Hmm. I have to cop to really not liking this episode. Mostly because I don’t like Danny Pink, and his “relationship” with Clara has been written in such a hamfisted manner, I don’t know whether to laugh or laugh harder. The plot of the episode was an alien called Skovox Blitzer at Coal Hill and the Doctor having to go undercover as the caretaker of the school (the janitor for US fans) in order to catch him/her/it. On its face, that sounds relatively exciting enough, but all of that seemed to be background for the Clara and Danny Show, where we see her awkwardly try to balance traveling with the Doctor and maintaining a relationship with the aforementioned Mr. Pink. We already know, as it’s been set up in more than a few episodes, that the Doctor doesn’t like the military or soldiers very much, and the fact that Danny Pink is former military means telegraphed drama. Once they meet, it’s basically the Doctor insulting Danny, insisting he couldn’t possibly be a maths (British English) teacher, but rather a PE teacher, because apparently soldiers are stupid. Then we have Danny needling and goading the Doctor, trying to get a rise out of him, all in the hopes of showing Clara how dangerous and unpredictable he is, and that traveling with him isn’t a good idea. At one point I forgot what the damn plot was all about. Obviously Clara cares for them both, but in different ways, and she’s trying to juggle making them both happy, while failing miserably all around. The creepy, faux-threatening, quasi-ultimatum from Danny at the end didn’t sit well with me, but it just got lumped into the pile of other things I found odd or disjointed about it.
This was the first Doctor Who episode I’ve seen since Series 6 that just made me bored. I’m hoping next week’s episode, Kill The Moon, is demonstrably better. To show that I didn’t find the whole thing to be a pile of tosh however, here is my favorite scene:
The look on his face at the end there is brilliant. We already know Clara had feelings for the Eleventh Doctor, a handsome chap with a bow tie, and found his regeneration into Twelve hard to stomach because he no longer looked the way he used to (amongst many other differences). I thought it was rather amusing to see her say no, that’s not her type….when it very much was her type not that long ago.