The Doctor takes Clara on one last adventure aboard a space train haunted by a mummy who’s more of a vampire
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Clara’s relationship with Twelve has hit the buffers, so to make amends for his miscarriages of justice he arranges one last jaunt for their itinerary: a no-expenses-paid stowaway ride on the only space-going Orient Express, where sophisticated glitterati can indulge in the faux-historical fancies of deep space’s roaring 20s.
It’s full steam ahead on the train to Awkward City as Clara gets to freight the Doctor with her weird human feelings for five whole minutes, until crones and chefs start dropping like flies buzzing around the leathery dead.
Can our hero rally a claret-quaffing captain with just one booze cruise left till retirement, a mysterious expert in exactly the Foretold foe they’re faced with, and the assorted ranks of the diversely damaged before they reach the end of the line?
This episode was recorded over Skype as we remain in lockdown during the Covid-19 crisis. Stay safe and well, everybody!
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This is by far the very best Mark Gatiss script that Mark Gatiss never wrote. The story chugs along (see what I did there?) without one bad, boring, or plot-derailing moment, only gaining speed the further along it goes.
It might be strange to think of now, but there was a time that nobody believed this episode would be good. After the nuclear level letdown that was Kill The Moon, it was widely perceived that the following episode would be a throwaway Gatiss level romp about a choo-choo in
One thing I didn’t get, why would Clara say that leaving the Doctor was Danny’s idea ? What was interesting about the last episode is the fact that she chose to stop traveling with the Doctor. Making it Danny’s problem sounds a bit too rom-comy for my taste. It doesn’t help Clara’s character development, which was quite good so far in my opinion.
Did Missy set this up that Gus was… I don’t know, part Cyberman? because his onscreen monocle logo looked a hell of a lot like a Cyberman’s eye. Could it tie into the finale? Hmm, not sure. I loved the Frank Skinner cameo and was glad he was smart enough to not travel
with the doctor.
Watching this again made me feel like everything was good and perfect, and the only worry in my mind was whether or not the Doctor and Clara would survive this time. All doubt, all logic, all cynicism was cast out.
I really enjoyed the scene where the Doctor was talking to himself, trying to figure out what percentage of sure he was that there was nothing wrong on the train. It was endearing. I also really enjoyed the plot.
The ending was a little painful, but not because I thought it was bad. Danny Pink is a precious human being, and deserves Clara’s honest self… but Clara hasn’t quite reached a place where she believes that too. It wasn’t her choice to tell him in the first place, it was something that couldn’t be helped, and now we see she still isn’t quite ready to be honest about something so important, so central to her life and who she is. It makes me sad for Danny, but it fits Clara’s character growth/progression.
The mummy itself looked good, and I liked how they solved the mystery and trouble.
We are one step closer to Missy, and I am very excited for it.
4.3 out of 5 trains in space.
When I said that there are some good stories coming up… I meant THIS!
This story is the best Doctor Who story since the “Day of the Doctor.”
Here are some:
– Ok, where do I begin! The pace of this story is perfect.
– The characters are well written and you actually care about them! (Take notes Chibnall)
– The way that Clara decides to stay with the Doctor is the best explanation possible!
– The way the Foretold was defeated was also the best explanation possible!
This is one hell of a story and is the BEST in series 8!
I’m giving this a 5.0!
By the way… The next episode is ALSO a hit, see you then!
Hey guys, before my review I just wanted to prefix it since this is my first review sent in! Now I’m fairly new to Doctor Who, over the last 2 years of me and my gf being together (our anniversary is next week actually!) she has introduced me to Who as she is a huge Who fan and we started with New Who. I found your guys pod and have been listening along as we watched but now I’m all caught up so I’ll be sending in my reviews, but keep in mind they are from a single viewing of each episode. But yes, I am all in on Doctor Who at this point as last year me and my gf Alicia went to Fan Expo Canada’s first day as Ten and Rose, and plan to do it again this year (as long as the Con still happens) as Eleven and River! That’s enough about me though, lets go with my review!
As for Mommy on the Orient Express, as soon as the episode began I had questions. Didn’t Clara say she was done with this? Furious at this man? Never wanting to see him again? Then here she is, happy as can be, jumping on this train for a new adventure? But the episode as a whole I had fun with. The mystery was enjoyable, as it unfolded I was enjoying it, the other characters I found interesting and compelling…..but I had one problem…..it’s a Mummy(I know its not a literal Mummy, but still)? I just couldn’t get passed it, an alien or beast would have been fine. But a Mummy just took me out of it every time. And Clara lying to Danny at the end, a complete 180 from where she was at the end of the last episode irked me. But the journey to get there, besides the Clara bookends I did very much enjoy. Especially the “Are you my Mummy” reference, it was “Fantastic”, so I will give this episode a 3.5. Thanks!
Questions: Did the Doctor let everyone else suffocate? He ‘joked’ that he did, but we didn’t see the others?
Trivia: the actress who played poor Mrs Pitt (Janet Henfrey) meets a similar fate at the hands of undead monsters in Seventh Doctor story The Curse of Fenric.
Summary: fantastic story, great script, terrific acting, top nosh effects. What a great journey!
Rating: 4.6/5 poor gourmet chefs being blown into space. Gus, that was just plain mean!