WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Mummy on the Orient Express.
Last night saw the Doctor and Clara solve the mystery of the Foretold on the Orient Express (in space) – what did our team make of it? Read on to find out!
Louis (Assistant Editor)
After a divisive couple of episodes, Mummy on the Orient Express went like a house on fire with fandom – and it’s an episode that despite its flaws, richly deserved the positive reception. The Foretold was creepy designed and executed well – and unlike some monsters this series, it was used to its full potential. The Foretold may have been a creepy highlight – but where the episode really shone was as a showcase of Peter Capaldi. This episode saw the new Doctor fully formed – equal parts funny, sympathetic and often downright cold, and while the episode served up a slightly underwhelming resolution and perhaps left too many things hanging, it may just go down as one of the Twelfth Doctor’s defining episodes. 8.5/10
Ben (Video & Digital Media)
Mummy on the Orient Express… first of all, what a title. Two ordinary things, but put them together and you have a winning formula for a Doctor Who episode. The pre-titles sequence was a knock out (literally), with a chilling insight into the murderous mummy. The set was stunning, made even better by Foxes’ swing rendition of Don’t Stop Me Now (music video available on this very site). Although this was a quick cameo, Frank Skinner’s Perkins was a great character, proving that we definitely need more Brummies in Doctor Who and teasing us at the end with a potential new TARDIS passenger. The mummy was well realised and Peter Capaldi was on top form as the Doctor. This episode felt a bit like House, with the Doctor using a team of experts to help solve a case which he ends up solving whilst annoying everyone else. If these last few episodes are anything to go by, the finale is going to be amazing. 9/10
Owen (Instagram & News)
Mummy on the Orient Express could be one of the most liked episodes of this series, it’s fun, creepy, intense and as clever as a scientist. The ending is creative, and something that wasn’t a random excuse to get things to make sense. The cameos, although slightly wasted, were perfect and added that extra jazz to the episode. Don’t stop Jamie Mathieson now, because his excellent first installment is only getting us more excited for his second episode, Flatline next week. 9/10
Start the clock! Where better to go for your ‘last’ trip than The Orient Express… in space. A killer mummy on board is just part of the fun. Clara and the Doctor as a duo become a backdrop this week however as they mingle with multiple guests travelling on the interstellar engine. Unfortunately we weren’t presented with the opportunity to see much of Foxes during her acting debut but Frank Skinner more than made up for it. The mummy was very scary, especially when it first flickers into being and the reason for it being there was well explained. Do Gus and Missy know each other? 9/10
This episode had an absolutely gorgeous set; there was no need for much running around or for a large landscape to make this work. After last weeks anger it felt unsure whether Clara would appear but both her and the Doctor appeared a little afraid of what might have been their goodbyes. The mystery laid out by ‘Gus’ was a brilliant way to yet again show us the promised darkness of the Doctor in this incarnation, balanced perfectly with humour. Clara it seemed evident was much more troubled by their rocky relationship, however the Doctor did seem subdued by the end of the adventure. To me it is totally unclear whether he saved anyone else on the train (apart from Perkins – maybe to work on his Tardis!) but became very gentle towards Clara, asking would it help her to believe he only pretends to be heartless. It also seems unclear to me if Danny was ok for Clara to continue travelling with the Doctor, it looked like a much more spontaneous leap of joy for her to decide this herself. Really great stuff! 8.9/10
Well paced and constructed with a thrilling premise, Mummy on the Orient Express has all the elements of a classic Agatha Christie-style mystery but put together in a way that is uniquely Doctor Who. Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is clearly at his best when he has something gritty to get his teeth into, and the brilliantly realised and menacing Foretold – complete with countdown clock – certainly ramps up the tension throughout. The supporting cast is also strong, Frank Skinner’s enthusiasm in particular shining through with his understated yet witty portrayal of engineer Perkins. Overall, a stunning debut from first-time Doctor Who writer Jamie Mathieson, who looks more than set to impress again next week. 9/10
And the average score is 8.9/10, the joint best of the series so far. Our spoiler-free review of Flatline will be up mid-week, with our team’s spoiler-filled review coming Sunday!