Whovians Enter Here...

Whovians Enter Here...

15 September 2014

Listen Series 8 - Episode Four

Listen: Series 8 -Episode Four
Written by Steven Moffat


(Doctor talking out loud to self, whilst writing notes on a chalkboard)

"Question - Why do we talk out loud when we know we're not alone?"
Conjecture -  Because we know we're not.
Question - Why is there no such thing as perfect hiding.
Answer - How would you know? Logically, if evolution were to perfect a creature whose primary skill were to hide from view, how could you know it existed? It could be with us every second and we would never know. How would you detect it? Even sense it? Except for those moments when for no clear reason, you choose to speak aloud. What would such a creature want? What would it do? Well? What would you do?!"

(Answer appears on chalkboard) "Listen"

Listen deals with the emotion of fear. And what is more fearful than that which lurks beneath your bed at night?


After a disastrous first date with soldier now turned teacher, Danny Pink, (who seems to be a bit fond of bashing his head against hard surfaces) the Doctor asks Clara for a favour. He asks her if she has ever had a dream in which there is someone else in the room and that when you sit up, you are then grabbed by the ankle. Apparently it's a universal dream which everyone including the Doctor has experienced. Er, I haven't.

In order to prove that this is true, the Doctor uses Clara's time-line to go back to the moment of experiencing the 'thing under the bed'. But being connected to the TARDIS, Clara becomes distracted by thoughts of Danny and they end up in front of a children's home somewhere in the 90s, where they encounter Danny, formerly Rupert Pink as a young child.

The Doctor and a young Danny
Whilst the Timelord questions the caretaker of the home about the spooky going ons of the house, Clara finds Rupert/Danny sitting on the floor of his bedroom, afraid of what might be under the bed. Of course Clara proves to him that there is nothing there at all. But what is that lurking on top of the bed?

There may not be monsters lurking under the bed, but what about on top of the bed?
There's a lot going on in this episode. With it's dark and scary overtones, it's a story that is very much reminiscent of Blink. We meet Orson Pink 100 years into the future, a time traveller who has been stranded on the last planet in the universe. But has he been truly alone all this time? And from the story that progresses, it seems likely that Orson is a distant relative of Clara and Danny, suggesting that at some point in the future, the two of them get together. We also discover that the Doctor is scared of that dark and learn that Clara was the hand that grab the child Timelord, which made him scared of the dark in the first place...or does she?

Clara scaring the bejeezus out of the possible Doctor
The scene is which Clara is seen to be consoling the young Doctor is a fascinating one. Not least because it involves the barn where the War Doctor (John Hurt) ended up in the 50th Anniversary Special The Day Of The Doctor, as he contemplated wiping out ending the Time War by effectively blowing up his birthplace of Gallifrey.
Also in the same scene, as the young boy cries, we hear to adults discussing why he cannot sleep with the other boys instead choosing to sleep in the barn, with the male arguing that he would never be a Timelord. As Whovians know, every Timelord is a Gallifreyan but not every Gallifreyan is a Timelord.

The War Doctor

The flaw in this plot-line however, is that Gallifrey is in a time-lock and so cannot be traversed through time and space travel. So were they really on Gallifrey and was that really the young Doctor?

Overall, I thought it was a good but not great episode, with the most interesting bits being the end scenes.


  1. For me, it was one of those episodes where I came away not really knowing what to think. It did have elements of Blink, but was nowhere near as captivating. Did I find it scary? No though I think I may have to watch it a few more times to fully appreciate it.

    1. And complain about Capaldi all the way through again, i think not. I remember though that it took you until the 2nd series to get use to Matt Smith. maybe the fact that you're still unsure about Capaldi is stopping you from enjoying the new series.

  2. I really will have to watch some Dr Who again at some point. I can't say I have ever had a dream where folk grab my ankles. I have had my shoelaces grabbed by the cat while sat on the bed but I guess that does not count.

    1. Rob i think you might enjoy this series. It's quite dark and broody and Capaldi's doctor is a bit like Hartnell and Troughton in his grumpiness.

      I was bitten on the ankle by a gnat once. Not sure if that counts either.

  3. Hello.
    I am only just starting to catch up on your posts having now watched all the episodes so far (just watched the caretaker episode).

    I will write more later - but for now I just wanted to say how impressed I am at these reviews.
    They really are far superior to other reviews.
    It never occured to me until now about Gallifrey being time locked so just HOW did Clara get into that barn?
    very odd.... unless - When Matt Smiths doctor regenerated in his last episode didn't he get new lives from the timelords through a crack in the sky?
    Would that mean that Gallifrey is now no longer "off-limits"?
    I don't know.... I shall read on to see if you have the answers.