DOCTOR WHO - Listen Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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DOCTOR WHO - Listen Review

First Christopher Morley checks under his bed, then he brings you his review of Listen.

If nothing else, Listen revealed to us the true cause of all childhood nightmares ( that is, if you've grown up during the New-Who years)- its Steven Moffat himself! Where as a young man he'd been terrified by Kinda & Snakedance, his all-time favourite classic Who stories, he's now the one doing the scaring. And he's made a decent enough job of it, too- The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, The Girl In The Fireplace, Blink & The Time Of Angels/ Flesh & Stone should be enough to prove his credentials as possibly the only man to actually make you want to watch from behind the sofa, through your hands just in case.

You should be safe in bed, right? Not any more you're not. You put your head down on the pillow, hopeful of a good long sleep after that nasty Moffat's got in your head once more. He's not finished yet though. A new Doctor means yet another new mental playground for him, & this time he's under your bed. If you can feel someone grabbing your foot as you read this, its him. Should you try & look for that nasty Steven though, you won't find him. He'll be back behind his desk as showrunner, making notes on how to incorporate his latest dastardly tricks into Series 9 & beyond! Which makes the Doctor's introductory lecture on evolution all the more unexpected. We know there are hunters out there, big nasty ones. We know other creatures have developed defences against that. David Attenborough & most school biology teachers have been saying the same for years, if anyone cared to listen.

Still, at least our favourite Time Lord gets to muscle in on Dave's territory, taking the TARDIS into Africa & under the ocean just because he can. Perhaps a David & The Doctor episode is in development. Both seem to have seen a fair bit of life down the ages as well! Resisting the urge to call on the grand old man of nature immediately, even if he might make a great temporary companion- Clara's busy on a date with Danny Pink- the Doctor decides to solve a spot of loneliness/boredom by pondering on whether we all have an invisible companion. The cause of that prickle on the back of your neck. The reason you talk to yourself when you're alone. Welcome to the root cause of fear, ladies & gentlemen. Of course there's every chance a little scare is good for you. Former Velvet Underground man John Cale certainly thought so.

Let's see if the Welsh wizard was right. Arriving right after a disastrous first date for Clara, the Doctor means business. He's been devoting a lot of time to the study of dreams, & noticed that everyone seems to have a certain recurring one- waking up in your bedroom, you just can't help thinking that somewhere in the dark you have a visitor. You can't see them, but you can feel them clear as day. Ms Oswald's had it too! She might have expected an offer of tea & sympathy, but no. Unless your idea of reassurance is ' get in the TARDIS, & lets link you up to the telepathic circuits so we can go back to when you first got the heebie-jeebies, poor love'. Add in the fact that she hasn't strictly been thinking of herself during the journey & we've got ourselves quite the prospective thrill-ride.

We ( & Moffatt) might make the case that love itself can be just as terrifying as whichever nasties the Doctor faces day by day. Of course, Rose Tyler & the Ninth/Tenth Doctors had an undercurrent of romance. Ten also had quite a thing with Madame Du Pompadour, you'll remember. Then there's his next incarnation's wibbly-wobbly relationship with River Song.

Makes his first taste of romance with Cameca a bit tame by comparison, right? Nonetheless the Doctor is hardly wet behind the ears when it comes to matters of the heart. He is, though, alien. Might explain his complete lack of interest in anything to do with his lovely companion's search for romance. There's also the fact that he's already had two romantically entangled Coal Hill School teachers accompany him on his travels, been married to a Queen of England & had his in-laws conceive his future wife aboard the TARDIS & somewhere underneath his steely exterior the newest incarnation of the Doctor might have a little sympathy for her.

It might also explain why Clara's led things a little astray. We're not exactly anywhere near Blackpool when that lovely TARDIS materialisation/dematerialisation noise sounds once more. Stepping out, sadly not as snappily as his Ninth self did to Glenn Miller's In The Mood ( we won't see any more of that until Peter Capaldi vacates the TARDIS & hands the keys to his Thirteenth incarnation, who you can get a sneak preview of here. Coincidence? We think not. Remember 'Well, I've got the moves, but I wouldn't want to boast'? All will be revealed). 

Back to the present for now, though! Actually, its the past- Gloucester in the mid Nineties. A scared little boy watches them arrive from the window of his room at a children's home. He looks strikingly familiar to Clara, as well. Heading upstairs to investigate, the Doctor using his psychic paper for the first time in this new body of his to pass himself off as an inspector, finds young Rupert Pink terrified that he might not be alone.

A mystery & a half & no mistake. For he's the younger version of Danny, the chap she's had a disastrous date with. Ah, the perils of travelling into your intended beloved's past. You might subconsciously influence their future for starters. So that's why he grows up to become a soldier, then. She inspires him into it without realising it! 

She'll do the same for another one later on, too- finding herself thrust into the Doctor's early years, she encourages the crying young boy who'll become him to follow the path he'll grow up to travel ( and he must be quite young indeed, he hasn't even remotely started to look like this yet...


Indeed, the barn in which she finds the Diddy Doctor will go on to become important, too...

The grown-up version's strictly forbidden from looking this far back into his past, though. Much as he'd told Clara she's not allowed to meet herself either- if she did the consequences could be ' catastrophic'. 

That's an emphatic no, then. All after a trip to the very end of the universe & a meeting with the last man left alive, who just could be a future relative of Clara's- a nasty end for the planet we know & love, a possible ' ahh, that's nice' moment for her if not the rest of the human race & indeed other species. Lest we forget the Doctor has also been in similar territory not long after his regeneration from his War into his Ninth incarnation & again in his Tenth...


So, not all's fair in love, life, the universe & everything, in conclusion.  Before you get too despondent, though, we've a bank job to plan- so let us descend into the vaults for Time Heist!

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