"This is Mr Nesbitt of Harlow New Town. Mr Nesbit would you stand up please. (after a pause - nothing happens) Mr Nesbitt has learnt the value of not being seen. However he has chosen a very obvious piece of cover".
- Monty Python
That is from one of the funniest comedy sketches ever written however the opening to "Listen" is less humorous in its nature and is down right creepy!
M. Night Shyamalan creepy!
Hmm well yeah that is creepy but I meant this M. Night level of creepy...
***Shudder*** Get that away from me!
So episode 4 of season 8 titled "Listen" plays on all our childhood fears and explores our rationalisation of the things that go bump in the night.
We have all hidden under the covers and hopped out of bed a few extra inches away from it to avoid the hand that reaches out from beneath. We have laid there at night starring at the ceiling too afraid to turn our head in case what you know is there in the room is beside us, starring.
The creeks and the footsteps are just because "this house is old" or "it's just the temperature dropping".
Well the temperature is dropping, the hairs on our arms and neck stand on end, there is a chill in the air and it is not because the night has vanquished the sun's warmth.
We are not alone at night, something is lurking in the shadows, our closets and under the bed are its dominion. All limbs must be confined within the protective armour that are our sheets, our eyes must be shut like a vice until day light prises them open.
Whatever you dream do not allow your hand to hang over the bed, whatever you hear do not open your eyes!
From the opening monologue this was "the scary one" Doctor Who at its best!
The sub plot at first seems distracting until the episode as a whole unfolds and you realise that it isn't an episode with a main arc and sub plot in the traditional sense, as everything intertwines to form the whole. So there isn't the "filler" you first think the date storyline is; which I thought was some good solid writing from Steve Moffat.
Peter as the Doctor is becoming ever increasingly likeable, it is a shame that Colin Baker was obviously just too far ahead of the time for the mid 80's. It is good to have the temperamental style of the 6th back. Smith had it in his portrayal and Capaldi has taken it one step further while retaining bundles of charm and charisma.
As a premise the episode could have been very one note but it would still have been a good watch. However the writing at the end was masterful, recognising everything that the canon affords the writer, how sci-fi and time travel opens up so many possibilities and how paradox's can be used to great effect.
Who taught whom?
Did Clara learn the speech about being scared from the Doctor or did the Doctor learn it from Clara?
Once again the fan service is there to bring a smile, I felt that was deeply lacking in Eccleston's run, yet now with the show having its own massive catalogue of stories and characters from the past 7 seasons, fan service can be delivered to all generations of viewers more frequently.
At the end I did instantly remark aloud "well someone saw The Ring" at one scene. When you see it or if you have watched this episode already then well you'll spot the comparison I am making, *cough* ladder...barn...*cough*
Overall the pace and the not knowing what, if anything, it was we were supposed to fear made for a tense "watch with a pillow episode".
Even I was tempted to cover my eyes for the very fear the episode was about and the message at the end.
Why was I afraid? What was I afraid of? Ok they tricked us a little bit by actually having something there under the sheet, so that was a bit naughty and contradictory to the overall message that I read into.
What I took from the story was that most of the time we are scared of nothing and that often our fears are the thought of seeing something we just do not want to or can not process in any real capacity.
This seeps in to every facet of our lives, we will choose to "bury our heads in the sand" to avoid confrontation or live in denial rather than have a realisation.
It has always struck me as odd that I was terrified by ghost stories and freaked out by films like "The Grudge" or "Amityville Horror", why? Why was I scared of supernatural occurrences on the screen more than a slasher film?
Well mainly because most slasher films are goofy and camp, but at the end of the day "slashers" exist and there are a lot more documented cases of people being killed by a machete than there are about people being sucked into their TVs?
After the last review each article will finish with the insult of the week!
Capaldi appearance digs:
"Big grey haired stick insect" - Clara
Best insult of the series so far!
So to the Curve...
I really enjoyed this episode and think that season 8 is now back on track after that weak premier.
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