Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Listen leaves us scared of lonely silence

As we tie up the fourth instalment of series eight for BBC's Doctor Who, we are 
once again shown sound reason to proclaim Steve Moffat as Lord of television 
time-travelling lore.

Through the timey-wimey twists and tangles of Moffat's layered writing, we are 
led on a tight narrative thread, which not only describes the continued 
character development of companion Clara, but also dives deeply into the 
deconstruction of the Doctor, which does seem to play a prominent theme in 
Capaldi's turn in the role.

And with this deconstruction, we see the construction of this seasons definitive 
doctor. Not the quirky and energized persona of Smith's previous carnation, but 
a more morose man, seasoned and torn from over one thousand years on the 
battlefields of Trenzelor.

The story begins with The Doctor alone and reflective, excitedly describing his 
most recent musings on monstrous evolution. And what a monster The Doctor has 
imagined for us. Perhaps the personification of fear itself.

Moffat poetically illustrates how he is able to draw upon his warped imagination 
and skillfully create a monster of the week villain with the same memorable 
uniqueness, equal to, and arguably more frightening, than previous ghouls like 
The Weeping Angels and the Confessional Priests from the Order of the Silence.

But this time the monster is all the more horrific, because for all intents, the 
creature doesn't really exist and only takes shape in the viewers imagination 
and never on screen.

The Doctor plays a propelling role to entangle Clara in her own time wise 
dilemma. In the tone of another of Moffat's most loved master pieces, "Blink", 
our tale of The Doctor's inner terror is held in place by the gravity of a 
touching love story generations in the making.

As fear is The Doctor's monster of focus, Clara must wrestle her own fear of 
intimacy by starting to hear Danny Pink as a romantic interest, and by listening 
to her own inner voice plans a disastrous lunch date. Shortly following the 
date, a series of TARDIS allowed events let's her see Dan as not only a current 
love interest, but also a child afraid of what may lie under the bed and a 
distant relative, whom The Doctor found afraid and alone at the very end of the 
universe due to his own time travel mishap.

But the real twist of this Clara driven drama beats in the hearts of The Doctor 
and a hidden childhood memory, bringing to life the lonely fear of The Doctor 
and anyone who dares to silently listen.

by John SMITH

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