Gamersledge Doctor Who Mid-Week Review: Flatline
Flatline continues the downhill side of the season. We still don’t have much information on the arc, but at least we have left the early episode totally wonky scripts behind. Assuming we can keep this level of script and story up we will at least be able to finish the season stronger. This episode did not have Moffett on the byline, so that was initially a good indication, and all things considered this is a solid episode.
We start out with the Doctor returning Clara to Earth with “ish” readings, which are caused by the fact that the external dimensions of the TARDIS have been drastically shrunk, and not because the chameleon circuit has suddenly started working. After a fairly legit comical scene, the Doctor ends up trapped in the TARDIS and Clara is outside. Gifted the sonic screwdriver and psychic paper, Clara puts the TARDIS in her bag and is off to find out why this is happening. Not surprisingly we learn early on that there have been several cases of people disappearing, and quickly Clara forms the standard group of followers and takes on trying to be the Doctor. What is causing all the issues, and can Clara find a way o save the day and the Doctor? Assuming you know how these serials work, you probably know most of those answers, but that is why the show is made by the Journey not the destination.
The story here is pretty good for an Earth based story. I can only assume the plethora of Earth based stories are because of either budget or to ensure Danny’s participation. But here we only get Danny via phone anyway so I dunno. Anyway the story is actually mostly a straightforward monster mystery with only a hint of the relationship sub-stories. The scripting here is again pretty solid. The characters are again consistent and the flow of the story makes sense. The fact that I even have to call that out as a plus is pretty sad, but this season…. Anyway, the only thing that I am a little unsure about is the very end. I think in the end it makes sense, but they leave it very obtuse.
Visually it is spot on. Being an Earth based episode, the environments aren’t too hard, but the effects for this monster looked impressive to me. This is about the only are that this season has consistently nailed. This are not visuals of the previous episode, but they work. The mini TARDIS looks a bit off, but the effects for the interaction within it were pretty nicely done.
Acting here again is nicely done. With the more levelly written scripts comes better performances. The guests were ok. There weren’t any standouts, but they weren’t given much to do. They basically filled the standard roles of a Doctor Who party. It is notable that NO ONE wants to travel with the Doctor this season though. There does seem to be a bit of a theme that there isn’t a sense of adventure anymore. Everyone just wan’t their normal life, nothing extraordinary at the macro level. This does tend to make the supporting cast a little flat.
Overall it is a solid episode. It kept me engaged and happy though the whole thing. I give it a 8.5 dimensions of 10. On to THE SPOILERS!