Saturday, October 18, 2014

Flatline review [Spoilers abound]

  So the Doctor gets some new steampunk goggles and a wee teeny Tardis in the latest episode from writer Jamie Mathieson titled " Flatline". Clara gains a better understanding of why the Doctor acts the way his does and gets to step into his shoes by proxy to defend a small community in Bristol from aliens from another plane of reality. Writer Jamie Mathieson shows that his prowess in crafting a Doctor Who tale is not a one off with his intriguing aliens from a 2D dimension.
  The Doctor lands in an estate in Bristol well off from where he planned and Clara finds a companion of her own in a young graffiti artist named Rigsy. The Tardis is shrunken to action figure size by creatures leeching off external dimensions and Clara has to "become" the Doctor and do the investigating. Clara continues to lie to both the Doctor and Danny, but after this episode I'm sure the jig is up. The Doctor congratulates Clara on her deception as well as admonishing her. When the aliens which the Doctor later names The Boneless make their presence known Clara does her best Doctor impression and tries to keep everyone alive and safe. Efforts hindered by a civil servant named Fenton with a huge lack of imagination. The Doctor does as he always does and doesn't jump to the conclusion that the aliens are hostile, but are just trying to communicate and understand and may not understand we need three dimensions to live remarking "That would be a nice change wouldn't it?".

The Doctor tries his hand at handy gadget making harkening back to 10 and makes a 2dis that restores dimensions to flattened objects. I do wonder why they didn't attempt to use it on the aliens that finally broke through using the changing images of the people they had absorbed. The aliens were perhaps the creepiest and scariest I think I have seen in a long time, lumbering and changing like an oil painting come alive. The creeping hand that reaches out to pull insert name down along the tunnel was fantastic and a great scare. I have to give the production team props with the CGI work done on this episode. All top notch across the board.

The infamous A113 used in Pixar films pops up in a scene straight from The Addams family when the Doctor has to inch his way across railway tracks to avoid being crushed. His victory dance, which was hilarious, is short lived though and he has to disengage the chameleon circuit and we are shown the true shell of the Tardis. I thought it very similar to the Pandorica with it's cube like design and pattern on the outside.

Clara shows some inventiveness and saves Rigsy from sacrificing himself showing differences from the way the Doctor goes about his usual business. She then has to ask herself WWTDD and although she misquotes rule number one of the Doctor comes up with an ingenious solution to power the Tardis back up and help save the day all on her own. The Doctor makes a spectacular speech and later gives some encouragement to young Rigsy on his future work as an artist. One line at the end stuck out at the end when Clara is seeking a bit of praise and the Doctor replies "Goodness had nothing to do with it." I feel like either he is commenting on himself as not being good or he is on to a nagging doubt he now has. Missy makes an appearance remarking "Clara, my Clara, I have chosen well." So we now have confirmation that Missy was the woman in the shop who steered her to the Doctor's side in the first place. 

All in all top marks here for the second outing with Jamie Mathieson. His episodes are by far the strongest this season, next to my favorite "Listen" this season. I hope he gets to write a few more next season. It would be a waste to let such a talent slip by. You hear me MOFFAT? :)

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