From the moment we got the preview for Listen, we knew it was gonna be a special episode. After all, we all love paranoid timey-wimey Doctor Who episodes. And Steven Moffat is the best at that. Yes, he might not be the best at handling entire seasons, but he’s good with telling captivating episodes that leave you thinking who am I and what the hell am I doing here.
What was probably not that expected is thatListen divided the fandom in two: those who loved it, and those who hated it. Generally, those who hated it fall in the category of fans who dislike everything that Moffat does and everything that happened in the show since he took over. And those who liked it were just simply happy to have a creepy episode after an episode like Robots of Sherwood. What’s for sure is that Listen got people talking, maybe even more than Deep Breath did. Both Twitter and Tumblr were a battlefield full of rant, wank, praise and speculation. Here we’ve made a recap of both sides.
Why it was “the best episode in a long time”
– It made us think You know an episode is going to be good when it starts with the Doctor asking some philosophical and existential questions. Doctor Who fans love mystery and questions that f*ck up with our minds. Therefore, this was an episode that had the potential to be very well-received by Whovians from the start.
– Clara calmed us down Let’s be honest. We were all really scared at the end to the point that we thought we wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. I don’t know about you, but Clara’s speech in the end made me feel better. Clara is proving to be an amazing and intelligent companion who’s capable of managing very difficult situations, even when the Doctor doesn’t know what to do. She’s also always shown as being very good with children.
– Danny Pink is someone special We were very wrong to assume that Danny would just be a love interest for Clara or someone who would only appear in 1 or 2 episodes. After last night’s episode, it’s been made clear that he’s gonna be much more than that. It was great to explore his past, his name, the reasons why he joined the army (which are still a bit unclear) and his future as a time traveller along with his descendants. Can’t wait to learn more about him and his relationship with Clara.
– It had lots of time travelling After all, this is what the show is about. We travelled to Danny’s past, the Doctor’s past, Clara’s date and we even stopped at the end of the Universe. Seemed like a very fulfilling journey in the TARDIS for only 40 minutes!
– It had some great quotes
“Fear is a superpower”, “You’re always gonna be afraid, even if you learn to hide it”, “The deep and lovely dark, you would never see the starts without it”… expect to see t-shirts with those quotes in the following days.
Why “Moffat needs to go”
– It messed with the Doctor’s timeline The Doctor’s timeline, Gallifrey and the Time Lords are always very sensitive subjects that have to be treated with lots of care. Especially when you’re talking about the life of a time-traveller who’s been on TV for 50 years. One does not simply mess with the Doctor’s timeline! Steven Moffat is known in the fandom for having messed with it many times before to the point that even the thought of him including the Doctor’s timeline in an episode makes fans cringe.
– It didn’t reveal everything in the end The episode left lots of unanswered questions. We didn’t know who was the “monster” on the bed or who wrote “Listen” on the Doctor’s board. Sure, there are lots of speculation which is always good in a philosophical sci-fi show. And the episode invited us to give our own answers which is something we always appreciate. However, it also seemed like Moffat pulled all these questions out of nowhere and then decided he couldn’t answer them so he just decided to play all mysterious. The result is that the episode and its premise came out as pretentious.
– There was no monster With the whole “figure it out yourself” and “fear is the only thing we have to be afraid of” speech, we didn’t get any new monsters. Which is kind of disappointing for lots of fans who were hoping to get a new monster similar to the weeping angels or the silence. We’ll have to keep waiting for that one.
– Clara seems to be wiser than the Doctor Wether if it’s either because of Clara saving the Doctor or her bossing-him around, lots of fans have jokingly re-named the show “Clara Who”. It’s happening quite frequently that Clara doesn’t only treat the Doctor like she’s his superior (something that didn’t happen at all with Rose or Martha), but she’s also being wiser than him to the point of making him feel better when he was afraid at the end of the episode. The Doctor’s philosophical questions were answered by Clara, which is something that lots of fans think cheapens the Doctor’s character. It’s gotten to the point where Clara is maybe too important for the Doctor’s story. Not every companion has to be the most important and special girl in the universe!
– Where’s the plot? Since Deep Breath aired, there were lots of criticism towards the premiere, the beginning of the season and Moffat’s ability to handle an entire season of Doctor Who. This is nothing new, it’s something that happens with pretty much every season since Russel T. Davies left. However, it’s been even more noteworthy in Series 8. What’s this season about? Who’s the big bad? Where’s the big danger for the Universe? Or is everything gonna revolve around Clara and Danny? Fans would like to start seeing where the season is heading, especially since we’re already in Episode 4 and, apart from seeing the evolution of the Doctor, Clara, and their relationship, we haven’t seen much more of what’s going on in the universe. Yes, we knew this was gonna be a very personal season. But where’s that excitement that a sci-fi show as big as this should have?
Only time will tell where this season is going and where in the history of Doctor Who ‘Listen‘ is gonna fall into. Next episode is called “Time Heist” and will air on Saturday 20st on BBC1. We’ll have to wait and see.