Monday, 27 October 2014


How late is this review? VERY LATE. I've been busy, sue me. I was gonna do it at the weekend, but I had a nervous breakdown instead. So that was fun.

Anyway, I'm kinda torn about Flatline. On the one hand it's certainly one of the most original concepts we've had in Doctor Who for a long time now, especially in this season of deja vu.

And on the other hand it makes me think of Fear Her.

Okay, I'll admit that this is perhaps the most positive way to think of Fear Her, seeing as how I'm not projectile vomiting blood or anything. What it makes me think is that maybe this is the sort of thing Fear Her COULD have been like if it had actually been good. Which, just for the record, it wasn't.

It's a point of faith that even the worst Doctor Who episodes still contain, at their core, some really good ideas.

For example, Timelash had the idea of giant man eating cocks.

And there is some mileage in the idea of drawings or similar coming to life and wreaking havoc. Only here, rather than this being achieved by magical space love powers or whatever bullshit we're actually applying good solid science fiction principles by having an invasion coming from the theory of Flatland.

And yes, that is a thing.

Another thing I think I may have mentioned before is the odd way that sometimes the Doctor Who production office seems to be operating on my wavelength. I'll think about something I think would be cool in an episode, and then some time later that thing will pop up in some different form. It's happened with Dinosaurs (although I think we still need more of those). It happened with Hitler. And now, it's happened with the idea of an incomprehensibly alien SOMETHING pressing itself into our reality. I've actually managed to write a little about this before when I was discussing an RPG setting I'd made up ages ago. So, yes, having something properly extra dimensional is rather pleasing.

I suppose in a way they had to try something like this sooner or later. After all, the Timey-Wimey has been done repeatedly to various degrees of success. So it's about time that they got around to spacey-wacey. Although obviously space and time are related, but that's the beauty of this episode really. If this doesn't spark an interest in 10 dimensional physics I really don't know what's wrong with you.

And yes, that is a thing.

So, at long last we have some actual science in our science fiction. We also have some REALLY creepy monsters. Considering that they're initially a killer smudge tool, and then people staggering around like they've been huffing paint thinner cut with worming pills and drain cleaner it's a testament to the digital effects just how horrific the various distortions of the human form actually look. I don't often praise digital effects, I'm more a physical effects work kinda guy.

Case in point

But the whole point of digital effects work is to do stuff that you CAN'T physically realize with models, suits or whatever. And a 2 dimensional creature trying to project itself into 3 dimensional space using a dead human as a template and only achieving partial success is definitely one of those things. So yeah, that was good. Although I REALLY don't get why it was decided to call them the Boneless. They're Flatlanders. Just admit it.

Story wise things hang together pretty well, with the only real baffling moment being when the psychotic arsehole character manages to chuck the TARDIS down a lift shaft. Not quite sure why he picked that precise moment to try and mug Clara, especially considering he should probably be concentrating on running like fuck, but we can always just put it down to the fact he's a psychotic arsehole and move on with our lives.

Another thing that's kinda odd about this episode is that although it's another Clara heavy episode it's also giving us a lot of really good Doctor being the Doctory stuff. Having him cut off from the direct action and having to act through Clara actually gives us more of an insight into how he's operating. And of course, forcing Clara into the Doctors role just goes to highlight even further just how much of daft cow she was being at the end of Kill The Moon. Although I don't suppose she's going to have the decency to feel guilty about it. Still, nice to see some stuff coming back to bite her as the Doctor realizes she's been lying about Danny. And if danny doesn't work out she's been leading him on after this then I'll lose all respect for the character. I mean, that phone call. THAT WAS SEX NOISE.

I mean, he's gotta be hoping that was an alien invasion, because from his end it really didn't sound like one. But once again he proves with only a brief appearance what a nice, dependable decent guy he is. Thus further cementing the growing suspicion that one way or another the poor boy is DOOMED.

Still, that's another really good episode to add to the list. The series seems to have gotten into a good groove now, although there's actually not all that much of it left to go. And better still I don't even have a glib snarky remark about the next time trailer looking exactly like some other episode for once. Should be interesting seeing what happens. In fact, I may just nip off and do so now.