The Doctor is sitting on the TARDIS, he tells you to listen. But he isn’t, he is talking to himself. This is The Doctor tackling one of the biggest fears you will face in life. What is under your bed at night? Almost a ghost story, we explore the idea that we are never truly alone, no matter where we are or how isolated we can make ourselves. Surely, is that more terrifying than an alien, robot or other being that would normally scare the pants off you? Yes. Nothing is scarier than what you can’t see. The Doctor becomes obsessed that everyone has the same nightmare. Everyone dreams they wake up in the night, they step off the bed and in that moment of peace a hand grabs them from under the bed. Why does The Doctor become obsessed with this? Because he needs something to do, he has no alien to fight and no world to save, so this kills a few hours for him. He plans to use Clara to help him answer this question, but it doesn’t go exactly to plan.
Mentions of meeting yourself, influencing someone throughout their life and future great-grandchildren come into effect. We have seen this before, but this one really doe’s a job of blending them all. The Doctor plans on taking Clara to her childhood to see if he can catch what it is under her bed. We also get to learn more about her love interest Danny Pink and we see what happens when Clara and Danny finally go for “that drink”. We see how Danny became “Dan The Soldier Man” and we are taken to places that have not been seen before. ‘Listen’ is a mature story which resonates further than anything Steven Moffat has written before, and also contains some great jokes which involve The Doctor looking for Wally in a book that isn’t ‘Where’s Wally?’, Danny’s head hitting a table again and The Doctor asking Clara why she has three mirrors in her bedroom instead of just moving her head round. Clara and Danny’s interactions in the restaurant at their date is very natural and warm and the conflicts of Danny and Clara when they have a clash is almost torturous and you hope that they will get along in the end (it’s not exactly a big spoiler, but they do work things out at the episodes end).
Well, this is a Doctor Who episode which is probably more emotional and in depth than anything this series has offered so far. Sure, many fans may have been a bit uncertain of this series, but this episode proves that you don’t need to be big to be clever. This is probably one of the best written stories I have ever watched and gives a chance to expand on our knowledge of The Doctor and his companions, including Samuel Anderson as his alter ego Danny Pink providing a good hearted and troubled character. Jenna Coleman puts in probably one of the best performances of her career as Clara and Peter Capaldi has won me over 100% as the Time Lord who can still deceive, manipulate and show he is not above stealing (even if it is just a cup of coffee). An episode filled with many noises, a few jumps and the idea that there is something or nothing at all times. We also get to see the reason why The Doctor wants to know, or maybe it is that he needs to know what is haunting so many people. Including maybe himself? Whether it’s in the bedroom of a child at a children’s home or in a time machine at the end of the world, the fear is everywhere! Indeed, the best episode by far for a long time.
This week we have been taken to some very personal places, who fancies going to a bank next week?
Final Rating: 10/10.
Written By Jonjo Cosgrove