact it had on their life.

 

I don't know why Clara is so of two minds about it. I wish she would just make up her mind and get the hell out.

 

We are 9 episodes in and this is the first episode I liked where I didn't mind the Doctor while ignoring Clara. Not good.

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I'm wondering if TPTBs think Clara is how a "modern woman" acts. Which, I know a lot of them; they don't act like that. 

 

Are they doing a "Doctor lite" episode this season? Because most feel like they have been already. 

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I can't believe it was captioned that way... did it even sound like that? :D I might have to see if it says the same thing here when it airs tonight.  

 

I actually was using closed captioning, although I said "subtitles" (I tend to use the words interchangeably, although they're not quite the same thing.)  I only have the one option on TV broadcasts, although I go for the subtitle option if I'm watching a DVD.

I'd always assumed that the captions were fairly accurate --  won't be assuming that anymore!

I learned long ago how inaccurate, and funny, CC can be, I still give them a lot of credit for getting so much correct.

 

I am going to have to find a way to watch this episode, or that part at least again,   I thought I heard him say that.  Now I'm not so sure.  It seemed so out of character for the character and the show.

 

 

 

 

FINALLY! This planet is protected.  I am THE DOCTOR and you are not welcome here!  THAT's what I've been waiting to hear.  Clara and Danny continue to annoy me, but I finally have a Doctor!  Woot!

I heard it as "This plane is protected" with the Doctor referring to the 3rd dimension the aliens stumbled into.

He did say "plane".  That I did hear. ;0)  I thought at the time that you could replace "plane" with "planet" and you would have almost the same speech that Eleven gave to the aliens chasing Patient Zero.

 

 

Having her take a phone call from her boyfriend in the middle of scrambling to safety in the hanging chair, after the policewoman has just been killed in the very same room, is just annoying, consistent with her character or not. 

That was very annoying, yes!  Then they had to go and practically highlight it by having Clara not answer "PE's" call at the end of the episode.  (it took me a while to figure out why the Doctor called Danny "P.E.".)

 

 

Can someone let me know when Doctor Who actually has the Doctor doing 'doctory' things instead of Clara.  Gods.  If you want Clara to be the Doctor, just make her the godsdamn Doctor and stop baiting me with Peter Capaldi's Doctor being the star of the show.

I remember reading, I think here somewhere, that one of the Doctors suggested that the Time Lord Academy should be opened to others.  It feels as if Clara has been being tested this season to see if she is eligible to become, dare I say, I Time Lady.  Thinking back to how she survived Eleven's time stream, I wonder if this was the plan all along.

 

The BBC brass offer Who honcho Steven Moffat some ideas for making Clara a bit less flat.

No pun intended?  :0)

Edited by elle

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I remember reading, I think here somewhere, that one of the Doctors suggested that the Time Lord Academy should be opened to others.  It feels as if Clara has been being tested this season to see if she is eligible to become, dare I say, I Time Lady.  Thinking back to how she survived Eleven's time stream, I wonder if this was the plan all along.

It has been suggested, in magazines and the extended universe, that the intention in the late '80s was for Ace to eventually be sponsored to Time Lord academy by the 7th Doctor (I think some of the NA novels might have even had it happen). I think it's a horrible idea myself and certainly isn't something that ever actually happened on-screen. It was just an idea that was kicked around as the show approached cancellation (and was part of the downhill slide).

 

The late 7th Doctor era was the point where the show fell for the first time into the hands of writers who'd been fans of the show growing up - men who'd adored the show as children in the '70s and then became embarrassed by their continued love for it as adults in the '80s and so sought ways of making it darker and more complex, they wanted to make it 'cool' and failed horribly, taking it further and further away from the show they'd originally fallen for; they were the writers who turned the Doctor into a Machiavellian Merlin and retconned the 1st Doctor to suit their own ends. Now, there are a lot of things I enjoy about the 7th Doctor era, which was my era, as a child, but I'm also painfully aware of its flaws - and that drive to turn it into something other than it had previously been is one of them, an intent that was then pursued and taken to extremes in the New Adventure novels during the wilderness years, when that same group of fans were in the driver's seat with a licence and no restrictions. Steven Moffat belongs to that group, which is probably at least part of the reason I don't get on with his writing - he's a fan of the late '80s styling, whereas I prefer the '60s and '70s!

Edited by Llywela
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But Clara drags everything down, for me. I don't like her attitude and I don't like her manner. Everything about her feels forced. Her entire personality has been shaped by the requirements of plot and is not pleasant. I feel like the writing at times is almost hammering me over the head with, "look how cute and adorable she is!" but she isn't. I don't find her cute or adorable. I find her self-important and self-absorbed and completely the wrong personality to be with the Doctor. Seriously, the TARDIS has shrunk and she barely even blinks, too busy complaining about her schedule being disrupted - and although plenty of other companions have had a moan about the Doctor's piloting skills, the difference with Clara is that she really means it! There's a harsh edge to her that I find really off-putting. She takes something amazing and makes it seem so mundane.

 

My problem is that Clara has been with the Doctor for a long time now. She should already know this - does, in fact. Was she paying no attention at all last season? Has she been paying no attention this season? Well, clearly not, because she's been too absorbed by her own reaction to a new Doctor to try to understand him at all, but it just feels like the most enormous waste of time - we've had a whole season of Clara disliking the Doctor because she couldn't get her head around a concept she should already be familiar with, a concept every other companion grasped early on. It doesn't reflect well on her or the show and I can't really understand the thinking behind making this a season-long theme. There were so many other ways the new dynamic could have been played.

 

It occurs to me that this is the first time Moffat has had to portray how a regeneration affects the current companion and he does not do it well.  With Eleven he was able to create a new doctor and a new companion.  And Clara as a new companion worked very well with Eleven.  I really liked them together and I didn't find her whiny before this regeneration.   For some reason Moffat thinks this new Clara would be the normal result of trying to adjust to a new Doctor.  I have defended Clara quite a bit and I think Jenna Coleman is a wonderful actress but this whining has gone on too long.  The writing for her has been terrible this season.  Even I am ready for a new companion (although my preference would be to get a new showrunner).

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What makes the Clara phone call thing worse is that it just wasn't her life (and the mission) she put in danger but also Rigsby.  He should have taken her phone and smashed it on the street afterward.

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 You, my dear are no Doctor and have no right to be so endlessly sarcastic about it for at least a minute that they didn't have to spend. 

No kidding. The end of that tunnel couldn't have been more than a hundred yards or so away, the train was moving at a decent clip - you could see it outside the windows - where did they have the time for that conversation?

 

These excellent points make me think that Moffat is consciously using Clara to go the opposite way of RTD when it comes to the Companion-Doctor dynamic.

 

Except it's pretty much the same: all the companions still have strong ties to their home life. RTD skewed towards mommy issues, Moffat to boyfriends, but the rant I made four years ago still applies: We want the childlike fantasy of running off and exploring things, no strings, no parents, just the whole damn universe.

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Now there's probably going to be one with Capaldi's eyes staring out of it on sale in 6-8 months.

I may need one of these. I also need Jamie to write a script in which he's not forced to make Clara magical (go see to Sherlock, Steven).

 

So now word is out that both planet Earth and this dimension are protected. Goodie. All these episodes in, can we now have more Big Damn Hero moments and fewer of the befuddled, Who-am-I? Leave us to ponder who the hell is Missy and how soon can she grab Clara.

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Yeah, my issue is not that it is inconsistent but that it is fucking annoying. If you hate it that much Clara, don't freaking go! I hate the sense that she is doing the Doctor a favor by going on these fantastical voyages with him. She is like a spoiled brat who wants a candy bar, her parents get her the candy bar she wants, and then she complains that she wanted the bigger one.

See, now I've gotten an image in my head of The Doctor going all Willy Wonka on Clara and turning her into a big blueberry. Hee!

And it's not so much a Clara issue, for me, as it is that they are hell bent on a part time companion which, IMO, don't work. And this is why. It make her bitching about not being put exactly in the time and place she wants while she is looking at the cutest little TARDIS ever and a Doctor who has no clue what is going on. Really, Clara, where are your priorities? Donna would have forgotten all about getting home on time and thoroughly enjoyed ribbing the Doctor about not knowing something. That, for me, is fun. Clara bitching about not being home in time for her date is annoying.

Add me to the list of Anti-part time companions. You used to have to be all in or nothing. Granted, you got to go back and visit family (Jackie, Wilfred, etc) but you were there to travel the Universe, see any point in time. It was partly why I didn't like the Ponds. Clara was okay until she turned into this demanding little person.

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I'm starting to wonder if I completely misread the ending, because I haven't seen anyone mention what I thought happened (yes, I read the thread) and if I'm right, then all the things so many viewers are unhappy with about Clara are actually deliberate choices on the writers' part. When The Doctor was looking at her all suspiciously at the end, and then claimed that she had been an exceptional Doctor and goodness had nothing to do with it, it's because he knows there's something off about her--which is basically what Missy's subsequent moment a second later confirmed. Clara's complaining about all this stuff because she really DOESN'T want to be traveling with the Doctor, she'd much rather be with Danny back at the school, but Missy has done something to her that's compelling her continue traveling with The Doctor so she can continue serving as Missy's plant so Missy can spy on him. That would make sense with last week, where it seemed to be leading to Clara leaving at the end...and then she didn't, for no discernable reason. Because Missy's done something to make it so that she can't. And now The Doctor's seen something in her behavior that has shown him something's off about her.

 

Anyway, maybe this should be in a speculation thread (I don't think there is one), but that's how I read the ending. (And no, I don't have any spoilers or anything.) But the writers making a companion who's being compelled by outside forces to travel with him against her will makes more sense than just a whiny one who doesn't want to be there, but won't just cut the cord, IMO.

Edited by TheOtherOne
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I liked this episode.  I actually appreciated that the MotW were actually malevolent and not just misunderstood.  There are too many instances of "the scary thing wasn't bad, it was just trying to get home / find it's mate" etc., that it's kind ofa cop-out. 

 

It'd be nice if Clara actually learned from this experience just how hard a responsibility it is to be the Doctor, but I doubt it.  Her "on balance, I did good" comment at the end makes me confident she didn't learn a thing and will be back to being crabby next week.  Sure, Clara, you saved the planet, but a couple of dozen people are still dead, including several who were right there with you.  Maybe being so chipper and dismissive of their deaths isn't the best attitude.

 

I'm prepared for a big ol' Missy Letdown on Nov 8.  The only part I'm curious about is whether the Doctor knows he has a stalker or not. 

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WOW!  What a ride that was!!! 

 

I totally enjoyed it, from start to finish. 

 

I loved "Could you not just let me enjoy this moment of not knowing something?  It happens so rarely."

 

Also ... "Dimensions are kind of our thing!"

 

There were so many choice quotes from this one.  I will have to pay closer attention on rewatch, but for now, I was sufficiently weirded out with the 2D monsters (that was some great graphics) and on the edge of my seat for most of the show.

 

The whole Doctor being trapped in the Tardis was kind of cool.  And Clara did a good job being the Doctor.  I was a little lost with the dude that didn't get fooled with the psychic paper, thinking he might be their leader or something, but again, will have to figure that one out on rewatch.

 

Pure fun!

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Did the Doctor really dub his adversaries "the Boneless"? That has to be the lamest name for an enemy race. I think "boneless," I think chicken. Yummy, yummy chicken.

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Question - the ramming train was rigged to move without a driver and it was on an active line.  Did it just disappear?  Did it continue on its way until it ran into another train or ran out of gas? Why wasn't the conductor concerned?

Rigsby was fun, but he was just another teenage nod to the kiddies.

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I was a little lost with the dude that didn't get fooled with the psychic paper, thinking he might be their leader or something, but again, will have to figure that one out on rewatch.

The psychic paper didn't work on him because he was so devoid of any imagination there was nothing to project.  Pretty funny, actually.

Question - the ramming train was rigged to move without a driver and it was on an active line.  Did it just disappear?  Did it continue on its way until it ran into another train or ran out of gas? Why wasn't the conductor concerned?

Didn't it wind up as a 2-D image along the tunnel wall?

 

On a separate topic, it occurred to me as I was thinking about the episode again that I wish they'd tone down the sonic screwdriver just a tad.  It's really getting overused to the point of being the essential solution to every problem.

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The psychic paper didn't work on him because he was so devoid of any imagination there was nothing to project.  Pretty funny, actually.

Didn't it wind up as a 2-D image along the tunnel wall?

 

On a separate topic, it occurred to me as I was thinking about the episode again that I wish they'd tone down the sonic screwdriver just a tad.  It's really getting overused to the point of being the essential solution to every problem.

I guess if you can't imagine what a Health and Safety ID looks like, you wouldn't see anything. Plus, Clara probably doesn't have the mental energy needed. Remember when Rose and Captain Jack were swapping psychic paper?

 

Clara with the sonic was annoying. Was she transmitting information to the Doctor? I doubt she learned how to read it since The Caretaker. On a totally unrelated note, when does the Doctor give his sonic screwdriver to River Song? If she returns, it would mean she knew the Doctor would have more than 12 regenerations for some time.

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The psychic paper didn't work on him because he was so devoid of any imagination there was nothing to project

It was part of the lack of character the character had or didn't have.  Christopher Fairbank – Fenton - was supposed to represent the not so nice side of us 3D humans.

 

Didn't it wind up as a 2-D image along the tunnel wall?

Yes, the train did appear as graffiti on the wall.

 

It's not a a box, but if you wanted something about this episode.

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I'm starting to wonder if I completely misread the ending, because I haven't seen anyone mention what I thought happened (yes, I read the thread) and if I'm right, then all the things so many viewers are unhappy with about Clara are actually deliberate choices on the writers' part. When The Doctor was looking at her all suspiciously at the end, and then claimed that she had been an exceptional Doctor and goodness had nothing to do with it, it's because he knows there's something off about her--which is basically what Missy's subsequent moment a second later confirmed. Clara's complaining about all this stuff because she really DOESN'T want to be traveling with the Doctor, she'd much rather be with Danny back at the school, but Missy has done something to her that's compelling her continue traveling with The Doctor so she can continue serving as Missy's plant so Missy can spy on him. That would make sense with last week, where it seemed to be leading to Clara leaving at the end...and then she didn't, for no discernable reason. Because Missy's done something to make it so that she can't. And now The Doctor's seen something in her behavior that has shown him something's off about her.

 

Anyway, maybe this should be in a speculation thread (I don't think there is one), but that's how I read the ending. (And no, I don't have any spoilers or anything.) But the writers making a companion who's being compelled by outside forces to travel with him against her will makes more sense than just a whiny one who doesn't want to be there, but won't just cut the cord, IMO.

Well, I like this theory because it would explain Clara's personality change.  She was never this whiny with Eleven and I've been putting it down to bad writing by the Moffat team.  Although, if it is deliberate, it's still not very well done.  They should be making her sympathetic instead of unlikeable.    

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I would probably like that episode more than most this season.

Were there sexy teens 100 years ago?

Of course there were.  They just showed more ankle.

 

See, now I've gotten an image in my head of The Doctor going all Willy Wonka on Clara and turning her into a big blueberry. Hee!

Or attacked by a bunch of squirrels.

 

I'm starting to wonder if I completely misread the ending, because I haven't seen anyone mention what I thought happened (yes, I read the thread) and if I'm right, then all the things so many viewers are unhappy with about Clara are actually deliberate choices on the writers' part. When The Doctor was looking at her all suspiciously at the end, and then claimed that she had been an exceptional Doctor and goodness had nothing to do with it, it's because he knows there's something off about her--which is basically what Missy's subsequent moment a second later confirmed. Clara's complaining about all this stuff because she really DOESN'T want to be traveling with the Doctor, she'd much rather be with Danny back at the school, but Missy has done something to her that's compelling her continue traveling with The Doctor so she can continue serving as Missy's plant so Missy can spy on him. That would make sense with last week, where it seemed to be leading to Clara leaving at the end...and then she didn't, for no discernable reason. Because Missy's done something to make it so that she can't. And now The Doctor's seen something in her behavior that has shown him something's off about her.

 

Anyway, maybe this should be in a speculation thread (I don't think there is one), but that's how I read the ending. (And no, I don't have any spoilers or anything.) But the writers making a companion who's being compelled by outside forces to travel with him against her will makes more sense than just a whiny one who doesn't want to be there, but won't just cut the cord, IMO.

That would be pretty cool, but unfortunately, I think it gives more credit to Moffat than he deserves.  His writing style is very much a kind of eternal-now, whatever -makes-the-episode-work-this-week.

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Sometimes subtitling or closed-captioning, is done from the original script, and therefore changes in the final product are not reflected (changes to the script, flubbed or impromptu lines, and changes in music licensing all can be causes), so they're fairly reliable, but not foolproof.

And a fair bit of the time they're typed "live", which means you can sometimes get a whole string of Damn You Autocorrect moments.

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As far as I'm concerned, the only Companion Doctor was Doctor Donna.

Pleaseohpleaseohplease don't make this a test run for the next Doctor. I have no problem with a female doctor, just, please not Clara.

 

If the Doctor has to "pick a [female] face" on his next regen, I would prefer someone like River, or Donna, or even Amy.

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I'm starting to wonder if I completely misread the ending, because I haven't seen anyone mention what I thought happened (yes, I read the thread) and if I'm right, then all the things so many viewers are unhappy with about Clara are actually deliberate choices on the writers' part. When The Doctor was looking at her all suspiciously at the end, and then claimed that she had been an exceptional Doctor and goodness had nothing to do with it, it's because he knows there's something off about her--which is basically what Missy's subsequent moment a second later confirmed. Clara's complaining about all this stuff because she really DOESN'T want to be traveling with the Doctor, she'd much rather be with Danny back at the school, but Missy has done something to her that's compelling her continue traveling with The Doctor so she can continue serving as Missy's plant so Missy can spy on him. That would make sense with last week, where it seemed to be leading to Clara leaving at the end...and then she didn't, for no discernable reason. Because Missy's done something to make it so that she can't. And now The Doctor's seen something in her behavior that has shown him something's off about her.

Interesting theory.

 

I'm certain that Clara's storyline is leading somewhere and is deliberate. Doesn't make me like it any better.

Clara with the sonic was annoying. Was she transmitting information to the Doctor? I doubt she learned how to read it since The Caretaker. On a totally unrelated note, when does the Doctor give his sonic screwdriver to River Song? If she returns, it would mean she knew the Doctor would have more than 12 regenerations for some time.

I'm pretty sure he's already done that, off-screen, during one of his 'dates' with River - there was one where we saw him dressed up to the nines and River told Amy and Rory they were going  to...some place I forget, but it was the place River told the 10th Doctor she'd seen him for the last time, when he gave her the sonic screwdriver. And he had a foreboding look on his face. So, yeah, that's already happened, off-screen, like the bulk of River's story (which I dislike even more than Clara's!)

 

The sonic screwdriver information Clara obtained was being transmitted to the Doctor in the TARDIS, yes.

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...Having her take a phone call from her boyfriend in the middle of scrambling to safety in the hanging chair, after the policewoman has just been killed in the very same room, is just annoying, consistent with her character or not.

...I thought it was great physical comedy--sort of old school like Darren in Bewitched. But then I just sat through an episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine with my daughter and only cracked a smile once at the reaction look on the face of one of the characters--humor is always very subjective and dependent upon cultural context.

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I'm starting to wonder if I completely misread the ending, because I haven't seen anyone mention what I thought happened (yes, I read the thread) and if I'm right, then all the things so many viewers are unhappy with about Clara are actually deliberate choices on the writers' part. When The Doctor was looking at her all suspiciously at the end, and then claimed that she had been an exceptional Doctor and goodness had nothing to do with it, it's because he knows there's something off about her--which is basically what Missy's subsequent moment a second later confirmed. Clara's complaining about all this stuff because she really DOESN'T want to be traveling with the Doctor, she'd much rather be with Danny back at the school, but Missy has done something to her that's compelling her continue traveling with The Doctor so she can continue serving as Missy's plant so Missy can spy on him. That would make sense with last week, where it seemed to be leading to Clara leaving at the end...and then she didn't, for no discernable reason. Because Missy's done something to make it so that she can't. And now The Doctor's seen something in her behavior that has shown him something's off about her.

 

Anyway, maybe this should be in a speculation thread (I don't think there is one), but that's how I read the ending. (And no, I don't have any spoilers or anything.) But the writers making a companion who's being compelled by outside forces to travel with him against her will makes more sense than just a whiny one who doesn't want to be there, but won't just cut the cord, IMO.

 

Its a narrative disconnect. Since Clara made such a great Doctor and the theme of this season is the implication that the Doctor isn't a good man that means she isn't either. The ending and the Doctor's comment about "goodness having nothing to do with it" was supposed to tell the viewer that Clara is changing for the worse. The problem is nothing Clara did was wrong or immoral. Even the lies she told both the Doctor and Danny don't paint her in a bad light. Both men's reaction's to her relationship with the other comes off creepy possessive and misogynistic. So as viewers were being told one thing and shown another.

 

The whole idea of whether the Doctor is a good man or not has been something that Moffat has played with during his whole run. In concept its a great idea but the limitations of DW being a family show hamstrings stories. 

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The late 7th Doctor era was the point where the show fell for the first time into the hands of writers who'd been fans of the show growing up - men who'd adored the show as children in the '70s and then became embarrassed by their continued love for it as adults in the '80s and so sought ways of making it darker and more complex, they wanted to make it 'cool' and failed horribly, taking it further and further away from the show they'd originally fallen for; they were the writers who turned the Doctor into a Machiavellian Merlin and retconned the 1st Doctor to suit their own ends. ...Steven Moffat belongs to that group, which is probably at least part of the reason I don't get on with his writing - he's a fan of the late '80s styling, whereas I prefer the '60s and '70s!

Yes, and while Moffat/Davies have never asked Sylvester McCoy to return (although as late as a few years ago he still could have pulled off the look from the 1996 film) or Sophie Aldred (which is a puzzler since Ace never got a goodbye story), the showrunners of NuWho are definitely wrapped in the Cartmel Masterplan kind of writing - where the Doctor must be a Chessmastery liar, who is manipulative, with lots of secrets and who treats his companions in a very cavalier manner. It's often said Troughton's 2nd Doctor has been the most influential amongst the actors in playing the Doctor but in terms of NuWho Moffat, Gattis, and Davies have all taken their cues from the 7th Doctor, and not in the best way.

 

On this episode I'm conflicted, I think the monster of the week was pretty good, the teenager, Rigsby,was yet another person the Doctor has run into this season I would prefer him to travel with than Clara,  and the image of the teeny Tardis was pretty cute. Capaldi even got a bit of something to do when we heard him tell the monsters he tried to reason with them, to help them, etc. and now he basically would get rid of them. 

 

Then we have Clara....Doctor Clara....and it all works out for her again. She can even talk her to her boyfriend (who's she lying to for no special reason) while people are getting their lives sucked into 2-D in the very next room. Does Moffat want viewers to hate her? Seriously. Most viewers loved Oswin the Dalek and Clara the Victorian Governess (both far more interesting than the babysitter/teacher we got) so its not Jenna Coleman that's the problem. It's that Moffat seems to have made the show more about Clara than it is the Doctor, which in Capaldi's first season is baffling because viewers want to know who HE is now. We already have been watching the "Impossible Girl" for over a season prior to this.

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Loved this episode. That's two brilliant episodes from Jamie Mathieson in a row. Surely he has come back for another script next series, right?

I know some fans were looking at this episode as a potential female Doctor audition piece but I thought it was more a case of giving the companion the perspective of the Doctor, in which case Clara got a clue as to why he does and says the things he does when it comes to defeating monsters and saving people.

Clara's characterisation has been a lot better this series and I definitely think she was wonderful in this episode, doing the best she could in a difficult situation.

Apart from Rigsy (who I liked), none of the guest cast were too memorable, except maybe Fenton and that's because he was genuinely a nasty piece of work from start to finish. I really didn't want him to survive the episode.

Even though he was confined to a shrinking TARDIS, I think this was actually a great episode too for the Doctor as well. Loved the Addams Family style escape as well from the train tracks. That made me laugh.

Clara lying to Danny and the Doctor - at least it was confronted and it looks like next week's episode will resolve that plot altogether.

Loved the Boneless - a genuinely creepy race of monsters there.

Missy choosing Clara - at least we're leading into the finale now, 9/10

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This "Flatline" review contains an interesting explanation of why this season is so Clara-centric...

 

This Year, Doctor Who is Built Around A Character Arc, And That's Major

Saturday 7:00pm

http://io9.com/this-year-doctor-who-is-built-around-a-character-arc-1648044673

Yeah, I'd grasped that the season was built around Clara's character arc. I just don't happen to like it very much. Which is a subjective position, I appreciate.

 

Thanks for the link.

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This "Flatline" review contains an interesting explanation of why this season is so Clara-centric...

 

This Year, Doctor Who is Built Around A Character Arc, And That's Major

Saturday 7:00pm

http://io9.com/this-year-doctor-who-is-built-around-a-character-arc-1648044673

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the article, thanks for sharing it.

 

I am more and more convinced that this whole thing is a beauty in the eye of the beholder thing.  I liked the writers analogy (but mostly cause it fits in with mine, ha!) of what is happening during this season.  The explanation was well thought out, to me anyway. 

 

I am going to have to go back to the season opener and to the Bells of St John because I somehow completely missed this:

 

As we learned in the season opener, Missy was the woman in the shop who gave Clara the Doctor's phone number so she could call him about her wifi troubles back in "The Bells of St. John.

 

I remember it, but I don't remember it being Missy.  If this is true, then this Missy arc has been planned for awhile?  Interesting.

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I remember it, but I don't remember it being Missy.  If this is true, then this Missy arc has been planned for awhile?  Interesting.

We didn't know it was Missy at the time - I don't think it's been outright confirmed yet, just hinted at. I'd say that a storyline about some meddler bringing the Doctor and Clara together has been planned from the start, although whether the final shape of the story was planned that far back is less clear. As I recall, earlier this season the Doctor reminded Clara that some 'woman in a shop' gave her his phone number, which was what brought them together in the first place, and that indicated that the mystery was going to be dealt with this season. Then in this episode Missy said that she'd chosen Clara well, indicating that she's the one pulling the strings. That's all we know so far. What it all means...well, I daresay we'll find out!

Edited by Llywela
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Clara's done for, I think. She will either decide to quit the Doctor, or she will get caught up in something she can not control.

 

I'll be ready for a new companion. Or maybe the Doctor can be on his own for a while, having one-off adventures with various companion's. I really want to see Capaldi as the leading man he is supposed to be.

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Clara's done for, I think. She will either decide to quit the Doctor, or she will get caught up in something she can not control.

 

If they're going with Clara's addiction to danger and traveling with the Doctor, then she probably ends up getting Danny killed and walks away from it all. 

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There is just no joy in this Doctor/Companion relationship.

That's what I miss.  But then I don't find any joy in Clara and Danny's relationship either.      

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I'm starting to wonder if I completely misread the ending, because I haven't seen anyone mention what I thought happened (yes, I read the thread) and if I'm right, then all the things so many viewers are unhappy with about Clara are actually deliberate choices on the writers' part. When The Doctor was looking at her all suspiciously at the end, and then claimed that she had been an exceptional Doctor and goodness had nothing to do with it, it's because he knows there's something off about her--which is basically what Missy's subsequent moment a second later confirmed. Clara's complaining about all this stuff because she really DOESN'T want to be traveling with the Doctor, she'd much rather be with Danny back at the school, but Missy has done something to her that's compelling her continue traveling with The Doctor so she can continue serving as Missy's plant so Missy can spy on him. That would make sense with last week, where it seemed to be leading to Clara leaving at the end...and then she didn't, for no discernable reason. Because Missy's done something to make it so that she can't. And now The Doctor's seen something in her behavior that has shown him something's off about her.

 

Anyway, maybe this should be in a speculation thread (I don't think there is one), but that's how I read the ending. (And no, I don't have any spoilers or anything.) But the writers making a companion who's being compelled by outside forces to travel with him against her will makes more sense than just a whiny one who doesn't want to be there, but won't just cut the cord, IMO.

 

I agree with all this and the end the most. I thought the complaining was over once she admitted she was addicted to the TARDIS so I understand why people were put off by it happening again. BUT, to me, all the complaining about being on time and taking the call while clearly in danger all stemmed from paranoia of her lying being detected. When some people lie, they add extra padding and details to their story to make sure they don't arouse suspicion. That's why she was rambling about not leaving so much as a tooth brush on the TARDIS. Same with the call: if Danny is onto her, all her lies disintegrate and it all flies out of control which is undesirable once she realises she's an addict. All she would want is to be in control. I agree it's not an attractive trait but it's a realistic one. Also her mind changed abruptly would make more sense. Even if tis is not the expressed reason I definitely don't think that the writers think that the audience is not unsettled by this and therefore if they are making these choices then they have a reason, satisfactory or not, we'll find out.

 

Building on your theory, I am going to go a little out there and say that Danny is also involved in Missy's plot. Because as against the Doctor as he is, he was strangely unfazed about her going on a goodbye lap and talked her down from quitting the adventures in Kill The Moon. The last shot of him over her shoulder was just too suspicious for me to think he isn't hiding something. 

Edited by fantique

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the fate of all time and creation will rest upon Clara defeating Mary Poppins, you can count on that.

 

Hopefully the Doctor manages to play a helpful and enjoyable role in the process, occasionally being the fulcrum of events but never for too long of course.

 

All I ask at this point is Clara's gone after this season, no matter what elevation to God-like status it will take for Moffat to arc her off the show, just go ahead and do it.

 

Clara Supreme Time Lord Queen of Gallifrey, that's fine let's just get on with it and on to next Companion please.

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This "Flatline" review contains an interesting explanation of why this season is so Clara-centric...

 

This Year, Doctor Who is Built Around A Character Arc, And That's Major

Saturday 7:00pm

http://io9.com/this-year-doctor-who-is-built-around-a-character-arc-1648044673

"in which the central question is all about whether Clara is going to be another one of the Doctor's good soldiers... or whether she's going to be more of an officer, like the Doctor himself.

...

In tonight's episode, "Flatline," all of this takes another huge step forward and a lot of the season's themes really seem to "gel.""

 

... OK, I'm trying, but I don't see any themes or arcs that are anything like that.

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The only problem is Clara.  You could feel the episode screeching to a halt when she talked to Danny.  Jenna Coleman seems like a nice person and is definitely easy on the eyes, but Clara is the kind of person that if you had to deal with in real life, you would have throttled her by now.  In the middle of the attack you take a call from your boyfriend? That's the kind of move that makes you monster-fodder.  What's next Clara, skinnydipping in the lake where the sexy teens were murdered a hundred years ago tonight?  Only at the end, after the world is saved does she not take his call.  I feel like this ep could have really turned it around for Clara, but they failed.

 

I found that sequence pretty funny, taking a scary situation and injecting some humor into it. I didn't expect it to stay fully panicked once I realized they were going to swing their way through the window on a conveniently placed glass seat.

 

I'm starting to wonder if I completely misread the ending, because I haven't seen anyone mention what I thought happened (yes, I read the thread) and if I'm right, then all the things so many viewers are unhappy with about Clara are actually deliberate choices on the writers' part. When The Doctor was looking at her all suspiciously at the end, and then claimed that she had been an exceptional Doctor and goodness had nothing to do with it, it's because he knows there's something off about her--which is basically what Missy's subsequent moment a second later confirmed. Clara's complaining about all this stuff because she really DOESN'T want to be traveling with the Doctor, she'd much rather be with Danny back at the school, but Missy has done something to her that's compelling her continue traveling with The Doctor so she can continue serving as Missy's plant so Missy can spy on him. That would make sense with last week, where it seemed to be leading to Clara leaving at the end...and then she didn't, for no discernable reason. Because Missy's done something to make it so that she can't. And now The Doctor's seen something in her behavior that has shown him something's off about her.

 

Anyway, maybe this should be in a speculation thread (I don't think there is one), but that's how I read the ending. (And no, I don't have any spoilers or anything.) But the writers making a companion who's being compelled by outside forces to travel with him against her will makes more sense than just a whiny one who doesn't want to be there, but won't just cut the cord, IMO.

 

Hmm, I like your theory. But as someone who enjoys Clara, I don't really think all that is necessary to explain her actions. Plenty of people keep doing things they know aren't in their best interests. Clara seems to enjoy herself most of the time with the Doctor now--I don't take her complaining about imperfect return destinations and times that seriously. I think she's usually kidding with him.

 

Plus, I think the Doctor's last commen,t about her being like the Doctor but that doesn't mean she's good, is meant to speak to his opinion of himself. This Doctor doesn't seem to think highly of himself at all, more ashamed of his past than he has been before, which I also think is tied into his dislike of soldiers being kicked up a hundred notches. Twelve hasn't realized that feeling shame is an indicator that he's a better person than he thinks he is yet.

 

On a separate topic, it occurred to me as I was thinking about the episode again that I wish they'd tone down the sonic screwdriver just a tad.  It's really getting overused to the point of being the essential solution to every problem.

 

Yep, the blowing of the 2D people back to 2D was rather too convenient for me. And I'm usually fine to wave things away with "Magic!"

 

Clara's characterisation has been a lot better this series and I definitely think she was wonderful in this episode, doing the best she could in a difficult situation.

 

I agree! She's a fully interesting character to me now, whereas she was more vanilla last series. 

Edited by TheGourmez

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It has been suggested, in magazines and the extended universe, that the intention in the late '80s was for Ace to eventually be sponsored to Time Lord academy by the 7th Doctor (I think some of the NA novels might have even had it happen). I think it's a horrible idea myself and certainly isn't something that ever actually happened on-screen. It was just an idea that was kicked around as the show approached cancellation (and was part of the downhill slide).

 

 

 

A few years before the new series, back when we didn't know the show was coming back, and casual fans like me didn't even know there was a proposal to bring it back, we had become used to getting our Doctor stories only as print or audio. So it was a treat when some new stries came out as web videos. These were really minimalist, like augmented audio plays with a succession of still drawings, some zooming and panning, plus a smidgeon of animation. A couple featured an unnumbered Doctor that looked like a vampire.

 

One such story featured the 7th Doctor trying to teach Ace how to be a timelady. He had her play "floor is lava", with her thinking it really was until she slipped off a stepping stone. She was glad to be alive but miffed that he had lied. He explained that it was a metaphor for what it's like to have the power of a timelord. Sometimes you would meet circumstances that were no more dangerous to you than slipping off a stepping stone that would be as dangerous as falling into lava to normal people, and you would have to act as cautiously as a normal person would.

 

Hmm, now that i've written that it seems even more confused than it did at the time, i think i need to find that file and rewatch it.

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I really enjoyed this episode. In fact it was the first one that didn't have me rolling my eyes this season. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure that's because the doctor was sidelined for most of it. <br /><br />I know everyone keeps raving about the new doctor and hating on Clara, but I find him infinitely more annoying than I find her. I just can't empathize with a doctor who doesn't seem to emphathize with anyone.

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I see parallels between him and the First Doctor. Had the original Doctor Who been about the companion(s) I think Hartnell's Doctor would have taken a lot longer for people to warm up to him. I think it's also what's happening here. Clara's destiny had been fulfilled as the Dcotor's savior from the GE. So now Clara has to have a new purpose. I don't think any companion in NuWho has just been someone along for the ride. They were either the savior of the Earth or the salvation of the universe. Most of their great purposes were also foretold long before we saw it on screen. It makes the Doctor less special.

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It makes the Doctor less special.

And that makes me sad.

 

---------------------------------------------------

Okay then, on re-watch, what Danny says is (slightly garbled) "at our bench".  Apologies, Mr. Pink.  It did seem out of character for you.

Edited by elle
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Really liked this episode.  The Doctor was the Doctor and I really liked Clara in this episode stepping up and not just being fodder for the Doctor to rescue her.

 

Shrinking the Tardis was a cute touch.

 

Was hoping they would take the kid as a companion.

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Finally, this was the episode I had been waiting for.  This Doctor at last got a story where he could just be himself and shine.

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