Reviewed By: Mercury
Review Date: 3/14/19 11:31 pm
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Listen features the Doctor and Clara investigating a theory that shared nightmares of a monster under the bed are based on a real creature with the ability to hide. It also features Clara having problematic dates with new boyfriend Danny Pink which causes the TARDIS telepathic circuits to take them to Danny's memory of having the nightmare rather than her own. This idea is quite hard to get my head around and I really dislike the character of Danny because I find him annoyingly self righteous, hypocritically judgemental, easily provoked and wonder what Clara is meant to be so quickly attracted by so the scenes of their dates are my least favourite part of the episode. I cannot hold that character against this episode particularly though and the rest of the episode is so good that these minor bits I am not so into fade into insignificance.
The unseen monster lurking in our presence, in the corner of our eye and under our beds is a scary, menacing and electrifying idea (reminiscent of the idea touched upon in the climax of The Family of Blood when the Doctor traps one of the 'family' in every mirror so that we feel like we see them out of the corner of our eye and in one scene where there is knocking on a spaceship from outside the ideas also seem influenced by the wonderful Midnight). These creepy aspects are used to make some really brilliant scenes which are cleverly and expertly executed.
As well as the thrilling story we are treated to psychological depth and sparkling dialogue. There is darkness, thoughtful, intriguing ideas and great humour. There is also a wonderful treat of a glimpse into the Doctor's childhood which links in to the War Doctor's dilemma in ending the Time War as well as the whole history of the Doctor. I am not a fan of Clara being given such importance in so many aspects of the Doctor's past but it is so well woven into this episode I cannot complain.
The acting of Peter Capaldi is phenomenally good and lifts everything to the highest level. He is complex, brooding, mesmerising and also very funny. I cannot fault any of the rest of the acting either and all the production values are superb.
The link between Clara and Danny to the person they meet from the future is later made to look wrong by events in later episodes but again that is not really a valid complaint as time perhaps was subsequently changed by the intervention of Missy.
The entertainment value and thrills provided make this just about a full 10/10 for me.