18th Oct2014

‘Doctor Who: 8×09 – Flatline’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

doctor-who-flatline

When Doctor Who is at its best it can be imaginative and scary, especially for a younger audience.  There is always a fine balance though between the scientific jargon that can be used before the show loses its audience, or they just close off their brains while the Time Lord spews out big words.  Flatline is yet another episode to scare the kids, but when it focuses on dimensions, will it lose its audience between the first, second and third dimension?

When the TARDIS lands on earth a little smaller than usual Clara finds herself trapped outside and the Doctor unable to get out.  Having to take control of the investigation as to what is affecting dimensions Clara discovers a new menace trying to force its way into ours from another.

With people disappearing and ending up as murals on the walls it’s interesting to have a new creature that feels unique.  Removing a dimension from humans is a novel idea, because as the Doctor says…we need three dimensions to survive.  As usual with Doctor Who stories about aliens coming to our world there are levels of escalation from discovery to examination then of course comes the invasion and the question of whether these creatures want to be friends or just wipe us out.

What I like about this episode is that it gives Clara (Jenna Coleman) a chance to shine, she even makes a point of showing that she is now in charge (I won’t spoil how she does that, as it will spoil the joke).  There is a feel that we are finally seeing her be pushed into the front, having to save not only the human race but also The Doctor.  This is something we’ve seen before of course (saving the human race), even though there was that feel that The Doctor knew her decisions before they were even made.  This time it is all her, and she shows her intelligence and above all that when push comes to shove she can equal the Doctor with inventive ways to solve a problem.

This isn’t all about Clara of course, Capaldi gets his chance to once again shine as the Timelord gets his heroic moment.  A noticeable thing with this version of the Doctor is the monologues he gets to in every episode and yes, we get one in this.  I do feel there is a danger of us getting tired of these scenes though, but until then Capaldi shows he is very capable in this department.  When he goes into full on hero mode too we get one of those moments that Matt Smith was so good at.  The score in the background helps a lot with this as well of course to build up the moment.

I am enjoying this series of Doctor Who but at episode nine out of twelve I do with they would use Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) better.  If he is going to be a character we connect to get him in the TARDIS and not as the casual phone call to fluff out a scene.  This week’s appearance by Anderson felt shoehorned in, and the character deserves better.  Thankfully it looks like next week looks like he’ll be treated better, thankfully.

As we reach the end of the season Missy (Michelle Gomez) is obviously going to appear more, and she does make an appearance in this episode and has something interesting to reveal.  Now to see exactly what her plans are, and more importantly just who is she to the Doctor? I’m sure it’ll be revealed soon.  Flatline was an entertaining and fun episode, the fact we have an inventive enemy also makes for a refreshing change.

****½  4.5/5

Flatline was an entertaining and fun episode, the fact we have an inventive enemy also makes for a refreshing change. With Clara taking charge and showing she can match the Doctor for intelligent solutions to problems when she needs to she really takes a step out of his shadow in this episode.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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One Response to “‘Doctor Who: 8×09 – Flatline’ Review”

  • Joe

    No, This episode was as hollow as all the others. Season 8 of Dr. Who has only polarized fans right down the center.