Well, we would if you’d stop fingering our ears, buddy.
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When the Thirteenth Doctor drops off her three companions you had better believe she’s just waiting for an excuse to pop off and pick up another one. One instantaneous excuse later, she finds herself in medieval Aleppo recruiting an emotionally vulnerable local woman who’s about to freak out when she sees the inside of the TARDIS. Meanwhile back on Earth, the fam are all freaking out as well as they’re accosted by Zellin, a scalp-tattooed sadist with detachable fingers who creeps on people in their sleep and has a tendency to vanish in puffs of smoke.
Doc won’t stand for these shenanigans, however, and with her extended fam of four assembled she sets about piecing together the mystery. Yaz has a backstory of unresolved guilt; Graham has visions of a woman in a space orb; Ryan’s pal hasn’t done the dishes; and the lady from Aleppo watched her carers get abducted by a monster. It can only mean one thing, and thus she pilots the TARDIS to a space station orbiting the site of two planets on a collision course with one another for “a millennia” and something orb-shaped stuck in-between them. Auricularity ensues.
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Ooh, cold open!
So this is kinda annoying in a way as there’s lots to like but it just doesn’t quite gel. Oh well. Ian Gelder has a wonderfully creepy voice and Zellin seems like a good villain, out thinking the Doctor into releasing his partner. Shame the story wraps up that plot thread so rapidly. And whilst the stuff with Yaz is interesting and it’s the stuff we needed to have a while ago, it makes the ending overly long and flabby. It’s an almost 50 min ep and probably should have been 45. I know the show had moved to 50 min eps but please use that extra 5 mins elsewhere. More time exploring the space station, more time for Zellin v Doctor, more time with Zellin and Rakaya menacing the kids, more time such that the ending doesn’t feel rushed…
Striking visuals, the fingers are particularly memorable and then we have the storytime explanation. Interesting how Rakaya narrates it in the third person despite being the one imprisoned. Aleppo seems to be a slightly random choice for the past location. Like, does it add anything in particular? I’m not sure it really does other than it not being in the UK for a change.
Frustrating for me as I want to like it more with the creepy atmosphere a lot of it has, but alas 3.0/5 Planet Colliding Prisons
Can you hear me? I certainly can because hearing is key to this episode. Once again, it’s exposition, exposition, exposition. Be it explaining what’s already shown on screen or going to the trouble of having a minute-long kiddies educational infomercial rather than do, like, proper writing. It could easily be an audio adventure, the thrown-together, insipid on-screen ‘action’ doesn’t add a whole lot to the viewing experience.
Considering their nature, the immortals hinted at being interesting, but they just weren’t fleshed out. I wanted to find out a more or see some depth, but it never came. The mention of the Toymaker, Guardians and the Eternals served to remind how much better this idea has been done before. Compare with Amy’s Choice where The Dream Lord and the dilemma were really interesting.
Where are the stakes? No-one seems particularly worried, and things just meander along not really going anywhere. Were we supposed to care about the side-characters? It didn’t come across that way. Once again the chill-out music doesn’t scream DANGER! Another element designed to send one to sleep.
Why were we in Aleppo again?
This story would have got a low score for being so dull but is plummets even further due to the final scene with Graham. Absolute travesty. The Doctor wouldn’t behave in that way to a companion, even Capaldi. I get the social awkward part of the character but it’s so out of place and misjudged. Then make jokes about Frankenstein. Disgraceful. 1.8/5
14th century Aleppo looking more structurally intact than it does today.
These monsters are going to be awesome!
These monsters suck donkey-balls. Damn you CGI. What’s wrong with just having a bloke in a big rubber suit now and again!
I would slam the door in the face of Ryan’s stupid impression, chips or no chips.
Big like – attack of the flying fingers.
Cheeky reference to the Celestial Toymaker. My dad’s favourite episode!
Yet another cameo pay-check for Grace. Not bad for a character that died in her first episode.
This is basically the plot of The BFG.
Ah, the old use-the-Doctor-to-release-an-evil-god trick.
Ah, the old collide-two-planets-to-trap-an-evil-god trick.
This is basically the plot of Nightmare on Elm Street Part III: Dream Warriors.
Erm. How did this end? Those seemed pretty powerful baddies. The Doctor used the Force on her sonic screwdriver, and then…erm…that was that!?
Rating: 3/5 sleepers (presumably a maximum of ten) having yucky nightmare fingers jammed in their ears. Ewe.
Happy new year everyone!
Here is my mini-review of “ Can you hear me”
This is a somewhat disjointed and fragmented story which was poorly edited.
A somewhat creepy tone does permeate through about half of the episode, but the pace moves
too slowly and uninterestingly for me.
I just about fell asleep through much of the middle part it was so boring
I did enjoy the idea that the companions were allowed to re-join with their family and friends back on earth, but then
the scenes felt very artificial and unrealistic! All it did was take me out of the story.
Grace was a welcome return and the most realistic of the people played in this story.
What was the plot again? Missing fingers in ears or something….I’ve forgotten already….
Probably the worst performance by Whitaker since her debut.
Basically, I really hated this.
0.7 Missing fingers
Hello friends!! HAPPY NEW YEAR or should I say – happy WHO year, as we get right into another year of doccy who!! Been on a bit of hiatus myself so jumping into an episode I remembered nothing about was quite the ride, but alas, here are some thoughts:
We’ve had mental health episodes before but I don’t think we’ve ever had one that explicitly explored the mental health of the companions, so it was really nice to get more background and insight into our companions. I didn’t care for the villains or their lore, I don’t know why she specifically targeted Graham, but the cartoonish explanation of their history with the two planets was great.
This episode really made me like Ryan more. He’s an incredible friend and his anxieties about leaving his friends behind is very justified after everything he’s been through and seen. Same with Yaz, I don’t know if it was meant to be perceived this way, but from how I interpreted it, portraying Yaz as someone who was contemplating suicide brought me to tears and provided more depth for her story. I remember initially thinking that the conversation between Graham and 13 felt insensitive but after learning that Graham’s cancer and that scene were based on Chibnall’s experiences made me see it through a different POV. Sometimes you aren’t equipped with the knowledge of what to say, sometimes it’s okay to just be there and listen.
I’d give this one a 3.8/5.0!