Review: Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 9: Flatline

Oh, heaven above, Steve Moffat is just determined that we all love Clara, and he’s going to keep forcing tripe like this on us until we give and accept she’s the bestest, most wonderful Companion ever, isn;’t he?

Spoilers below.

After teasing us two episodes ago that maybe Clara’s time was up, the show has moved entirely the wrong direction and given us a virtually Clara-only outing.  Perhaps Clara’s arrogance in appropriating the title of Doctor is just a deep-seated psychological projection by Moffat at having assumed the showrunnership from Russell T. Davies.  In any event, she is far from adequate in the role and ends up just amplifying the smarminess that makes her so aggravating.

Once more, Capaldi’s fantastic skills are wasted as he is literally sidelined and moved off-screen.  His reactions show more depth than Coleman’s actions, even though all he is doing is acting opposite an LCD screen.  He could carry this show, if only Moffat would let him by severing the deadweight of the Clara storyline that is dragging him down.  He is funny and acerbic and harsh and, above all, alien, as the Doctor should be.

The show returns again to the running-dry well of “invisible monsters all around us that we can’t perceive”: The Vashta Nerada.   The Silence,  Whatever it was in “Listen”.  And now these, the Boneless (really?).  It’s wearing a bit thin, and while perhaps inevitable for a Monster of the Week show, it’s starting to expose the tiredness that creeps into any long-running franchise.

Perusing online forums, a lot of people seem to think the show is on a bit of a hot streak.  I feel exactly the opposite, that this has been a dry spell of unusual length.  I hope things shake up a bit soon, or at least, by the Christmas special.

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