Doctor Who Series 8 Review “Listen”

Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 4 Listen (2)

I’m of two minds about this week’s episode of Doctor Who. On the one hand, it was a classic Stephen Moffat episode, the writer taking a simple concept – the fear of something under the bed – and exploring it from a science fiction angle. On the other hand, it’s a your standard Stephen Moffat as showrunner episode, filled with too much continuity connections to let “Listen” stand on its own as a great episode of the revival.

So at the start, this felt like Moffat’s attempt to follow up his fan favorite episode “Blink,” creating a new, horrific creature and spending an hour exploring them. And really, it’s a cool concept, the idea of the perfect hidden threat existing throughout all of time. It made for a lot of tense, spooky scenes, especially the scene in young Danny’s bedroom with the mysterious figure under the sheets. And, despite the Doctor’s dismissal of such a threat at the end of the episode, it’s still possible there really was something creepy there.

Ultimately, though, this episode wasn’t really about the enemy, which was a bit of a bummer. Instead of creating a great one-off adventure, the kind that could be another perfect entry point for new fans as “Blink” is, we got an episode mired in the show’s current continuity. I suppose that’s to be expected from Moffat these days, but the early promise of the episode had me hoping for something a bit more independent.

Which isn’t to say this was a bad episode, just less interesting than I had hoped for. As it is, I’m still enjoying the awkward charm of Danny Pink, and I like the slow – for this show, anyway – way that his relationship with Clara is developing. Honestly, I look forward to seeing him take his first official trip in the TARDIS sometime in the future. Less successful was the callback to the War Doctor and the Doctor’s past, as seeing the character’s childhood home didn’t really add anything, nor did the reveal of why the War Doctor chose to that farm as his base of operation in the anniversary special.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!