Doctor Who 8×04 ‘Listen’: Don’t Look Under the Bed

BBC

After a Robin Hood-themed episode that I wasn’t completely in love with, we treated to a more gutsy episode, reminiscent of “Blink” or “Midnight”. We see more of Danny and Clara’s blossoming romance, we went a step further into the Doctor’s past, and we all remembered how scary a bed can be at night. The episode brought chills to my back through various scenes, and while it left me confused about some minor details, I enjoyed it very much.

BBC

BBC

First of all, I’m really digging this madman Doctor with his theories and his chalkboard. Capaldi’s really playing up the mad scientist side of the Doctor, and it’s really fun to see how far his mind will go. We started the episode with his own personal spiel about a creature that would be the best at hiding, and how would you ever find a creature that you can’t see? Immediately, my mind jumped to The Silence, but the episode ended up being a lot more surprising and not what I expected. I love it when an episode is well-written in a way that really surprises you, and keeps you on your toes. The Doctor’s speech was a good setup for the kind of episode we were getting into, and then we quickly jumped into the worst date of all time.

BBC

BBC

Oh, Clara, what are you doing? Watching Clara and Danny’s first date was cringe-worthy, they were both so awkward. It was great to see how the both of them hated how it went, and how they wished it could have gone differently. Well, it’s a good thing she’s got access to a time machine, right? After her bad date, Clara found herself curled up in a ball, wanting to vent like any normal girl would. Unfortunately, the Doctor doesn’t have time for her silly human problems, as he quickly dismisses her upset feelings and whisks her away on his TARDIS.

The Doctor used Clara’s memory of a nightmare – that scary dream where you imagine someone grabbing you from under the bed (and I’m pulling my feet up as I type this) – to travel back to that very moment. Unfortunately, Clara’s a little distracted while she’s linked to the TARDIS, and they actually end up seeing Danny Pink as a child in a children’s home. Back then, he was Rupert Pink, a scared little boy who didn’t want to look under the bed. I love it when they create these connections between the characters and their timelines. They come across one of the hidden creatures (or is it one of Danny’s friend?), and manage to escape it unharmed. Young Danny is frightened, which is where the Doctor steps in and tells him that fear makes him more powerful than any creature. It’s a beautiful speech, just the kind of thing you would want to repeat to your kids if they ever have a bad dreams.

Clara goes back in time to her date, decides to apologize and it seems like her date is back on track. That is until a strange man in a orange spacesuit shows up. We immediately believe it’s the Doctor, interrupting her life once more, but it’s actually a spaceman called Orson Pink, Danny’s descendant 100 years from now. The Doctor found him as he didn’t understand why Clara’s thoughts had brought him to that little boy in the children’s home, and wanted some answers. It was a little confusing, as all time-traveling stories are, but a really cool appearance. Plus, did everyone get the feeling that Clara was Orson’s grandmother, or was that just me?

BBC

BBC

Eventually, the creature appears again, and the Doctor orders Clara to go back to the TARDIS so he can face it alone. Panic rises as the Doctor has opened the door, and the air is being sucked out of the ship. Orson decides to step in and saves the Doctor’s life, bringing him back into the TARDIS, where he falls unconscious. In order to bring them back home, Clara links herself back up with the TARDIS and they end up somewhere completely unexpected.

The twist of landing in the Doctor’s childhood home, a barn we visited in “The Day of the Doctor” (something I would have never caught on without the flashback). This is where we realize that the creature the Doctor had been chasing had been Clara all along, who simply grabbed his leg from under the bed where she was hiding. Boom, mindblown. Here I was, expecting a scary monster to appear when in fact the monster was Clara! I loved this twist, especially because it brought us into the Doctor’s psyche and showed us a glimpse of his past. I’m still very confused as to who was hiding under Rupert’s bedspread the entire time, but I guess we’re just meant to believe it was someone playing a prank? That was the only bit of the episode which left me confused, while everything else was really enjoyable. I can’t wait to see how the romance between Danny/Rupert and Clara goes forward, and if Danny will ever get to meet the Doctor!

Rebecca Ireland-Silva

is a recent university graduate with a passion for television/movies. She’s moving to the UK this summer, and wants to work in the media. She also writes her own lifestyle blog, which sometimes features some tv/film bits. Her three loves are dashunds, shoes, and the perfect red lipstick. You can also find her on Tumblr!

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