Catching up on 8 and 9   Leave a comment

Not the Doctors, unfortunately. 😉

Most fans are probably aware by now of the new trailer. The BBC is nothing if not master of promotion: within minutes of its release the trailer had blanketed Facebook and Twitter with links and Tumblr with gifsets. Even if I hadn’t watched it immediately, I’d have seen it all in one quick scroll.

And because there’s no such thing as enough, here it is:

Monsters! Daleks! The Doctor in shades! Actual Dragon! We watched it a few times, full of anticipation for S9; then returned to our S8 rewatch with ‘Listen’ and ‘Time Heist.’

‘Listen’ is deliciously creepy. Such dedicated introspection is rare on TV, and a great joy to watch. There are lots of wonderful moments in this episode: Clara being great with kids and putting the Doctor in his place, the toy soldier “so brave he doesn’t need a gun,” terrifying bedspread cosplay, disappearing coffee. Peter Capaldi is fabulous as ever. There’s also stuff I don’t especially like. While Danny and Clara’s difficulties are interesting, they need to be balanced by actual developing friendship and rapport. Without it, the relationship still seems to come out of nowhere. I don’t like Clara mucking about in the Doctor’s timeline – thought we were done with that in S7 – and I don’t buy this version of the Doctor’s past. But it’s a decent enough scene, so I try not to let it bother me. I’m also a little annoyed by the implication of Clara’s involvement in Orson’s life, given that that went nowhere. Chalk it up to Moffatism.

Still. It’s good Doctor Who.

‘Time Heist’ is a ton of fun. I remember being surprised and delighted by Psi and Saibra’s not-deadness the first time around, and I miss that. But everything else I said before still holds true. I like the schwarma scene. I like that the Doctor actually got to save the monster and deliver that happy ending he’s promised so many times. I like that everyone got what they wanted – possible exception of Clara, who appears to just be along for the ride in this one. I love that the TARDIS can now be precise to the minute and get Clara to her dates on time. I like the cleverness, and everyone getting to use their skills – again, except for Clara. But she gets to do so much this season, it seems only fair that she coast every once in a while. I remember taking an embarrassingly long time to figure out the Architect’s true nature; on rewatch it is beyond obvious, but still a great reveal.

Again, good fun and good Doctor Who.

Both episodes are Moffat, ‘Heist’ with some help from former math teacher and fellow Sherlock writer Stephen Thompson.

Next up: ‘The Caretaker’ and ‘Kill the Moon.’ Hm.

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