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Clara and the Boneless
This is another cracking good ‘Doctor Who’ episode by Jamie Mathieson. It’s a creepy and unnerving adventure. It is also Jamie Mathieson’s second contribution for the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series in Series 8.
In this episode, the TARDIS has shrunk to size and the Doctor gets trapped inside. Clara becomes the Doctor for a change, with sonic screwdriver; physic paper and she also has the TARDIS in her handbag.
Clara also gets a companion to join her in the story – Joivan Wade as Rigsy. Rigsy is a graffiti artist, now performing community service with a small crew. Rigsy assists Clara to solve the mystery of the Boneless.
Jenna Coleman’s performance as Clara stands out for me in this TV episode. I like how she gets to be resourceful and puts on that Doctor persona she likes to have, even as she solves this strange mystery.
She also seems to be a little too confident in her Doctor role, especially when she’s teasing the Doctor and often lies her way through things. But it was fun to watch and I do like how Jenna Coleman plays it.
The monsters in this episode are the terrifying Boneless. These are creatures that come from the 2D world. They appear in paintings and art graffiti on the walls, before taking on the grotesque 3D forms.
The episode also features Christopher Fairbank as Fenton, who is in charge of the community service clean-up team. Fenton is a bit of a jerk, especially as he bullies Rigsy a lot and seems nasty to everyone.
Samuel Anderson guest stars in this episode as Danny Pink. He’s unaware of Clara’s continuing adventures with the Doctor when he phones her up. He suspects when Clara’s in the middle of trouble.
Peter Capaldi stands out well as the Doctor in this episode. It was fun watching how the Doctor coped with the TARDIS getting smaller and how he communicates with Clara when he gives her the earpiece.
It was fun when the Doctor poked out of the TARDIS and pointed to Clara with his hand, which she tells him not to. I did find it tense when the Doctor used his hand to get the TARDIS off a railway track.
The concept of the TARDIS getting smaller in ‘Doctor Who’ had been done before. It was done in stories like ‘Carnival of Monsters’ and ‘Logopolis’. I like how it gets used to greater effect for this story.
I also liked it when we get to see the TARDIS in ‘siege mode’ when the Boneless get closer for trouble. It’s shaped as a silver cube with Gallifreyan text on it. The Doctor becomes trapped when in that mode.
It was pretty creepy when Clara, Rigsy and the community service workers go into the railway tunnels and get chased by the Boneless. The dark tunnels and the creepy atmosphere helped to give the effect.
I really liked it when Clara comes up with a clever way to defeat the Boneless by using their own energy against them in order to return the TARDIS back to normal. It illustrates how resourceful Clara can be.
It was interesting how the episode ended with Clara demanding the Doctor to tell her that she was a ‘good Doctor’. The Doctor tells Clara that she was an ‘exceptional Doctor’, but goodness had nothing to do with it.
I didn’t get what the Doctor meant when he said that and how he seemed so cold about it. But after watching the episode again, I can see that Clara’s desire to be the Doctor can also be really dangerous.
‘Flatline’ is definitely an episode from Series 8 of ‘Doctor Who’ that I highly recommend. It kept my interest all the way through and it was fun to see Clara taking on the main Doctor role and tackle the Boneless.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 5 of ‘The Complete Series 8’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s the ‘Flatline’ – Doctor Who Extra’ featurette.
‘Flatline’ rating – 9/10
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