Once a week, we have an unapologetic Doctor Who geek-out here to discuss the latest episode. I’ve just finished watching the 6th episode of the 8th season of the rebooted Doctor Who called The Caretaker (<—that’s a recap from BBC America’s Anglophenia.)

Fair warning now: this is not a summary, just an off-the-top-of-my-head response, and it does contain spoilers. Of course it does – we have to talk about this stuff! So let’s begin, Whovians…

DWCaretaker

 

(Warning: I’ve had a terribly busy weekend and this week isn’t looking much better so my brain isn’t firing properly. I didn’t even get a chance to watch The Caretaker until late on Sunday night and so I’m afraid this response might be lacking. I’ll be relying on you to make it good in the comments.)

Once again, the threat of this episode is back-seat to the story. In this case, the centrality is for the love story between Clara and Danny – and even the Doctor.  We called it back at the beginning of the series – we were going to be studying character a lot more in this series, particularly the character of the Doctor.

The segment at the beginning showing how difficult it is for Clara to maintain “regular life” and “companion life” was brilliant. The direction was wonderful, the pacing perfect. It was funny but it also gave us the glimpse into Clara’s two-part life and how very surreal it is. We also see how much she’s grown to love it. I still don’t fully understand her motivation for travelling with the Doctor – and her inability to articulate it herself is telling. She knows she was born to “save the Doctor” perhaps but what’s in it for her? Seeing amazing things doesn’t seem enough. But perhaps she just loves it and that is enough of a reason to do anything (witness us all watching this damned show).

TEAM DANNY here, folks. LOVE. He is one of the most perfectly written, perfectly formed male companions we’ve ever had on the updated Who. I know we had a compelling character arc of development for both Mickey and Rory but Danny is coming into our lives with a fully formed character and back story and – hallelujah! – a backbone. He’s kind but he’s strong. He’s got expectations that are completely reasonable. One of my biggest beefs with Rory for instance was how he allowed Amy to treat him – calling someone “stupid face” even with affection, I don’t dig it. I cannot even fathom Danny taking that kind of crap. He’s intelligent, strategic, brave, and has a compulsion to protect. Again: LOVING.

The scene where he quickly identifies the Doctor as “Officer” is brilliant. I don’t mind saying that I was holding my breath during their argument. I can’t remember the last time someone walked into the Doctor’s TARDIS and flat-out challenged him. He met him as an equal. He was defiant and challenging, even broken-hearted. I am reminded that what the Doctor often hates in other people is what he hates in himself. So his prejudice against Danny as a soldier seems odd perhaps until you realise that it’s really his own behaviour as a soldier that he loathes. And the way that Danny sized that up and called it out was nothing short of ballsy. 

I am still wondering how Danny fits into the overall story. After our discussion about Listen, there were some commenters who believed that Orson Pink was actually Danny-in-the-future OR that Danny is somehow related to the Doctor (because he had the “family heirloom” of the gunless soldier). Either way, I find the mystery surrounding Danny fascinating. Any other theories?

Coming into this episode, I was thinking he might know a helluva lot more about Clara than he was letting on. But the take-away from this episode was that this was a shock to him and his introduction to the concept of time-travel at all. His conversation with Clara at her house after he finds out was beautifully done. He had every right to be hurt and I appreciated that the writers didn’t shy away from the lies that were told to keep him in the dark.

And how he dealt with both the revelation and the “new normal” was perfectly in line with the character as we’ve come to know him. He knows that the Doctor is pushing her too hard and one day he might push her just a bit too far – he wants to know about it and needs to know she won’t lie about it. I think this is a deal-breaker I can get behind. I think that he identifies that Clara has been living a double life and by exacting that promise, he’s wanting her to create a more seamless life.

(I’d still love to know more about Clara’s family whom we haven’t seen since The Time of the Doctor for a few brief and awkward moments at a Christmas dinner.)

Now to the Doctor: Capaldi is wonderful, of course. But when the episode was over, I turned to my husband and rather wistfully said, “I miss liking the Doctor.” I do. I miss the warm and compassionate Doctor, I miss his more “human” side. Capaldi’s Doctor is clever and hilarious, alien and weird, intense and wonderful, kooky and owns every single scene. (Only exception: the confrontation with Danny. That was all Mr. Pink.) But he’s not likeable. And yet I see the real him “underneath” there…somewhere. I still love the Doctor but I do miss “liking” the Doctor, if that makes sense. His thing with Danny and insisting on him being the PE Teacher was just horrible. So wrong.

Although, we did have a VERY good laugh over the fact that he thought Adrien was the boyfriend because of the floppy hair and bowtie. Nicely played, indeed. Actually now that I think about it, this was an incredibly comedic episode – up there with the Lodger for showing how unable the Doctor is to be human. We were laughing for a good bit of the show – lots of great one-liners and material for the custodian. Watching Capaldi’s Doctor try to be human and “blend in” was very entertaining.

The dynamic between Clara and the Doctor has become almost father-daughter and we really see that in this episode. Even when Danny identifies the Doctor’s main question – is he good enough for Clara? – that’s the question of a father, not of a past “boyfriend.” I like Clara and the Doctor’s dynamic so far this season for the most part (notable exception: his never ending comments about her looks being hardly passable).

One item of note: Clara has agency here. And I love that. Neither the Doctor nor Danny ask her to make a choice. They understand that she wants to carry both men and the lives they represent – and they have to be okay with that.

I’m not quite sure what the deal is with Courtney “Disruptive Influence” Woods. The last time they tried to bring a couple of snotty teenagers in the TARDIS was back when Clara was still a governess and I think we all know how fun THAT was… (answer: not very). I’m disinclined to be happy about Courtney Woods joining the TARDIS crew even for just an episode.

The Blitzer thing is hardly worth mentioning.

Now the policeman though…he died at the hands of the Blitzer and apparently wound up in Heaven’s waiting room with a rather pert assistant. Missy came through but didn’t personally welcome the newbie. Since the policeman didn’t “give his life” for the Doctor or his plans, I think this might be blowing a hole in our theory that heaven is a place for the Doctor’s “mistakes.” But who knows now? Brian and I have both remarked that the overall series arc idea hasn’t been as heavy and intense as it was during the Matt Smith years. Which in some way is nice but in other ways, every week feels rather stand-alone somehow. So I’ve almost lost interest in Missy….

 

Now what do you think? Did you like the episode? Any theories or ideas or highlights? Have at it – I love your comments and can’t wait to get the conversation going. 

Read More:

Episode 1: Deep Breath 

Episode 2: Into the Dalek

Episode 3: Robots of Sherwood

Episode 4: Listen

Episode 5: Time Heist

Episode 6: The Caretaker

Episode 7: Kill the Moon

 Episode 8: Mummy on the Orient Express

Episode 9: Flatline

Episode 10: In the Forest of the Night

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"It’s your moon, womankind. It’s your choice." :: a response to Doctor Who, Kill the Moon
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  • tpanariso

    re: the doctor- I rather like him as “unlikeable” per say- its almost as this version has accepted every part of himself, every battle, and companion- whereas the others have tried to hold back or redefine.

    I am truly loving Clara now- she seems to have come into her own.

    I was rather put off by what the assistant had to say at the end “she has been rather busy..” What does that mean? I am ready to get a little bit of help in this area.

    Either way, I am loving the character studies and actually growing them rather than too much of the story- I felt as if the story had consumed Rory and Amy, rather than them growing out of it.

    I still think Daniel Pink knows something. I have a feeling that he will be playing a big part later one. Just what? Is the question?

    • Tawny Burgess

      Yeah, I really like Danny. I wonder…

      I hope he isn’t sinister. My friend brought that up. Said he may have the toy soldier because he is actually the Master. 🙁

  • Shane Deal

    I know what you mean about liking The Doctor. However, I do like the complexity that Peter Capaldi is bringing to the character, if complexity is the right word. I enjoy not knowing what to expect him to do.

    I think you’re right about him hating in others what he hates in himself. Perhaps subconsciously even, each Doctor has a particular view of themselves. Nine for example knew he was a soldier and did not really fight the notion that much, in some ways he even embraced it. Ten, was to reconcile or be a peacemaker, he desired to bring peace, Eleven, was a protector. Eleven embodied self-sacrifice, compassion, and naturally would spend nearly a thousand years protecting a small village from just about every threat in the universe. As for Twelve, he does take on a protective role sometimes, but it lacks the understanding and compassion of Eleven, it’s more because he believes it is what he is supposed to do, but he doesn’t quite remember why he does it. He holds a detachment, seeing little point in anything that is not EXACTLY in his view, practical, like appearances, or even emotions. One thing he has been that I have not seen so much in the others, aside from the few classic episodes, in which I believe it was the third Doctor, is The Doctor as The Scientist. His defining trait so far seems to be to examine, to observe, and to embody his scientific role.

    The policeman seemed to be consumed, again, in a fiery death. Given the name “Heaven” as the place he ends up, this could be a reference to the fires of hell. (There are some theological views that hold that Heaven and Hell are the same place.) Possibly more something akin to Purgatory. As for Missy, whatever this thread is about, she appears to be presented, in the exchange between the Policeman and the gatekeeper (I’m not sure what to call the man behind the desk.) He seems to refer to her with the title “God” when the policeman looks out and says “Oh God.” – “I’m sorry, she’s a bit busy today.”

    If not hell, it may be a foreshadowing. Repeated themes often are something to pay attention to in regard to later parts of the story. In the fifth season of the reboot, for example, nearly every episode had some reference to not just the cracks in the universe, and the silence, but something to do with churches, most of which played prominent roles in the final two episodes through the next season.

    Which brings me to the quote you used in the title: “I’m the one who carries you out of the fire, he’s the one who lights it.” Danny Pink may be the soldier, but at his core, I think he’s Danny Pink the savior. In many ways, The Doctor is still the soldier, but hasn’t quite become the savior. He hasn’t learned what sort of man he is, whether he is a good man or not. He cannot be anything but a soldier unless that question is answered, The Doctor alone can answer that question.

    Danny, I think, is in the mirror-role of The Doctor himself. Clara doesn’t have to really choose between the men in the mirror, because they are exactly that, mirrors of each other. To reject one is to reject both. To choose one is to choose both. The Listen episode presents fairly mirrored childhood experiences, both chose their name, both are veterans of war, and even now they remain mirrors of each other.

    I also noticed the father-daughter dynamic between The Doctor and Clara, but do not have anything to add to what you said. 🙂

    • Nicole Chase

      Oh dear, I didn’t catch Missy-as-maybe-God. No thank you. o_O

  • Rea

    I think I need to re-watch the episode to fully appreciate it, since it was much more of a character study and less of an action one. But my boys really enjoyed it, surprisingly. (Although the 9 year old was certain the evil mannequins were making a re-appearance in the scene where the policeman walked into wherever that was. The school? Who keeps mannequins in a school?)
    The Blitzer…meh. It really felt like they just reached into the big bag of ‘things that might make good incidental monsters’ and pulled out ‘robot-like-creature’ and never developed the idea more fully than that.
    I did love Clara’s interactions with the Doctor as she tried to get him to blend in and be more human, and he just kept doing odd stuff.
    But mostly I’m with you. I love Danny. That vault over the Blitzer thing? Awesome. Also, there’s plenty of backstory to still be revealed about him.
    Heaven? They need to get that storyline moving. Although they DID string out the whole crack in the universe thing for quite some time, but at least they gave us a little more to go on earlier in the season.

  • karisyvonne

    Sarah, I feel like every time I read your responses they are exactly the same as my own!

    I LOVE Danny. I love that he’s a strong character with some mysterious elements. I don’t personally believe that he is Orson Pink though. Orson Pink did not recognize Clara and I don’t think anyone who had been stuck on a distant planet alone for six months would be able to contain the fact that someone he knew intimately just showed up out of the blue. I think he’s a great-great-great-(great?) grandchild of Clara and Danny. I don’t know how likely it is that Moffat repeats past plots, but what if Clara and Danny conceived a child on the Tardis who became a time-traveller à la River? As for being related to the Doctor, I think that the soldier-turned-family-heirloom is just a gift that Clara gave to the Doctor as a child. I think that the “being passed down the generations” thing began in Gloucester when Clara gave Rupert the toy soldier. What if in the future, Clara tells Danny that she visited him when he was a child with the Doctor and gave him the toy soldier? That would have been their first contact and the toy soldier would then become a token of their relationship that they could pass down to their children and eventually Orson Pink.

    I have no idea what I think about Missy, but I agree that she doesn’t really seem to interest me as much as past story arcs.

  • Paul Wesley

    There are some echoes to 1963 here.

    Once more we have a young girl in the TARDIS. Once more we have a couple of teachers from Coal Hill School helping a rather waspish Doctor find the kinder parts of his nature. We even had the near abduction of Danny, albeit in a rather tongue in cheek manner. In fact you could have almost called this episode “An Unearthly Caretaker”. The only thing it was missing was an elderly Ian Chesterton wandering down the corridors of his school.

    I really enjoyed this episode. Roberts and Moffat crafted a fun story that may have just trumped “The Lodger” for mine. I thought they played the Adrien boyfriend gag to perfection.

    I really hope that Courtney Woods sojourn in the TARDIS goes better than Angie and Arties, but I have a rather ominous feeling about it.

    This Doctor is certainly not a cuddly Doctor, but I find him likeable in a slightly caustic way. I appreciate the show attempting the play the long game with his character development; a gamble that sadly never paid off for the 6th Doctor.

    Looking forward to heading deeper into darkness next week with “Kill the Moon”.

  • Nicole Chase

    I don’t think we’ll have to worry about Courtney “There’s Been a Spillage” Woods. 😛

    I’m also confused about heaven now. I’m also also TOTALLY OKAY with the episodes being a bit more… episodic? I think one of Moffat’s weaknesses is trying to hard to make EVERY little thing service a bigger “gotcha” moment later on. I’m alright letting terrible Missy and the afterlife play out slowly.

    I <3 Danny Pink.

    Oh, did everyone catch the River reference? I laughed.

    • Nicole Chase

      Ah, and fire, again. I’ve a hunch that motif is here for a reason.

    • Tawny Burgess

      Yeah, I enjoy the episodes being more episodic too.

      Moffat is not strong when it comes to arcs. He always has this blown up ones that can never pay off. He doesn’t do well with consequences and usually throws them out the door. So, being more episodic makes for a better season over all. 🙂

    • The River and the otters line was my favorite!

  • eswan1600

    I don’t have many original insights into this week’s episode, other than to say I’m still convinced Danny is the Doctor’s son. Was remembering that Danny Boy was the pilot in “A Good Many Goes to War,” an episode with River that’s also about children (the cot belonged to the Doctor?). And Danny Boy is a *song* about a boy going off, perhaps to war.

    Two interesting tidbits from the web: [regarding “The Caretaker”]: “I liked the shout out to Remembrance of the Daleks. In that episode the Doctor went to Coal Hill School looking for the Daleks, only to have the Headmaster think he was going there to interview for the caretaker position.”

    And an older post that has me paying better attention to Clara and the phone box phone: http://moffat-rocks.tumblr.com/post/75726504953/calling-clara

  • I had to cheer when Courtney was in the TARDIS. She reminded me of Ace, and I barely remember Ace due to my age. I got chills. Will we have a teenage companion again? Is this a hint? Maybe?

    Clara is finally starting to represent *herself* rather than the viewer, with us filling in whatever details we see in ourselves as people along for the ride.

    I think that Orson Pink is a descendant of Danny and Clara. I’m not sure how far removed, but enough that he remembers Clara. I do not think it is Danny, but it is certainly possible given how timey-wimey everything is.

    The hints of the afterlife with the police officer were interesting as well.

    I’m loving Capaldi. He’s awkward and seems like he’s drawn so within himself and we’ll see him slowly blossom and come out to play in each episode.

    • Tawny Burgess

      Yes! Ace!

  • JennaDeWitt

    OK fellow fangirl/boys, I am caught up on season 8 and ready for a Crazy Fan Theory. Now, know before we begin that I’m usually 100% wrong almost all of the time. However.

    What if:

    Danny knows more about Time Lords than he is letting on. He certainly seemed like it to me with that rage. I don’t think that was the first time he had encountered one.

    Crazy Fan Theory: Danny was a solider, yes, but never says he was a British soldier. What if Danny is a space solider?

    Fuel for this: In Into the Dalek when they met Journey Blue, she said Pink was lucky. Blue? Pink? I’m thinking that children’s home was either not on earth or was further in the future than they thought. OR

    Also, speaking of Danny, I was a bit shocked by his possessiveness (sorry, Sarah, reading your summary here helped, but I
    don’t think I could make that kind of promise to such an ultimatum). Traveling with the Doctor means he is going to keep stuff from her, but always for a good reason. Being a companion means having blind faith in him. She clearly knows that, why didn’t she tell Danny to learn to trust the Doctor and come with them instead of making promises and trying to keep these lives separate, which will only make the tension worse?

    But then, Clara is just SO different from other companions, it’s hard for me to get her. And i have no idea what to do with 12. It seems like he’s going for gruff exterior/soft interior but at the same time maintaining the wacky manic alienman… it’s just weird. It’s weird to hear him saying “I don’t know” so much and constantly commenting on Clara’s appearance negatively. I’m kind of over that last part, actually. It was one thing for 11 to joke about Amy’s short skirts or being ginger, but 12 is just always bringing it up, not even obviously joking! I know they are writing it as if he’s just clueless, but please don’t turn him into Strax… in fact, I’m pretty over Strax and Vashtra too, while we’re at it. I was actually relieved when they aren’t in an episode.

    Anyway, sorry for the ranting. Just caught up this weekend and have so many thoughts… haha!

    • eswan1600

      I’m with you. I think there’s more to Danny’s solidering than simply being in Afghanistan. (I mentioned above that he could be “Danny Boy” in a couple of previous episodes as well.)

      I also found him a bit possessive and controlling. Not terribly, but enough that I noted it.

      • JennaDeWitt

        Could be all the more reason for us to believe he has a good reason to distrust Time Lords, eh?

  • Lauren

    This was the first time I thought in the middle of an episode: “I miss Matt Smith.” Not because Capaldi isn’t amazing and fascinating to watch–but I think because it was a sharper throwback to episodes like the Lodger, where he was at his most ridiculous and charming. However, I do think it is interesting to show that the Doctor is compelling not because of how likeable he is. People still instinctively follow, and even die for this mad, caustic, cold-hearted Doctor. So sometimes I’m reminded of Tennant’s god-complex Doctor in the Waters of Mars: but Capaldi isn’t quite that either.
    I also love Clara SO much more with Capaldi. She doesn’t have the whole impossible girl thing hanging over her head anymore, so she has the opportunity to be presented as a complex person and not just a mystery to be solved. The argument with Danny and the Doctor was one of my favorite scenes: Danny seems nerdy and awkward at times, but then when the going gets tough he can stand his own ground. Reminds me a little bit of some other versions of the Doctor, actually.

    • “Reminds me a little bit of some other versions of the Doctor, actually.” I just got chills. Probably totally far-fetched, completely wrong chills, but chills. What if…I feel stupid saying this out loud, but…what if…Danny’s the Doctor…too????? #fangirlobviouslyneedsmoresleep

    • Karen Morti Charles

      This episode left me puzzling about Clara as the impossible girl. (Doesn’t seem like a job to retire from to start a normal little family with Mr. Pink!) How does the impossible girl form a relationship that might divide or switch her loyalties away from the doctor? With all the theories regarding Danny Pink and his character as we have seen it so far, it seems he will need to be a little impossible himself to keep up with Clara. Or will they have a thwarted timeline like River’s with the Doctor?

  • julieshuler

    Sarah, I so look forward to these weekly DW reviews – I get much more out of each episode as you and the commentators pick out themes and share theories. These have also inspired me to go back and re-watch old episodes. I’ve never watched the original series, I just started with beloved Doctor 9. Do you recommend I go all the way back to more fully understand?

    • Nicole Chase

      “All the way back” is difficult to do, as some of the episodes have been lost. As someone too young for the original run, I appreciated the BBC’s (ha! autocorrect wanted that to be NBC – American bias?) retrospectives on each Doctor they did leading up to the 50th. Perhaps see if you can find those to get a feel for which Classic Who stories you’d like to look into?

      • julieshuler

        Thanks Nicole!

        • Nicole Chase

          Yw! 🙂

  • Hmm the idea of Danny being the Doctor’s son is interesting, since that would make two children the Doctor has who are both soldiers. They’ve never brought up the Doctor’s daughter since the only episode she appeared in, but since she was clearly in the process of regenerating at the end, it’s like that she’s still out there somewhere.

    • eswan1600

      Maybe the Doctor’s Daughter regenerated into Danny Pink!

  • Leigh

    I’m so tickled that you’re doing a Dr. Who series.

    We finally watched it last night, and I loved this episode. I really like Danny’s character. He’s a grown-up, unlike some of the other male leads we’ve seen on this show. I loved that Clara’s honesty was a bigger issue to Danny than the time traveling police box, and that he so clearly expresses that he wants to take care of her but needs her to be honest with him so he can do that. I’m looking forward to seeing how the dynamic between him and the doctor plays out–and what further adventures they have.

    I’m also hoping we never see Courtney again. Not sure what the point of her was, though, which may mean she shows up again later. She didn’t really seem necessary to the episode, so why feature her so prominently?

    Capaldi’s doctor is growing on me, though. “My” doctor has always been David Tennant–never quite forgave Matt Smith for not being David–but I’m enjoying Capaldi’s episodes.

    • Karen Morti Charles

      My only thought on Courtney’s ride was that it allowed us to see the Doctor’s delight in showing everything off to someone for the first time – again.
      I love how Sarah said “I miss liking the Doctor” as that captures my feelings about him right now, but also because it captures the Doctor’s attitude toward humans right now. He may love humans/earth enough to keep saving us, but he doesn’t seem to like anyone very much. I miss that. Both David Tennant and Matt Smith showed the love and their Doctors genuinely liked people, too. For me, choosing a favorite between them would be like having to choose a favorite child!

  • Nurse Bee

    After we finished watching I told my husband “I like Dr. Who again, but I’m not sure I like the Dr. yet.”

  • bellsknits

    I like the Doctor. I can see why maybe you don’t but as someone who didn’t connect much with Matt Smith, I’m feeling a growing affection for a Dr who (ha! See what I did there?) is struggling a bit to figure things out. If anything I see him as being a bit dense for a smart man, which is an interesting course for him to take.

  • bellsknits

    Also, so with you on Danny. I never liked Mickey or Rory much. I felt they were entirely unrelatable and just a bit silly. Danny is man with a backstory, a sense of self and just the right amount of charm and charisma.

  • Yes to all these things, Sarah, and again I’m glad I’m not alone in my frustration with Twelve (or 13 or whatever) not being all that likeable. But then I wonder if we forgave him his gruff/meanness before because Tennant and Smith were just so adorable…? Like you, I absolutely cringed during the PE teacher/soldier convo. 🙁

    My major frustration, though, is with Clara as companion – still. The last couple of weeks she didn’t really seem all that interested in the Doctor and his TARDIS antics. I kept thinking, “If it’s such a bother, why is she still here?” Amy and Rose and Donna and even Martha (to a lesser extent, as I just had to sit for a second and even remember her name!) were along for the adventure and the wonder and, most of all, for just being with the Doctor. Clara just seems, I don’t know, bored… and like, “if there’s nothing else to do, may as well chill in the Tardis maybe for awhile… sigh… meh… oh, yeah, space is great.”

    Danny was the best part (as was Orson Pink in his ep) and I did love the human banter between John Smith and Clara and, again, the blink-and-you-miss-it line about being in a fight with River and living with otters.

    Speaking of which, I miss River. Let’s get her to come on back over and give some life and love to the Doctor, shall we?

  • Joy

    Neither here nor there but I am glad I can finally have a place to discuss.all.the. things. I drive my husband batty with commentary. And I agree with you. I am really struggling to like Capaldi’s doctor. It’s not that all the doctors aren’t prickly- they are. It’s not that all the doctors aren’t rude at times, especially with the “I’m clever” moments-but it’s not a constant thing. 9 was pretty much a jerk to anyone outside of the Tardis but inside you saw the softer side (and I miss his sassy!). 10 was probably more ‘human’ than the other doctors in that his hearts were worn on his sleeve but he could totally be a jerk and hello, Water of Mars. 11 could be a strange and alien-like to those outside the Tardis (and a fair jerk himself), but again, inside the Tardis was another story. So I am really struggling with the fact that the compassion and mercy we’ve all seen run through all the doctors is really not in evidence here, and that it feels like he is hiding from Clara. Again, it’s not the other doctors haven’t hid aspects of themselves from the Companions, but really? With Clara? Who has been everywhere in his life and sacrificed so much for him? The insults are really wearing a bit thin.

    • Tawny Burgess

      Yeah, I agree. It’s like the writers forget that the totality of Clara and his relationship! She isn’t like Rose or Amy or Ace, she saved him in all of his regenerations — they have a deeper relationship.

      And he has fully committed to him being the Doctor, so I don’t know why he is holding back and isn’t as compassionate with her. Though, we saw a little bit of that in the now relationship of father-and-daughter. He seems to really care for her and wants her to date a good man — so at least he’s got that going for him.

  • Tawny Burgess

    I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I watched it twice on the plane just to experience Danny and Clara feels.

    The Doctor being awkward and going deep under cover was hilarious. I love how he thought he was so clever and pulling one over when he really just had a different coat on. He’s definitely the harshest of the Doctors and I like him because I know the Doctor, but there are times if this was my first experience of him I would be hesitant to like him.

    Danny and Clara are just adorable. I like what you said Sarah about how he is a fully formed character. He is a man and wants to protect Clara. I too would not want my significant other going out with the Doctor who is a man who pushes his companions really hard. I think it will take time for Danny to trust the Doctor, just like with anyone. I hope they go on adventures together. I wanna see him more on the TARDIS.

    I loved that Courtney got sick on the TARDIS. I always wondered about that. Is the TARDIS similar to riding a plane or a ship? Now we know 🙂

    As for the arc, eh. Whatevs. I am not into Moffatt’s arcs anyways. He is usually bad at fully forming them and having them pay off at the end. So, I don’t mind that this season is episodic. They’re mainly strong episodes. So, I am definitely okay with finding out who Missy is later on, or what heaven is. *shrugs*

    **AND** My friend thinks Danny Pink is the Master. Or at least sinister. I HOPE NOT because I really, really like him and I will be disappointed if we finally get a good male companion and he was just a ruse all along!

  • Michael

    Missy=Master.

    Consider me displeased. I don’t like it when they compromise story for character development.

  • Melanie Dale

    I’m just now reading this all the way through and have nothing to add, but I just can’t bear NOT to comment on one of your Doctor Who posts. I love everything you said about Danny. I love his quiet strength. Twelve’s assumption that Clara was dating an Eleven-ish was adorable. He was so sure, like, “Oh, I see, yes, it IS hard to get over me so of course you went out and found a replacement Eleven.” I love reading these every week. Thanks for giving us Whovians a place to call home!

  • Karen Morti Charles

    Your title quote is my favorite from this episode. It captures the mirror images of the character development so far for the Doctor and Danny. Danny has not asked aloud “Am I a good man?” but seems to have done his own soul searching on that question as a soldier. I will be really disappointed if he is not the good man we are seeing in this relationship with Clara… I loved that Pink recognized the fatherly concern, which reveals some warmth, however well hidden, from our crusty old Doctor. He seems quite lonely so far this season.

    This episode’s ending renewed my curiosity for Missy. I hope we get a glimpse of what is keeping her so busy soon!

  • groon

    Okay–the plastic soldier. I’m not sure why everyone is so confused about this. Maybe I missed something, but there’s no mystery to me as to how it got where it got. Danny-as-a-child had it first. Then it got handed down to Orson. Then Orson gave it to Clara. Then she gave it to the Doctor. Isn’t that right? Am I missing something?

  • groon

    Also, wanted to say that I am enjoying the less-likable Doctor. I know what you mean, but these kinds of characters are, to me, more interesting. The likability–the humanity, I guess–is still there, but now it shows up in small pieces from time to time. I find that very interesting because it makes those glimpses much more special and telling. It’s like having that character you love to hate, and then they do something amazing and it’s like . . . wow. Yes, this Doctor is rude, and crude, and rough around the edges, and seems to lack compassion, but then you catch bits and pieces of something more than that. How much is real? How much is a defense mechanism? I don’t know, but I like where it’s going.

  • Brenda P

    I despised Clara before this season. She was just so unlikeable. But she is totally coming into her own this season, and I actually really like her now. She’s such a different companion in that she doesn’t seem to be spending the majority of her time with the Doctor; she maintains her present-day life as a teacher as part of her regular life.

    This Doctor is growing on me. I don’t love him as I loved Tennant or Smith, but I like him well enough. It’s not the same as genuinely liking him, though. I do appreciate the witty lines he gets, and I’m still intrigued getting to know this darker, more stand-offish Doctor. I like that we saw him saving the humans in this episode. I always enjoy seeing him save present-day Earth; there’s something about being reminded that he loves the humans and cares about them that helps me see the continuity of his character despite which Doctor is in play.

    I’m not overly intrigued by Missy, but I did take note right away that (I think) this is the first time we see someone die and end up in “heaven” who was uninvolved with the Doctor. I’d really like to see more of this in future episodes, because I like seeing a storyline continue. I love when puzzle pieces fall into place over episodes and seasons and when the wibbly-wobblyness of it all clicks and reveals an “ah-ha!” moment.

  • Stacey (the kids’ Aunt Tasty)

    I’m insaneopants about this show. LOVELOVELOVE. My dear friend Lola, who died last year, introduced me to The Doctor, and I love everything about him and the show.

    Save this: I’m honestly getting a little tired of the Doctor’s inability to see Clara as the rest of us do. Not that it might not be part of the point, but it’s never that she has three heads, it’s that she looks like she hasn’t brushed her hair. What is that about?