Ghosts are usually not the scariest of monsters in the genre, and they’re very often used as preternatural messengers of sorts. So the ghosts on The Drum are fulfilling a traditional role. But the combination of rapid movement, rather than floating, the ability to wield weapons, those horrible empty eyes and the relentless chanting make these ghosts genuinely creepy.
I want another adventure
So do we Clara. It feels like an absolute age since we’ve had one. I really would have loved to see the planet where the people with the long necks have been celebrating New Year for two centuries. And it’s nice to see Clara acting more like her old self.
I’m a huge fan!
One of the stand-outs this week was the stellar guest cast and the ‘pairings’ of Cass and Lunn (Sophie Stone and Zaqi Ismail ) and O’Donnell and Bennet (Morven Christie and Arsher Ali). Less impressive was ‘disposable corporate villain’ Pritchard, it would have been far more interesting to see how he would have reacted when given the choice to stay or go, rather than being deemed the most deserving of death.
Now, as to spotting potential new companions I’m putting my vote in for O’Donnell and Bennet (don’t forget to cast your votes for the new companion here)
Sophie Stone, who was the first deaf person to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), thanked scribe Toby Whitehouse on Doctor Who Extra for giving a deaf actress ‘the opportunity to play these roles’. Commander Cass should serve as a reminder to the critics who bleat endlessly that the Doctor should be a different gender/shape/species, that Doctor Who has long embraced diversity in their characters, without being gimmicky about it.
I’ve never actually met a proper ghost!
Not holograms, they’re not Flesh Avatars! They’re not Autons. They’re not digital copies bouncing around the Nethersphere. No, these people are literally, actually dead!
It was so much fun to see the Doctor so genuinely excited to discover something new. But more importantly here was the Doctor inadvertently offending people, not because he is the “new scary and fierce” Doctor, or the “unpredictable” Doctor, or “eyebrows”. But just because he is an alien and he often forgets how to interact with humans. And it appears Clara is monitoring his behaviour.
I’ll do all I can to solve the death of your friend/ family member/pet
(although he has apologised to Sarah Jane)
It was my fault, I should have known you didn’t live in Aberdeen
I completely understand why it was difficult not to get captured
I didn’t mean to imply that I don’t care
No one is going to be eaten/vapourised/exterminated/upgraded/possessed/mortally wounded/turned to jelly. We’ll all get out of this unharmed
Don’t go native
I did not buy in to Clara ‘trying to be the Doctor’ last series and I am not buying it now. Clara may be on a more equal level with the Doctor than her immediate predecessors, but she is no more adventurous than them. However if we’re going to continue with the ‘addicted to space travel’ business, and because we went so far down this path in series 9, it is appropriate that Clara’s grief be addressed at some point. This was a touching scene and very well done, and it really demonstrated the genuine rapport between both the characters and the actors.
Put the handbrake on
It’s about time we heard from the TARDIS, she seems to have been rather quiet lately. It always heightens the atmosphere if the TARDIS is uneasy and it was great to see the Doctor’s response when she stared ringing the cloister bells.
“I’m fine by the way…
…in case anyone was worried.” This was my favourite comic moment, when poor old Clara has no one to hug after escaping the ghosts.
None of you have chosen anonymous or selfish lives
This moment summed up so much of what I liked about the episode, from the traditional under siege storyline, to the fantastic (if somewhat under-utilised) supporting cast and the Doctor’s rather alarming powers of persuasion. I just hope that everyone will be alive at the end of next week.
Another fantastic cliffhanger. Of course we know the Doctor will be able to go back and escape death, somehow, but that’s just the question. How will he be able to fix this, and how will Clara cope with being left behind with no TARDIS?