More Series 8 Blathering: Episodes Part One

While there is a lot to say about all the episodes, I suspect it’s already been said by other people.  I do want to point out what caught my attention.  Mostly, this is just going to be a quick tour of the high points.  And, inevitably, the low points.

I already talked at length about “Deep Breath.”  There is one additional note; I was complaining about the silliness of the whole “spontaneous combustion” thing as a method of body disposal.  My friend’s husband said that it was a common belief in the Victorian era.  It’s not something I’ve come across in my reading, but my research has been more of the “look for the answer to this particular question” so it might not have been something I’d come across

With all of the interesting stuff that went on in most of “Into the Dalek,” the scenes at the Coal Hill School were remarkably un-subtle.  Getting Danny Pink on stage, and introducing him to Clara, seemed like a rush job.

There’s a lot to chew on in this episode.  We’ve never been told exactly what Clara remembers from her “echoes,” and watching it, I had to wonder if she remembered being a mad, broken, “good” Dalek.  If she remembered sacrificing herself for the Doctor.

Does the Doctor know what she does or doesn’t remember?

In this one, the Doctor reminded me a lot of the Seventh Doctor.  (My Doctor.)  Manipulating people, talking them into sacrificing themselves for him.   He can be cold, he can be calculating, he can make the hard decisions in ways that his previous two incarnations couldn’t.

In retrospect, I wonder if Missy’s actions here were her trying to get the measure of this new Doctor.  To see what makes him tick.

After the intensity of “Into the Dalek,” “The Robots of Sherwood” was an entertaining bit of fluff.  Costumes, fencing with spoons, robots, an utterly daft plot, Clara taking charge, another mention of the Promised Land.  In retrospect, I wonder if having a villain bear a superficial resemblance to Ainley!Master was a deliberate choice.  The ship reminded me a little of the Jageroth ship.

“Listen” begins the whole “Clara is a lying liar” arc, among other things.  It’s also raises a bunch of questions that I have no actual confidence in Moffat giving a satisfactory answer to.  Though he has upped his showrunning game this series, so I suppose it is possible he won’t resort to an asspull the way he did with the Crack.

Or maybe we’re just not supposed to ask how, if Gallifrey is still in the Time Lock, how they can get there.

We might still get an answer on how the Pink genes get passed on, though.

Really, what I liked best about this episode was that it was Steven Moffat deconstructing himself.  Ordinary things turned scary is one of his trademarks, and in this episode, where the scariest things are the contents of our own heads, was a neat twist.

“Time Heist” was slick and stylish, with a neat twist and a feel-good ending, and it’s one of those stories that you shouldn’t actually examine too closely, lest you see the papered-over plot holes.

So far, the series had been a series of individual adventures.  But going forward, it would start to develop its theme and momentum…