If there is something that we all might have asked ourselves once in a while in the realm of entertainment, its how does a film maker go from being one of the greats to one of the bads? What I mean is by their ability, and not their reputation with the fanbase. That alone deserves it’s own topic for some other time. What I’m saying is how does someone with such talent can just stop using the talent that made them famous. For example, both George Lucas and M. Night Shyamalan started off strong by using their talents on revolutionizing the genres that they both individually made. But they were so happy with what they were doing, that they really forgotten that every film maker should have restraints. But because of how famous and powerful they have become, they kind of seem to live like they can get away with anything. I can’t confirm any of that, but that’s just how it appears to be. The same can be said about MY feelings towards Steven Moffat.
I started watching Doctor Who right before season 6 started, and I watched a great portion of the show before then. I even saw a lot of Moffat’s episodes before his takeover on the show. Even after watching season 5, we all treated him as if he was going to be the next Robert Holmes. Even I was excited to see his work for season 6. But right when season 6 started, I felt like there was something missing on the end result. Even after I saw The Wedding of River Song, I felt like his episodes were kind of meh for me. Season 7 was a pretty rough year for me when it came to Steven Moffat. Asylum of the Daleksjust keeps getting worse the more I think about it, The Angels Take Manhattan was just forgettable, The Bells of Saint John was okay, and The Name of the Doctor felt like it was just there for exposition. Both The Night of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor were him at his strongest, and I do believe he was actually trying to write good, coherent stories. I will get into those two sometime in the future to give my extensive opinions on those stories. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that The Snowmen was just awful. I already gave you guys my two sense on what I thought about the episodes that he wrote in season 8, but in case if you don’t remember, here’s my review of season 8:
So, did I just bring those episodes up as a list of future reviews? Maybe. But I must concentrate my wrath on what I use to believe was Steven Moffat’s worst episode. Oh yeah, I think it’s that bad! And before you Moffat fans try to defend this episode, telling me that this episode was great and is bound to be a classic, and those who think that this episode sucks and that I just hate Steven Moffat as a writer (which isn’t true), I only have one favor to ask you all. Please, PLEASE read my review first, and then you can comment on what I have to say about this not-scary-at-all episode.
We begin with the Doctor meditating on top the TARDIS, as he tells us all to listen. People, from here on until the end of this article, One of the first things that he asks is why do we talk out loud when there is no one around to talk to. He states that its because there is someone really around hearing you. No, we have a number of reasons for why we talk out loud Moffat. Sometimes we’re just crazy, and sometimes we just naturally do it when we never notice it. And sometimes we think out loud to wonder if what we want to say sounds right. At least that’s what I do. Yeah, I’m kind of pathetic that way. I’m just going to stop right there.
The Doctor then asks if evolution has perfect survival skills (which that can be flawed), perfect defence (even that can be flawed), then why isn’t there perfect hiding skills? The Doctor continues to think that this specific monster is hearing him out on all of this, wonder what it wants to do, what it wants, and what it is. He then sees the chalk that he was using to write down his theory on the board that he placed on top of a book suddenly laying on the floor, and then sees the chalk board being erased just to show us one word:
Everything that I have said about this scene and what the Doctor has been saying, I want you to try to remember it all. I’m not going to explain why right now, but I will later on.
I haven’t said a thing about the new intro yet, so I’ll talk about it now. I love it! As much as I admire the previous two, and as much as I still have the 7th Doctor’s intro as my personal favorite, this one is, by far, the best one in New Who. In case if none of you have not seen a single second of the 7th Doctor’s intro, do yourself a favor and look it up. …………….and watch Remembrance of the Daleks, far superior than this episode and Asylum of the Daleks.
And after the best part of the episode ends, we get to the most uninspiring companion since Martha Jones, Clara Oswald. I say that, because she doesn’t have that much of a personality or a purpose to be in this show anymore. She’s like if you get rid of all the things that you love out of Sarah Jane Smith. She goes out on her first date with the other uninspiring companion, Danny Pink. Even though his treatment in this show wasn’t as bad as Mickey’s, where he was a suspect for a supposed murder of a white, blonde she-devil, Danny still gets the rest of Mickey’s flack and disrespect from his time in Aliens in London/World War 3. The more I talk about that episode, the more you should fear the time come when I might rip the earth apart with my wrath and fury! Oh yeah, I’m going to tear that story apart, and it will dwarf my anger that I have put upon Steven Moffat!
Anyway, we do get to see the two laugh a bit, but we never get to hear much out of it, probably because Moffat wants us to prevent ourselves from finding something about the two that we would probably find enjoyable from either one of them. And then we get to one of the biggest no-nos that Clara makes against Danny. What they were laughing about, or at least I think they were laughing about, is some student who’s been causing trouble in their job, and Clara jokingly said that Danny would of went as far as killing her. Danny finds that sensitive, since he was a soldier with a backstory of killing a child that ended with a HUGE DUD, and said that he dug 23 wells that saved so many lives. Clara apologizes to him, not knowing that it was sensitive, but how does she ruin that? When a waiter offers for more water, Clara, right after she said apologized to Danny about the wells, said “don’t you worry, he’ll probably dig for it.” Clara, I know you are not as bad as Rose Tyler, but still better than her. Take that for what it’s worth. But what you just said was terrible. Here’s a man from Into the Dalek, who wanted to ask you out and is very interested in you, and really cares for you, for some reason (I really don’t know. This show really doesn’t give us a reason). Then you have Clara, who comes in all nice and sweet, and then insults Danny right in his face and to the waiter. WOW! This is simply Clara’s worst moment in Doctor Who. I cannot seem to find anything from here on forth to redeem her character out of what she just said. Now, Clara is finally put on the wall of shame of bad companions.
As for their relationship, I have no idea why they love each other. This show fails to reveal to us what made these two fall in love with each other. The Simpsons showed us how both Homer and Marge came together, and it was really good. Futurama, even though it took them several years for us to see both Leela and Fry come together, it showed us how they both came together. This show doesn’t care for any of that. You can say that it was revealed by explaining, but one of the most important rules of the camera is show, don’t tell. And their chemistry just doesn’t seem to be seen anywhere within this whole season. So, no. I don’t buy this relationship at all. I’m sure that I’m leaving some more details as to why I don’t like this relationship, but I’m sure that I will get into more of my issues with this some other time.
So, how does this date end? Danny and Clara both agreed that it was a sensitive subject to him, but then Danny said that people like Clara would make that kind of mistake. Now I don’t know who to side with here! Sure, I’m mad at Clara, but come on! Don’t be this rude to a woman Danny! You just ruined what could of saved your date night. And you want to know something else about this moment? We’re barely past the 5 minute mark! If you think that you’re now starting to understand why I hate this episode just from these first 5 minutes of this episode, you better hold on to your buns. I’m just getting started.
After watching some of the most insufferable date nights that I have ever sat through, Clara walks back into her apartment, just to see the Doctor parking his TARDIS inside. The Doctor says that he needs Clara to perform the fear factor theory that he proposed earlier in the episode, wondering if there is a boogey man in real life or not. By doing this, he uses Clara to put her fingers in a device called a TARDIS Telepathic Interface, that looks sort of like giant ice cube trays.
What it does is that it allows you to have mental contact with the TARDIS to travel anywhere from your history, from your birth to your death. I don’t know why the Doctor can’t just do this by himself. This is a pretty unique concept, but have some issues on how it works. Trust me, I will get to them as I continue.
The Doctor tells Clara not be distracted when she uses the contraption, but her phone rings, making her think about Danny. The TARDIS lands outside of a children’s home in Glasgow in the mid-90’s, you know, the time that gave us lovable gem:
My surprise is that movie was made by the same director of both Robocop and Starship Troopers. What a strange world we live in. Wait a sec, this episode was written by the same guy who made Blink and The Girl in the Fireplace. How ironic that both people made such insultingly bad things in life. But I digress.
Clara tells the Doctor that she has never been to Glasgow in her life, nor has she ever been inside of a children’s home before. Clara asks what if they got distracted during the process, and the Doctor says that they could of accidentally have traveled into a different time period. He said this, even though he knew that Clara was distracted. Why doesn’t the Doctor check to see if they’re in the wrong year and location is anyone’s guess. His TARDIS does have information on her life, as well as those times when he was examining her life and her parent’s life in The Rings of Ahkaten, which was far superior than this. Bottom line, the Doctor should know that she never lived in a children’s home in Glasgow!
Clara sees a kid from the top floor of the house who reminds her of Danny, and he tells her that his name is Rupert Pink, and he thinks that Rupert is a stupid name. Kid, your name is fine. There’s already a small handful of boys who are named Adolf Hitler on this planet. The Doctor investigates inside of the home, and finds the guy who watches the place at night. The Doctor then asks if the man has ever seen anything move on it’s own, and then hears the tv from the other room turn off, and sees his coffee mug disappear. Again, I want you to try to remember this scene. Believe me, this will be important later on.
If any of you have watched this episode before (and I’m sorry if you have, but if you enjoyed this episode, then I envy you), you may have notice that Murray Gould composed the score to this episode like it’s the scariest episode ever made. There’s nothing wrong with the songs themselves. They sound creepy, and they sometimes used in the right, appropriate scenes. I think I would play this again on my own during Halloween. But the rest of the time, they’re used in moments were nothing scary is happening. For example, when Clara uses the telepathic interface, there is creepy music going on, but nothing scary is happening. You know what that’s like? Try to imagine those scenes from Forrest Gump where Forrest is only talking on the bus stop, while listening to the score from A Nightmare On Elm Street. It wouldn’t work. Okay, maybe it would, since the first three people he talks to were a black woman and a mother with her child, offering some chocolate.
Anyways, Clara goes into Rupert’s room (clearly nothing wrong with an adult just walking into a child’s room in the middle of the night), and asks why he doesn’t want to sleep on his bed. Maybe it’s because the last thing he saw was this:
Seriously, I, as well as you, should be watching A Nightmare on Elm Street over this. Just avoid the remake.
So, Rupert thinks that there are something underneath his bed, and Clara wonders if he thinks that something grabbed him on his foot. Clara tries to comfort him that it was a dream, and dreams aren’t real, meaning that the monster is not real. And then Clara asks her to go under the bed with him……
And come to think that she would be dating him in the future. So, during this horrifying moment with Clara and Rupert, we get a scene that tries to be horrifying. Something sits on the bed! Clara gets out from under the bed and sees the monster underneath the blanket.
Clara thinks that its one of the kids playing a prank, and then it starts to stand up.
The Doctor happens to be in the room, sitting on a chair, looking for Waldo (for you British people out there, yes. I am calling him Waldo), and sees the monster on the bed. The Doctor talks to Rupert that its okay to be afraid, and then does the one thing that ruined this monster for me. Really, this is the one thing that caved in on everything that could have made this monster worth being terrified of. The Doctor tells both Clara and Rupert to turn around, and don’t look at it. And you know what? It disappears! Okay, let me get this straight. Steven Moffat. The man who is well known for terror. The one who can and successfully write horrifying monsters. The one who can come up with great defense mechanisms against the monsters that he creates. Weeping angels: don’t blink. Great! The Silence: Don’t forget. Still Great. The Teller that will come out an episode later: Don’t think. Again, great! Now, this monster, whatever the hell it is: don’t look at it. Not gonna lie, that’s very weak. Are you to tell me that this monster that Steven Moffat is trying to push, that makes us wonder if there is a being with perfect hiding, that is suppose to be terrifying, and it goes away from just not looking at it?! That’s just stupid! Why?! WHY?!
This is the most non-scary thing you can ever do to any monster. This is like if the only way to get rid of Leatherface was to not look at him, just so he can just walk away. I can’t believe that so many people consider this episode to be scary. There is nothing about this episode that was scary. Well, seeing Clara under the bed with a child was kind of scary, but it wasn’t because of the monster sitting on the bed. And, Doctor, didn’t you want to see this monster for yourself? And don’t tell me that he made it go away because he didn’t want the kid to be in any danger. He wanted to take young Amy Pond with him to defeat prisoner zero. Not only that, but how does the Doctor know not to look at it, and then it will go away? This is his first time trying to get rid of it. Holy mother of all the things that are good on this blue and green planet. This is SOOO STUPID!!!!! Oh, and another thing, do I think that there was something under the blanket? I’ll get to that later, along with everything else that I am holding back until the end.
So, after getting rid of the biggest letdowns in Doctor Who history, Clara helps Rupert to get him not to be afraid by placing soldiers in front of his bed, as if they’re watching for the monster not to come out and grab him. Clara says that the soldier without a gun is the leader, because he’s so brave that he doesn’t need a gun. Yeah, but he’s no Chuck Norris, who doesn’t need anyone or anything to help him. Rupert names this soldier Danny! Yeah, that will come into play later on. And then Danny falls asleep in the only good part in this episode. Clara wanted to tell Danny a bedtime story, but the Doctor knocks him to sleep with his psychic ability, and says “Once upon a time-the end.” Still gives me a smile on my face. Back inside the TARDIS, the Doctor tells Clara that Danny won’t remember a thing about that night, thanks to his psychic ability.
Clara decides to take on round two of one of the most awkward date nights ever televised. It starts off good, until Clara calls him Rupert by accident, hearing something shatter in the background. No, I’m not kidding about that for one second. Danny is mad at her for calling him that, because he still thinks that Rupert is the most evil name in the universe. It’s been around 20 years, and he still has an issue with that name? Why? Would you rather have these names instead?
And during this stupid quarrel, there’s a guy walking inside of a space suit in the background.
At first, I had no idea what was going on. The tone in this scene just looked out of order for me. Is this suppose to be funny? I’m more enraged and confused! That was until that after the world’s crappiest date ends, Clara follows the man in the space suit to the TARDIS in the middle of the kitchen (nice parking there, idiot), Clara gets mad at who she confuses herself to thinking that he was the Doctor. I say confuses, only because he wasn’t the Doctor. He’s Orson Pink from the future.
Why on earth would you make a scenario with a character who isn’t comedic in any way, and make it look awkward and funny looking? And you know what? The Doctor calls this a bit strange.
You know what? We’re on to the third act of this episode. I’m just glad this episode is almost done at this point.
The Doctor says that Orson Pink is from a hundred years from Clara’s future, wondering if she has some connection with him. The way how the Doctor found him was that when Clara thought of him in the telepathic interface, she left a trace of Danny Pink. Why is it just this particular person from the Pink family tree is beyond me. The TARDIS found Orson Pink on what the Doctor describes to be the last planet in the end of the universe, being the end of time I believe. No, wait. If this was in the end of time, then this episode should be taken place in Utopia. No, there’s a sun out there. From what I also remember, there were carnivorous humanoids with razor sharp teeth and tattoos. And for some reason, the Doctor said that the TARDIS isn’t suppose to take them this far. ………..but it did. ………….in Utopia. ……and that episode was far better than this. So, where is this suppose to take place? I have no idea. And for someone who traveled deep within the end of the universe, one can wonder how he even made that base on his own. Or wait, was that base already there? Did he get help? Well, this episode was written like he was the only one who got here from time traveling (which that within itself makes this plot hole even bigger, by the way), so I just have to assume that Orson made this whole place all by himself, without any humanly possible way of him getting any resources or materials. Within 6 months. Yeah, I almost forgot to mention that OTHER DETAIL, which makes this plot hole bigger than ever.
The Doctor questions why the airlock to this base is locked if everything outside is dead, and Orson says that there is something out there. Okay, remember when I said for you to remember all of the scenes that I told you to remember, like the beginning monologue, the monster, whether or not if it was real? Now I can vent all of my anger that I’ve been holding back. One, I don’t know what any of you think about this, but I do believe that Orson Pink is suppose to be Danny Pink’s future relative. I say that because I know some of you are thinking “well, Orson Pink can’t be related to Danny, because Danny is dead. I mean, how is that possible if Clara wasn’t pregnant with him?” Well, this episode really tries to make that clear, because he said that he came from a family of time travelers, and he happens to have the same toy soldier that Danny had as the leader of his army as a child.
Orson calls this toy soldier as an heir loom. So add all of this up and you see that Clara was meant to bear his child. And no, it was already establish that you can’t mess anything up with time, thanks to the time reapers from Father’s Day.
That, and just because Clara had a post it that said that she might pregnant in Dark Water, doesn’t mean it confirms anything. Not even in The Magician’s Apprentice does it show her in any way being pregnant or even having a baby.
The other thing that I have to raise my fist on is that there are sounds coming from the outside. Wasn’t one of the things that the Doctor question is why is there no such thing as perfect hiding? I know that he never confirmed that, but it seems that this show tried to create a monster like that. And this monster sucks at it! It makes too much sound, and it hides underneath a blanket, puts weight on a bed, and uses chalk. Actually, that brings me to my other point. Remember when I said on whether or not if I believe that this monster is real? Well, after watching the chalk movie away and being used, after seeing the monster move, getting on the bed, getting off the bed, and taking the blanket away, and AFTER HEARING AND SEEING THE AIRLOCK OPENING IN THIS SCENE, AS WELL AS KNOCKING, I really demand a huge, honest question from you all: did YOU believe that there was nothing there in that bedroom? People have had debates on whether or not that this monster was real or not, whether if there was ever anything there. Why?! This episode was never written, directed, acted, or even performed to give you the choice to make up your own interpretation. This isn’t like Inception or The Fountain, where those movies were clever to make you think about that and leave it to your interpretation. This episode, to what I have seen, does not do anything like that for you. This shouldn’t even be a debate.
The Doctor demands Clara to get into the TARDIS, but he wants to stay in the base when the airlock opens. But when the airlock opens, the air takes it’s time to suck the Doctor out, leaving him hanging, even though the air would have been gone with the time he was out there. Yeah, it should have been too late for Orson to rescue him. Well, actually, there is an air bubble around the TARDIS, so I can let that slide. The three of them think that they are safe and sound, but then the monster tries to break into the TARDIS. Wait a moment, the monster was inside of the TARDIS in the beginning of this episode, so how is it having such a difficult time getting in? As a matter in fact, when and how did it get in and out of the TARDIS to begin with?! It’s like Moffat knew that there would be a Latino in East LA with long hair, who knew that he hated Asylum of the Daleks, probably have read his review, and came up with the perfect idea to make him more mad than he already was.
Clara tries to escape with the telepathic interface, but gets distracted by the Doctor, and lands inside of a barn. Just wait, there’s a reason for why they landed there. Clara sees a young boy who is crying in his bed in the barn. She thinks that he is either Rupert or Orson crying in his bed, until his parents or whoever they are, comes inside. I can’t specify, only because when they want him to come out of the barn, they say that he can sleep with the other boys, but they are never referred as his brothers or other family members. Clara hides under his bed, just to figure out that this kid, and I am not making this up, is the Doctor. No, really. The man says that if he keeps this up, crying on his bed in the barn, then he will never become a timelord. Oh, and those people never noticed that the TARDIS was in the barn. That thing is lit bright for crying out loud! How can you miss that?!
This brings me to my last and final thing that I wanted you to remember. Remember how I told you that I had issues with how this works? When the Doctor said that this works within the timeline from the person who uses the telepathic interface, why does it work on other people that you think of? The Doctor never said that this happens when you’re being distracted, which that’s what happened to Clara twice already. If the machine worked the way the Doctor instructed, then she wouldn’t be in Galifrey. And then Clara gives a speech. Oh, what joy! Another speech! Why on earth must New Who be cluttered with so many speeches?! When Old Who did the speeches, it was for only one incarnation of the Doctor at a time, with the exceptions from both the 3rd and 5th Doctors. Here, its like both Davies and Moffat think this is necessary. And this isn’t any other speech that is tossed into this episode. This is a speech, coming from Clara. About how the Doctor came to be. Is this really necessary? I didn’t need to see how the Doctor came to be. As a matter in fact, Old Who established a number of times on how he became the Doctor. I don’t need to see this, Moffat didn’t need to see this, and I took a dump in the last minute of this speech as the episode ended. Sure, that last part wasn’t professional at all, but this episode doesn’t deserve anything professional from me anyway.
Just to let you guys know, before I saw this episode, I wanted to like it. The idea of making another horror story in Doctor Who was a great idea. It even looked like from the trailers that it was going to be promising. But right when I s Steven Moffat’s name on the title of this episode, I was then saying “you better not mess this up.” He did. This episode had the biggest amount of potential to be great. It had potential to have me love it! And from reading all of this, you can now understand why I hated this episode so much. It’s not scary, the tone at times can be confusing, and time traveling from one part of time from another, showing that everyone is somehow connected, using Clara as the reason for why everyone was the way they were was cheap and lazy. The writing in all of these characters was terrible and confusing as well. I couldn’t like Danny, I couldn’t like Clara, I couldn’t like Rupert, I didn’t care too much for Orson, and even though the Doctor in this episode wasn’t the worst, he did raise too many questions on his motives that he sometimes made me mad. Overall, I can picture that this episode is somehow going to be linked with a future episode. There’s going to be a reason for everything that happened in what w all just saw. He did it before with Matt Smith, so I do believe that he’s going to do the same thing with Peter Capaldi. You know what else that bothers me so much about this episode? The huge amount of praise it gets. Don’t believe me? Here are some of them!
The episode showcased Moffat’s strengths as a writer, which shine brightest when he’s working within set limits, like the single hour timeframe of a normal episode. – TV.com
this episode is sure to rock the fan base. – Entertainment Weekly
“Listen” is the best DoctorWho episode in years. – The A.V. Club
“Listen” is a truly wonderful episode that only makes sense once the whole thing is completed, like the best of Moffat. – The Nerdist
I still cry every time I see these kind of praise. Well, if you still like this episode, even though I can’t understand why, then go ahead and watch it. I’m not stopping you, nor do I care to. Believe me, I use to do that, and I never get anywhere by doing so. I just can’t like this episode. I do wish that Steven Moffat will someday make another good episode again that I can like and approve. I don’t know when that will be, but as long as he continues to never leave the show, he still has enough time. Only time will tell. For the next Doctor Who episode to review, I’ll find an episode that wasn’t from Steven Moffat, just to change it up a bit.
In loving memory of Wes Craven
Youtube clips in order from:
Seventh Doctor Titles – Doctor Who – BBC – Doctor Who
Johnny Depp horror scene from a nightmare on elm street – shreakh sabten
TFS Quotables I need an adult – OneVidReplies
AVGN WHY.wmv – Tazmo607
Moes Tavern Prank Call Compilation – Heber Martinez
TFS Frieza: OH MY GOD! – RTom1994
All images belong to their respectful owners.