Gamersledge Doctor Who Mid-Week Review: Mummy on the Orient Express
Welcome time traveling adventurers! This week we are treated to a space-faring take on The Orient Express, and what is an Orient Express without murder? So there is a big surprise right off the bat on this episode that I am debating on spilling it. If you haven’t seen the episode you will be impressed and/or annoyed once you see it, and it is pretty core to the episode. So I am going to try and get through without spilling the beans. It will be the first thing I hit in the spoilers section, though, and I would be interested to see what you all think of this particular part of the show.
So to start off, this is hands down the best episode of the season thus far. While one could argue the story isn’t entirely original, it is well written, well built and feels like a nice cohesive story as opposed to many of the previous efforts. There are even two stories going on as with previous episodes, but in this episode it is brilliantly and naturally incorporated. I enjoyed the story from start to finish, and the characters feel right.
The sets, ambiance and visuals for this episode were spot on. The set for The Orient Express interior is amazing. The graphics for the train traveling through space isn’t the best on TV today, but it looked nice. The effects on the mummy were wonderfully executed. The practical effects are some of the best on Doctor Who ever. There is a very well used blur effect that evokes something like The Ring or something of that thread. There is a landscape scene that is amazing and works so well with what is going on. Also I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the costumes. Capaldi’s look is perfect. All of the costumes, which are all period, were amazing and fit perfectly. I have zero complaints on the visuals and overall cinematography on on this episode, though overall this hasn’t really been an issue.
Acting and pacing were spot on. It FINALLY feels like Capaldi was allowed to take The Doctor and really make the character his own. The guest stars similarly were all wonderfully cast and executed. I really need to do some investigation and find out if there was a different editor or director or what changed, because THIS is what a Doctor Who episode should be like. There were several self references including Jelly Babies and the phrase “Are you my mummy?” in this episode. We also finally get to see that there truly IS a method to this Doctor’s madness. I’ve always felt there was, but it has only really been seen in Time Heist and this episode.
All in all I really like this episode. If this is the bar or the rest of the season I will be thrilled. I give this episode 9 mystery mummies out of 10! Now ON TO THE SPOILERS!!!!
Clara….All the ads excluded her, and after the end of the previous episode I completely fell for the trick that she wouldn’t be in the episode. I was trying to figure out if we should know who this lady was, and I finally realized it WAS Clara. So in for the last hurrah!
Clara “lying” to Danny…that is obviously going to bite us in the rear later, and it is heavily implied that The Doctor knows exactly what the conversation was, but still accepted what she said regardless. I think there is even a bit of ego stroking that he was able to win over Danny even if he wasn’t the young dashing Doctor.
We finally see why Clara has been hanging out with The Doctor as long as she has. Her motivations have been unclear since she fulfilled her initial destiny, but we find out she is really as much an adventure junky as any given companion.
The solution of the mummy fits in wonderfully with the whole soldier thing that has been going on this season.
That scene on the beach between Clara and The Doctor was awesome, and REALLY needed to happen. Clara FINALLY realizes while the methods are different, this really is the same Doctor. Now Maybe we can get somewhere.
No Missy or NeatherSphere this episode.