SEARCH MY BLOG

Monday, October 20, 2014

Doctor Who: Flatline Review

Doctor Who continues with yet another creepy yet fun story with "Flatline."

Thankfully, that mishap with "Kill the Moon" is just that, a mishap in what is shaping up to be a strong final few episodes of Doctor Who. 

*Spoilers Ahead*
After yet another adventure, the Doctor and Clara return to earth, somehow ending up in Bristol, except the TARDIS appears to be shrinking. Now Clara and the Doctor must discover what is causing the disturbance. Thankfully, Clara and the Doctor seem to have made up completely after the blow up in "Kill the Moon," and are now back to being a brilliantly bickering dynamic duo. Coleman and Capaldi's chemistry is better than ever, and their interaction is a highlight of the episode. 
In "Flatline," Clara gets to play the Doctor of sorts when the outside of the TARDIS is so small that the Doctor cannot leave. Making the TARDIS so small is both a brilliantly hilarious way for Clara to literally carry the Doctor around as she tries to investigate, as well as a smart business move since those tiny TARDIS that you can buy are now cannon! Plus, Clara's quip about it being "Adorable" is positively hilarious, because is exactly how some of my Whovian fangirl friends would react. My only small issue with the episode is general is that the special effects for the Doctor in the tiny TARDIS is a bit dodgy. Sometimes it looked okay, but a lot of the time it looked incredibly flat. Despite this, the tiny TARDIS managed to deliver great laughs, while still maintaining a sense of danger with the alien threat.

Thematically, a lot of the episode follows the theme at the end of "Mummy on the Orient Express" about whether or not the Doctor is a good man, and how he must balance the lives that are saved with the ones that die. Aside from Clara hilariously calling herself the "Doctor" as the Doctor protests, which creates a hilarious discussion about lying, Clara playing the role of the Doctor allows her to relate to the difficult choices the Doctor makes, and thus alleviating the conflict between them, hopefully for good. At the end of the episode, Clara being proud that she saved the planet, as well as most of the people, introduced an interesting idea of Clara understanding the moral balance the Doctor must weigh to make his difficult choices. After criticizing him the previous few episodes, Clara finally understands the decision he must make. However, when the Doctor says something to the effect of "you were an exceptional Doctor; goodness had nothing to do it" the question about is the Doctor a good man is almost answered by the Doctor himself. Interesting ideas, and hopefully it will come full circle by the end of the season.
Speaking of the threat, the creatures from the second dimension are easily the best monsters from Capaldi's run (the "Listen" does not count), and the most eerie since the Silence. Making the creatures attempting to decipher what exactly humanity is by transforming them into the second dimension is an intriguing concept, since the creatures do not understand the meaning of three dimensions, which is vaguely similar to what happens in an episode of Space Dandy. For example, the police officer's nervous system on the wall is both eerie and clever. Everything about the 2D monsters is well thought out, including their transition to the the third dimension. Seeing the wonderfully rendered, zombie like beings lumbering towards Clara and the others created legitimate suspense and tension. Also, the special effects direction should be given special praise for creating a monster that fits the capabilities and budget that the effects department can deliver, rather than trying something overly ambitious.
On a side note, Jacob's theory is the monsters from Listen might be coming back due to the amount of times the word "listen" is said during the episode, although he admits that he might just be paranoid.                                                                                                 Overall, Jamie Mathieson's script is able to create a legitimate threat with the 2D monsters, yet not forgetting about the thematic elements or the witty dialogue exchanges between the Doctor and Clara. Fortunately, even the scene with Missy is the most bearable one yet.

Overall: 9.2/10- With a menacing new monster, "Flatline" is everything that a Doctor Who episode should be, clever, funny, meaningful, and creepy.


 
 

If you want to contact us or have any questions please send an e-mail to johnstarslayer@gmail.com.

9 comments:

  1. Great review! :) I agree, this was a great episode and it's nice to see the show to be getting back on track after a couple of weak episodes(The Caretaker and Kill the Moon), with Clara and 12 just as awesome as ever. I loved the humor, especially with the tiny TARDIS(which was definitely adorable)- my favorite part being when the TARDIS got stuck on the train(of course there had to be a train coming) and the Doctor had to scoot the TARDIS out of the way with his hand(which looked like a weird hermit crab). The monsters were nicely creepy and the main side character was a good, enjoyable character.
    The ending was really interesting and I and I am interested in where the season is going from here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, this episode has the series back on track to what should be a strong finish to the season. Yes, the Doctor crawling the TARDIS out of the way of the train was great! :)

      -James

      Delete
  2. Definitely enjoyed this one, especially the humor :)

    And I agree, this was the best "Missy" scene thus far, much less annoying than the others we've had up to this point. Still not excited about the series finale- which I'm assuming will focus on her, or at least whatever plotline surrounds her- but I'm not totally *dreading* it anymore...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here, the humor was really good this episode. :)

      I am not all that excited about the finale either since she is going to be in it, but I also not dreading it anymore.

      -James

      Delete
  3. This was overall a good episode--the shrinking Tardis was rather fun! :D Great review!

    ~Jamie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. :) Glad you liked the episode as well.

      -James

      Delete
  4. Great review, James! I liked this one a lot too. It felt like a classic Ten or Eleven episode, and I've missed that! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It does feel classic didn't it? :)

      -James

      Delete
  5. This episode is easily one of my favorites of the season (right after Robot of Sherwood), and I loved the Tiny TARDIS (we actually have a tiny TARDIS). I also loved the Addams' Family reference. The Missy scene was intriguing, and I'm interested in seeing how that storyline will pan out (I've got some theories, but none of Missy). The episode was creepy, yet funny. Awesome review, James!
    -Tegan

    ReplyDelete

One rule: No strong profanity. If you want to link to one of your posts, please do; I am always interested in other reviews and such.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...