Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Peril on the Screen: "Listen"

Doctor Who

Season 8

Episode 4

Story No. 245


Written by Steven Moffat

Watched as part of “the Peril of the Screen” for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX

From Carl’s R.I.P. post:  Stories can make us look back over our shoulders and question every creak and groan on a dark, quiet night. Stories can cause our hearts to race with ever-increasing tension as we forgo sleep to rush towards a surprising conclusion. Stories can make us suspicious of every character as we challenge the protagonist to be the first to solve the crime. Stories can make us sleep with the lights on, make us pull the covers just a little bit tighter, and can make every shadow seem menacing.

This is a perfect summary of the Doctor’s story in this episode.  He theorizes that we have constant companions that are always just out of our sight.  When the hair stands up on the back of your neck?  It’s them.  The sounds you hear when the lights go out?  It’s them.  When you are sure you put a cup on the end table but find it somewhere else?  They did it.  He drags Clara along on a journey from a children’s home, to the end of the universe, to a barn to try and solve the riddle of our invisible companions.  And the scene in the barn is a surprise that caught me off guard.

If I had to compare this episode to another, I would say it is similar in mood and atmosphere to the classic “Blink”.  The main differences being this one focuses more on the Doctor and the twist ending takes this one in a different direction.

The parallel story being told features another form of scary story.  The first date where everything goes wrong.  Clara finally goes out with her co-worker Danny and every comment is the wrong thing to say. But that is a different kind of horror story.

Another excellent episode in what is shaping up to be a great season.

1 comment:

Carl V. Anderson said...

I thought it was similar to "Blink" too, in its spooky atmosphere, and liked it a great deal. I thought it was perfect for an October viewing. It is one of the handful of RIP things I've watched this time around and I was pleased.