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The Monster Under The Bed
This is a thought-provoking and psychological story by Steven Moffat. I’m not sure that I grasp the full logic and plot of the story. I did get a sense of ‘what was the point of that story’ by the end of it.
This was probably due to the story not having a strong conclusion as other ‘Doctor Who’ episodes. I first saw the episode when I returned from my family holiday in Scotland in August/September 2014.
In the episode, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor gets troubled by the question of whether there is something under your bed. I’m not so sure how or why the Doctor would be troubled with something like that.
Peter Capaldi seems to enjoy getting into the role as the Doctor by this point. He certainly delivers this interesting contrast of being scary; dark; eccentric; compassionate and kind all at the same time.
Jenna Coleman as Clara is great in this episode. We see Clara living a double life as she tries to have a date with Danny Pink which goes disastrously wrong. Clara looks so beautiful for going out on a date.
I liked some of Clara’s compassionate; caring nature in this episode. It’s rare to see it in her episodes with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and it is good she gets to express that to children like Rupert Pink in this.
Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink is also great in this episode. More is revealed about Danny’s past life, as we get to see him as a little boy when called Rupert and when the Doctor and Clara visit him.
Remi Gooding guest stars as Rupert Pink, Danny Pink’s younger self. Samuel Anderson also gets to play Danny’s descendant in the episode named Colonel Orson Pink, who comes from the far future.
I’m a little disgruntled that Orson Pink only appears in this episode so far in the series. There isn’t a resolution as to whether Orson Pink is the descendant of Danny and what his connection to Clara is.
The story mostly relies on sound since the monster is based on that concept by Steven Moffat. We don’t get to see what the monster looks like after he was under the bedclothes of Rupert Pink’s bed.
The episode also allows us to see a glimpse of the Doctor’s past when he was a little boy in a barn on Gallifrey. This is the same barn that appeared in ‘The Day of the Doctor’, in case you had wondered.
Clara is the one who is under the Doctor’s bed as a child and grabs his foot when he gets up. It is quite a surreal moment, especially after the Doctor’s been worrying about this thing under the bed.
It was quite nice and reassuring when Clara gives some words of comfort to the Doctor as a child at the end of the episode. It certainly sets things up for what happens to the Doctor during his later life.
I must say though that I did find ‘Listen’ to be a less inspiring episode of ‘Doctor Who’ from the new series. Yes, it does shed some new light on the Doctor and Clara’s characters, but I wasn’t very excited.
After seeing this episode a number of times, it turns out that the Doctor is spooked by something since he was a little boy. I wouldn’t have gone for this approach in telling a ‘Doctor Who’ story really.
On the plus side however, it is nice that Clara and Danny keep making up for each other when their date goes disastrously wrong and they get to kiss at the end. It’ll be interesting where they go next.
‘Listen’ is not a favourite episode of mine from Series 8 of ‘Doctor Who’. Whilst it does have an interesting concept running through it, I was dissatisfied with how the episode ended to be honest.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 5 of ‘The Complete Series 8’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s the ‘Listen’ – Doctor Who Extra’ featurette.
‘Listen’ rating – 5/10
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A Poem about a Madman with a Box
This poem by Steven Moffat was originally presented on YouTube in May 2020. It was to tie in with the TV episode called ‘Listen’ and is read by Jacob Dudman, who also voices the Twelfth Doctor in it. I’m lucky in having heard Jacob Dudman play the Twelfth Doctor in ‘The Twelfth Doctor Chronicles’.
The poem itself is pretty decent. It doesn’t really add anything in terms of elaborating what the story ‘Listen’ was about, but it comes across in demonstrating Steven Moffat being good at poetry. I’m not really a fan of ‘Listen’ and I’m not certain why Steven Moffat needed to write a poem focusing on it.
Apparently, the author of the poem that appears in ‘Listen’ encounters the Twelfth Doctor one fateful night. We’re not told whether it’s young Danny Pink as Rupert who meets him. It could’ve been Orson Pink from the future. That plot strand with Orson Pink hasn’t been resolved by the way.
I liked the presentation of the poem in the webcast. When Jacob Dudman’s reading the parts of the poem from the author’s point of view, the Doctor’s eyes are closed. When the Doctor’s speaking, his eyes are opened. I’m not sure if the Doctor’s sitting atop the police box when the author meets him.
The poem occurs when the Doctor is trying to find a creature that has evolved to hide during the events of ‘Listen’. Not sure if that’s before or during the time that the Doctor’s hunting the creature with Clara. Overall, it’s a decent poem by Steven Moffat, but I prefer stories as opposed to poems. 🙂
‘Listen’ (Webcast) rating – 6/10
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