WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Listen.
Last night saw the Doctor investigating the possibility of a perfect hider – and travelled to locations from the end of the universe to a children’s home – but what did our team make of it? Read on to find out!
Louis (Assistant Editor)
Listen was a strange, strange episode of Doctor Who – and worked all the better for it. It wasn’t as straight-up fun as last week, but what we got was far superior as a piece of TV. Every scene crackled with tense atmosphere (the scene in Rupert’s bedroom a terrifying highlight), and the episode continued to deliver on the solid character work this series has been building to. With a terrific, heartwarming ending to cap it all off, Listen was the strongest regular episode of the series since The Doctor’s Wife – even if it took a while to crank into action. 9/10
Ben (Video & Digital Media)
I very much enjoyed this episode of Clara Who. It’s so nice to see the Doctor just curious again, like when he first visited the city of Skaro just to see what was there. Although the trailer was a bit misleading – it wasn’t as scary as I’d hoped – it was a great format. I’m not too keen on Danny Pink at the moment, but the Doctor is on top form, with an inspiring opening monologue (or dialogue?). Clara, on the other hand, seems to be carrying the Doctor a bit. As much as I love the character, the notion of her influencing the Doctor’s life is wearing a bit thin now. I’d like to see more of these type of episodes, but with more focus on the Doctor, as we’re still yet to see much of what he can do. 7/10
Owen (News and Previews)
A TARDIS full of emotions, Listen makes you hide behind your sofa, then pushes you to the bathroom to grab tissues. Beautifully written with a impossibly impressive story. Listen is one of my favourite EVER episodes of Doctor Who, and shows us how much of an asset Steven Moffat is to the show. Doctor Who fell back on it’s roots of a curious Doctor, and it did with utter beauty. Listen will be an episode talked about till the end of the universe (I’m so hilarious) and will possibly achieve the title of “Best Episode in Series 8” and it damn well deserves it. 9.5/10
Suman (TGT writer)
Incredible acting, skilful direction and quite possibly one of Steven Moffat’s finest ever scripts combine to form what has the potential to become one of the definitive episodes of the Twelfth Doctor’s era, if not the show as a whole. Listen is a perfect fusion of everything that Moffat does so well – tapping into childhood fears, a ‘timey-wimey’ plot and even some awkward Coupling-style interplay between Danny and Clara – whilst still providing some bold, innovative and exceptionally brave storytelling throughout. The ambiguous nature of this week’s threat only serves to up the scare factor, whilst the revelation at the end is both jaw-dropping and subtly beautiful in its impact. 10/10
Harris (TGT writer)
What an episode! Not going to stop me sleeping tonight but let’s start high. The Clara and Danny interplay was a great way to start, a small arc within the series as well as playing a crucial role in the episode itself. The events both in Rupert’s bedroom and at the end of the universe were terrifying but the problem with the episode is that the scenes with the young Doctor suggested that it was all just imagination which turns, what was a scary monster episode, into a timey-wimey story. Perhaps there was something under Danny’s bed as he entertained Clara at the end? 8/10
Andrew (TGT writer)
Listen is a journey exploring the Doctor’s own fear, though it starts by him observing how the same nightmare is recollected throughout history. Within the dark tone of Listen the Doctor displays a neurotic demeanour throughout, the creepiness of the episode is enhanced by a chilling soundtrack. By placing a dream of ‘Dan the Soldier man’ into the young Danny, the Doctor has intertwined him with Clara (beyond them meetings as Teachers). The Tardis is misdirected twice through Clara’s mental link, and ultimately we see the reason for the Doctor’s obsession with a possible silent companion. Clara’s soothing of the young Doctor in a Barn which he will later visit as ‘The War Doctor’ finds the focus of the Doctor’s terror and answers why he is able to show resilience as well as courage. 9/10
Patrick (TGT writer)
Listen, in the years to come in the Who halls of history, will be remembered as the abstract episode of Series 8. There is no main villain to be found here, no central threat. But like many other Moffat episodes, his writing envelopes this lack of immediate danger into a personal story that completely stands on its own. Indeed, this may well be Moffat’s greatest work on Doctor Who since the critically acclaimed and famous Blink. Don’t expect a rollercoaster ride. Listen is intimate, calculated and beautiful in its message and pacing. The Twelfth Doctor’s caring attributes are also highlighted with a delicate ease for the first time, balanced naturally with the fierceness we have come to expect from Capaldi’s Doctor. Deep down, this is The Doctor’s episode, perhaps one of the most important in Doctor Who history and canon, even with Clara’s continued excellent character development with Danny Pink, played again greatly by Samuel Anderson. 10/10
And the average team score for this week is 8.9/10, the strongest result of this series so far. Our spoiler-free preview of Time Heist will be up mid-week, with our team’s spoiler-filled review coming Sunday!