Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Time Lord 1.4 - The Brunette Under The Bed

Episode: Listen
Song: Set Your Controls by Star One

The Doctor is sitting on the TARDIS roof in deep space talking to himself.
Dave: That cannot be comfortable. Has he got the lantern up his arse?
Nigel: Why is he sitting there? What's he listening to? Space is quiet, damn it!
Andrew: You know, if this is how he spends his time, you can't really blame Clara for doing other stuff. Like appearing in a child-friendly version of Teachers. I mean, seriously I would have thought the Doctor did not interesting stuff than sitting on his ass. Shoulda stayed on Gallifrey.
Nigel: Oh, he takes the TARDIS to safari parks and under the seas to study nature. This is like one of those Dr Who Discovers Books... only without a charming and charismatic narrator.

The Doctor comes to the conclusion there are invisible goblins everywhere.
A: Ah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
N: What? Dear god, what are you talking about?
A: You know, if there's an flying monster made of spaghetti that is invisible and undetectable, you cannot prove it doesn't exist. It's basically the same. If you can't prove something doesn't exist and you can't prove it does then...
N: You're left with god. The Doctor is basically trying to prove there is a god.
D: I thought it was a teacup.
N: What?
D: The flying invisible thing. I thought it was a teacup.
A: Blasphemer! The spaghetti monster will eat your soul!
D: Prove it!
A: Disprove it!
N: OK, I think we've explored the entire debate. Can we have another adventure in time and space?

Someone or something writes "LISTEN" on one of those blackboards.
N: Listen? Listen to what? Your writing?
D: These hidden monsters aren't that dedicated to hiding if they graffiti walls.
A: Is this trying to make kids scared of "Kilroy Was Here"?

The Doctor decides that Clara will be interested in his ridiculous conspiracy theory, even though she's just had an awful first date with Danny "I'm So Not Gay" Pink.
D: Wow, it's like Coupling only without the heartwarming comedy.
A: So, it's like the last series of Coupling.
N: Mind you, trying to put inneundo in "desert" isn't the same as implying he'll cut off Clara's ears and collect them in a bucket...
A: What the hell is wrong with Clara? Why does she keep making fun of Danny on the one thing she knows will upset him? Is she just assuming that if she insults him enough he'll find it funny?
N: And the cow gets offended when Danny points out she's a civilian! And then she storms out!
D: How could someone with no people skills be a good carer for kids? Did rewriting time turn her into a complete bitch?
N: ...hang on, the Doctor was hiding in her bedroom because he knew she had a date? Either he was expecting Clara to do Danny on the couch or was he going to hide under the bed for voyeuristic thrills? Guess he's still got the horn over the Impossible Girl after all.
A: Why does Clara complain the Doctor didn't ask about her date when he just asked about her date?
D: And it says a lot she'd rather sulk on her pillow than travel in time and space. It's like not even the writers can see a point in the show any more. It's all so emo...

Even so, Clara agrees to listen to the Doctor's crazy theory. Apparently every single person has a nightmare about something under the bed.
A: I've never had that nightmare.
D: Nope, me neither. Not since Johnson and Friends revealed it's just a friendly sentient Hot Water Bottle.
N: It's probably the Doctor hiding under the bed while his companions start shagging.
D: These perfect hiders leave messages and now they grope people's ankles for no reason. Seriously, these creatures have got even less of a social calendar than the new Doctor and Clara!
A: Hang on, he's just read the intro to Stephen King's Night Shift! You know the bit about how he is afraid of something under the bed grabbing his ankle?
N: They couldn't even afford a rubber claw? That's just some chick's well-manicured hand three times!
A: Didn't we do all this in The Girl in the Fireplace?
D: What bugs me is... just why is there a scented candle on the phone box on the door? Why did he fill the place full of candles? Was that opening scene set during Earth Hour or something? Is he struggling to pay the electricity bills?

Clara plugs her fingers in the TARDIS coral to pilot it properly.
D: Um... that looks disturbingly... um... ew...
N: She's fingering the TARDIS! Gross!
A: And just what is that badge Clara's wearing? Is it important?
N: Dude! She's putting all her fingers and thumbs into those squelchy pink orifices and waggling them about while the Doctor tells her not to think rude thoughts! Obviously there's a bit of sexual frustration and transference right there...
D: And the Doctor says it might bite! This is just like Teeth!

The TARDIS arrives at an orphanage at night in the middle of the fog.
N: Wow, the Doctor really won't take the hint they're at the wrong place, will he? Clara says she got distracted, he saw her get distracted, she says she was never there, and even if she was it's a stupid move...
A: If he gets there and sees it was just a nightmare, what will he do then?
D: Get a life, hopefully. He hasn't had one since he was Matt Smith.

Of course, they're not in Clara's childhood but Danny's.
D: And instantly Clara is suddenly nice again. It's like she can't cope with adults.
N: I know. If she acted around little Rupert the way she did around Danny, she would take the piss out of his nightmares and then storm out if he tried to fight back.
A: The kid's crazy. Why would anyone think Rupert is a dumber name than Pink? When did Rupert the Bear suddenly go out of fashion?
D: Maybe he's just wierd. He doesn't seem at all interested in why some strange woman has wandered in out of the night and started giving him advice.

There is further evidence of the hidden creatures. Or that the Doctor is talking bollocks.
D: Why would these perfect hiders move coffee cups and turn off TVs? I say again, it's like they're desperately trying to get the attention of anyone they can?
A: And it turns out that the Doctor stole coffee. He only ever seems to drink coffee. No wonder he's freaking out, staying up late and getting paranoid.
D: He stole the guy's coffee and freaked him out! Selfish Scottish shit!
A: Why is Clara hiding from the Doctor? How is that going to help? I bet she gets into trouble and the Doctor doesn't save her because he thinks she's in the TARDIS.
N: Why would he save her? He has conspiracy theories to come up with and coffee to steal.

Clara proves there's nothing under Danny's bed, and then something sits on the bed.
A: Well, what did you expect? How could it fit under the bed with you two there?
N: Wow, a red blanket. I'm terrified.
D: It's pretty freaky.
N: ...yeah. It is.
D: It'll just be a kid, like Clara says.
A: But why won't it speak? Why stand up on the bed? Why would another kid creep into the room and hop onto the bed, hide under a blanket and then act creepy?
D: By the same token, why the hell would a perfect hider do that? It's not hiding very well.

Don't worry, the Doctor's here. Oh wait. On second thoughts...
N: Yeah, why does Moff like to portray the Doctor as a ninja with the ability to appear and vanish?
A: Good thing he knew this was the exact room things were happening. And he's not surprised to find Clara with a strange boy. Is he even conscious any more?
N: Oh, haha. He's wasted years of his life looking for Wally in books. That's a subtle thing about looking for the hidden thing that turns out not to be there.
D: And a not-so-subtle thing that this Doctor seriously needs to get a life.

The Doctor tells them that being frightened is awesome and then they look out the window while they let the blanket-monster bugger off.
N: The whole reason he came here was to see it, and he chickened out at the last moment! Loser!
A: Look at that thing when the blanket slides off - that isn't human, man.
N: Maybe it's a deformed-faced kid like that dude in that film. Bet if Rupert looked around he'd see him and recognize the git right away.
D: He tells off Rupert for being ungrateful? Doctor, all you did was say "Look out the window and let it run away!" It's not that impressive, but you're acting like you just single-handedly saved every puppy on Earth from cancer! Is he really so desperate for people to like him? And if he is, maybe he could stop acting like a total arse...
A: Utter, utter loser. I say again, you can only be an insufferable genius if you're actually right about things...

After comprehensively screwing-up Danny's life, Clara decides to resume her date and mess up his present.
N: Wow, not even The Space Museum was so boring the regulars wandered off in the middle. The Doctor's really lost his mojo if he can't even keep a companion interested for 45 minutes...
A: Why is Clara lying about knowing Danny? All she has to say is "I think he's one of the teachers" and she'll shut the Doctor up! No, leave it a mystery and I'm sure the Doctor won't investigate further...
D: Judging by the way Clara scopes out her own ass, maybe she should just fall for her own splinters.
N: A Clara-Oswin threeway. Awesome.

But Clara wrecks the date again.
A: You know, for a compulsive and accomplished liar, Clara can't improvise for shit.
N: Her acting is so bad even people at the other table drop glasses at dramatic moments.
D: Clara should just say she's cyber-stalked Danny. It'd make her look like a nutter, but wait - she is!

A spaceman wanders into the restaurant. Danny walks out.
N: ...and no one notices. Don't tell me, perception filter?
A: Maybe it's like Silver Nemesis and people in restaurants refuse to act.
D: I'm behind Danny. Sure, Clara's well-fit but she's insulted you badly, stormed out, stormed back in again, hinted she's spying on you, admits she's lying and can't keep eye contact. Danny should just bang the secretary. Clara's way too high-maintenance.

Clara shouts at spaceman who turns out to be Orson Pink, distant relation of Danny from the future.

A: Orson Pink or Awesome Pink? And if he thinks they're related, won't they share DNA?
D: Well, given Danny's an orphan he is must be destined to breed like crazy.
N: Probably with a black chick, given Clara would only produce quadroons.
D: Good for Danny. Remember when Clara was likable?

A: Wait, so why is Orson wearing the Sanctuary Base 6 space suit? Is it a recycled prop? Or did the Doctor convince Orson to take off his own spacesuit, put on a different one and then send him into a restaurant to reclaim Clara from her date? Huh? How does this work? HOW?!
N: This is what I call "Silence logic", where Moffat doesn't give a shit as long as the end result looks good in the trailer.

Orson is a time traveller marooned at the end of time.
N: So, uh, we're post-Toclafane, I guess?
D: Must be, if they live on the last planet and this is the last planet. Unless it's Magrathea...
A: This is a bit grim, isn't it? Everyone died? Not even a maybe-escape to another universe? 
N: I guess Mr. Pink didn't appreciate he was named after the colour of the end of everything.
A: Hang on, that footage shows Orson was wearing the SB6 suit before he set off! It's just a recycled prop after all! Christ on a bike, things like that totally shit me they really do.
D: Why does Orson ask Clara if she knows him after a very long conversation where they established that they don't know each other even though they could be related?
N: And didn't the TARDIS need to be supercharged with rift-energy to go to 100 Trillion, so isn't the Doctor technically telling the truth it needs time to recharge? Or did they have to travel slowly back and forth?
D: And in all that time Orson STILL asks that stupid question.

Wait, it turns out that Orson might be Clara's great-great-grandson.
D: I'm sorry, this is stupid. Orson's from 2115 - even if he never met Clara, her twitter accounts etc would be part of the family albulm. There's no way she could be related to him and he'd not know about it, especially after lengthy discussions on the topic.
A: Do you know your great-grandmother's maiden name?
D: No, but then she wasn't on facebook, was she?
A: Maybe Clara's not either. We know she had a bad experience with computers.
N: Nah, remember the quadroon? Clara's got no genes in the mix. Unless a splinter of Clara was black...
A: The most interesting implication is that Danny will find out that time travel is real. And that he remembered the importance of that toy after the Doctor mind-raped the kid...

It turns out that the last man in the universe has a lock on the door.
A: Shortest horror story ever.
N: The second shortest is one letter longer. There's a "knock" on the door.
A: Heh.
D: So we're now to believe that these hiders have somehow survived universal extinction and gathered on the last bit of solid matter in reality... and now they're just knocking on the doors? To freak out the last person who can't actually see them? I mean, this is just arse!
A: If they can't even break through a window, they're not worth it.
N: Is the knocking going to turn out that Captain Jack is gagging for sex?
D: Or is the Doctor expecting to see himself outside?
A: You mean he never gets another hobby? That's way worse than ending up the Valeyard.

Waiting for hours is boring. The Doctor asks Clara if she's getting any.
D: Go on, just tell him about Danny. Why is she so desperate to keep secrets from him anyway? It would sort out a lot of problems and questions and, oh yeah, stop him charging to the end of the universe...
A: No one believes he actually cares about her life, you know. They're just hanging together out of pure muscular habit.
N: Yeah, it's becoming more and more obvious no one else will put up with them. I bet no one of Trenzalore would want this new guy as their sherrif...

The words "DON'T OPEN THE DOOR" are scrawled on the door in glow-in-the-dark texta.
A: So Orson's suicidal enough to consider walking out into oblivion? Great. What a cheerful show this is. Last week's episode must have been an aboration with no one desperate to kill themselves.
D: This really is an emo show. I bet the season finale has everyone saved with the power of self-harm.
N: The Doctor keeps saying he wants to see the hiders, but he keeps chickening out. And again we have to ask what the hell is he going to do if it turns out to be some goblin? Kick it in the face? What?

Night falls. The scratching/knocking/whispering begins.
N: This was scarier in Midnight.
A: This was scarier in GhostWatch.
D: This was scarier in, I dunno, pick a random Goodies episode.

The Doctor unlocks the door and tells Clara to get the hell out of his face.
D: Why? Is he going to commit suicide too?
N: Yeah, why did you want her with you in the first place?
A: Again, Clara can't cope without being in charge. Again, she storms off. Um, he's supposed to be your friend but you'll let him get himself killed to prove a point.
N: Yeah, Clara wants to travel with the Doctor so much she'll willingly leave him in mortal danger.
D: Maybe she wants him to regenerate into less of a prick.
A: Good plan.

The door opens. All the air gets sucked out. Orson saves the Doctor somehow.
N: How convenient that the scanner broke at the exact moment we'd find out whether or not this episode has been a complete waste of the last thirty-seven minutes
D: It's really contrived everyone's leaping through hoops to provide two explanations for everything.
A: I mean, we know there was some monster on Danny's bed and we know that there is some creature outside opening the door. We've actually seen that and established it as fact so all this stuff "ooh, maybe it was just our imagination" stuff is bollocks.
D: Yeah! The fucking Cloister Bell is ringing! This is not a misunderstanding!
A: Either the entire universe is ending at that exact second or the monster is trying to break in. This story would be more effective if everyone wasn't breaking the fourth wall and shouting "OR IS IT???" at the audience every two minutes...

Clara tries to pilot the TARDIS.
N: Either that or she's trying to take the old girl's mind off it with executive relief...
D: Pity the Doctor didn't leave the HADS on. That would save a lot of trouble.
A: Wow that was a quick trip across 100 Trillion years...

The TARDIS lands in a barn at night.
A: Ah, this is the manger where Jesus was born! That reveals who the "constant companion"! Everyone knows that Jesus is watching you...
N: Yeah, if it was RTD writing this, I'd agree with you.
D: If it was RTD writing this, we'd be having fun watching it. The scary bits work, but everything else is depressing and bitchy. You can imagine Moff sitting at his desk muttering "What's the fucking point any more? Life is a river of misery that empties out into an ocean of nothingness! We're all going to die anyway, why bother even getting out of bed?" before collapsing into sobs.
A: Yeah, is anyone actually enjoying making this show? Even the cast look miserable...

But what is this? This barn is on Gallifrey and a sobbing child is quite obviously the Doctor.
D: I bet Moffat denies that's the Doctor.
A: So... we're supposed to believe that Clara is giving a pep talk to a completely different Gallifreyan boy that the Doctor somehow not only knows about but remembers two millennia and a whole life cycle later even though she can only visit people she's thinking about and has met?
N: Maybe the boy's the Master.
A: Who of course is renowned for his huge chip on his shoulder about the military.
N: Hang on, why does Gallifrey have soldiers anyway? What do they do? Who do they fight? Is joining the Kasterboran branch of Dad's Army really so scary?

And it turns out that Clara is the thing under the bed.
D: So... what? She also groped the little boy, girl and old woman in the montage? Was she also the one knocking on the door? Was she also the monster under the blanket? What?
N: And the one who inspired the Doctor. And gave him the TARDIS. And convinced him to save Gallifrey. And convinced the Time Lords to save the Doctor. Is there anything the Doctor actually did for himself? I bet the Pyrdon Academy bike the Doctor lost his virginity to was a Clara splinter...
A: This means that Clara is responsible for creating the guy she spends all the time complaining about. So it's really karma that he keeps ruining her date.
D: Would it be so wrong for her to act this nice to the grown-up Doctor? She really doesn't seem to enjoy his company this week. It's like he's her retarded cousin she's obliged to look after.
N: I just can't get round this split-personality she has. She seems to morph from perfect friend to all children to psycho Coupling-esque Lynda Day bitch at random. Are we supposed to be rooting for her any more? I mean, she's completely altered the lives of the men she hangs round with - that kind of power seems to be going to her head. I dread what she'd do if she had kids of her own to love and or micromanage...
D: She's turning into Mallory from Archer is what she's doing.

Giving the baby Doctor the advice to stop being a wuss and cowboy the hell up, Clara leaves ancient Gallifrey in an action montage of awkward hugs. And then she goes and gets laid.
A: Right. Danny must be gasping if this strange, clearly-stalker-obsessive bunny boiler turning up on his door in the middle of the night demanding sex will get the better of him. He's blaming his own nerves for the fact she's lying and spying on him as well as mocking his PTSD!
D: Hey, if he rang her after storming out of the restaurant, was that the call Clara got on her mobile before she decided to go back and cause him to storm out of the restaurant?
N: Who cares? He's damaged goods and she's basically just using him for sex.
D: It's like Buffy and Spike only... well, less witty.
A: Is Clara just wanting to procreate? I mean, is she into him or just going "Oh well, I've seen our great grandson. Impregnate me now, soldier boy, get it out of the way!"
D: That said, I like her hugging the Doctor. She actually seems to like him again.
N: Yeah, now she knows what a weak-no-fist loser he really is.

The Doctor is left pondering his graffiti on the blackboard.
A: So... was it his own subcionscious memory that made him write it and then forget?
D: Or are the hiders real? Actually, we've had absolutely no evidence they are at all.
N: No, the only things that were weird were the thing on the bed and the thing in the airlock.
D: Neither of which showed much interest in hiding.
A: If the Doctor's so damn curious, go back to the orphanage and capture the monster. Or back to Utopia and see what was out there wearing a spacesuit this time.
N: Basically this whole episode was a waste of time. If Clara had kept her mouth shut she would have ended up in bed with Danny and the Doctor would have got bored and thought of something else.
D: They saved Orson's life.
N: Yeah, I bet he'll live long until the Daleks invade and kill everyone!


D: What a depressing, pointless nihilistic episode. There's nothing under the bed, nothing in the dark, we impose falsehoods and conspiracies on the sheer meaningless of existence. Nothing we will ever do will matter or influence one iota and we'll all be forgotten and reduced to dust.
N: And if we get lippy with some bint on a first date, she'll go back in time and screw with our childhood to engineer huge life-destroying experiences in her sick powerplay.
A: That's a bit gloomy, isn't it? I mean, there must be something positive and life-affirming about this ep!
D: Such as...
A: Um. Er.
N: Like when respected TV celebrities are allowed into an orphanage after dark to traumatize and then mindwipe small children to leave them broken, disfunctional adults. It's like Jimmy Saville: His Life In Miniature!
D: Yeah, Drew. What part of that episode left you with a spring in your step or a song in your heart?
A: Um... the hug from Clara.
D: Yeah. Wow. Pass the fucking razorblades.

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