Reviewed By: adamelijah
Review Date: 6/2/15 11:16 pm
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This story is the culmination of the last two episodes and finds Clara having to take on the role usually filled by the Doctor as the outside of the TARDIS is shrinking as a result of aliens invasion from another dimension. "Kill the Moon" had Clara forced to make the big decision at the end of the episode, while "Mummy on the Orient Express" explored her feelings about the Doctor and his willingness to give people false hope or even lie in order to defeat the monster.
Clara does very well as the lead, showing intuition, cleverness, and confidence and coming up with the plan that allows for the Doctor's return. Our lack of overall knowledge of Clara's past and history almost ceases to matter as she takes command in the situation with style and her own one-shot companion who almost dies saving a Headband in a very hilarious scene. At this point, while she's not as likable as Donna or as well-developed as Rose, Clara is probably the most useful companion the Doctor has had since the Classic era.
For the Doctor, it's an interesting episode. Despite Clara taking the lead, he has an absolutely great speech at the end. And his reluctance to say Clara did good as "the Doctor" was not based on his lack of willingness to acknowledge how well she did, but he says, "Goodness had nothing to do with it." There's been a strong hint that the Doctor doesn't always like himself as shown in episodes like, "Amy's Choice" and "Time Heist." While he's been pushing Clara to make the tough choice, to be the person who can do what the Doctor does when she finally does it, there's a sense of sadness. That fear Davros played on in, "Journey to the End" that the Doctor made his companions more like himself.
This episode could aslo be evidence in the, "Should the Doctor be a woman?" debate on both sides. With the pro-side pointing to an episode showing how a good female actor could create a performance that showed just as much bravery, talent, and wit as the Doctor. And the anti-side able to point out that writing a good female companion who is capable of the Lead can have the same effect without making such a radical change.