Friday, October 30, 2015

Doctor Who: Season 9 So Far - Episodes 4, 5, and 6

Thoughts on Before the Flood, The Girl Who Died, and The Woman Who Lived

Episode 4: Before the Flood

"So...who really wrote Beethoven's fifth?"

Framing - I loved the start of this episode! Having the Doctor address the camera is a bold move, but of course Peter Capaldi can pull it off, so why not? He then proceeds to describe a bootstrap paradox - "Google it," which I did, as many other Whovians did, I'm sure - using the creation of Beethoven's fifth as an example. The electric guitar making a return appearance, the Doctor then plays us out to a rock version of that musical piece as the opening credits roll. In a word, fantastic! 
(Can we keep this theme music? It matches this Doctor much better than the electronic trills!)

The story - Not as riveting as Under the Lake, but it's interesting seeing the Doctor dealing with the paradox of going back in his own timeline (which you should never, ever do, by the way, unless it's inconvenient, or you forget) and O'Donnell and Bennett becoming temporary companions. The ghost Doctor naming victims also adds some great suspense.

The Fisher King - To tell you the truth, I was expecting a little more from the Fisher King. I know he was supposed to be scary, but mainly I just ended up feeling sorry for the actor who was stuck inside that awkward, easily-overbalanced costume.

A couple times I was genuinely worried he was going to topple over.
The ending - It was really cool how they brought it all back to the bootstrap paradox, with the Doctor being inside the stasis chamber all along, etc. However, it also made the ending feel kind of rushed. It was like the writer realized he only had ten minutes left in the episode, so he just wrapped it all up, not bothering to show us how the ending was actually achieved. So, clever in illustrating the paradox, but also maybe a little lazy? In any case, I don't think this episode was as good as Under the Lake, but it still had its moments. Such as:


-O'Donnell: "It's bigger on the inside! It's bigger on the inside!" Oh, O'Donnell, why did you have to die? 
-The effect where Cass "hears" by putting her hand on the floor and feeling the vibrations from the ax being dragged by the ghost. The tension in that scene was awesome!
-Clara: "Doctor, if you love me in any way, you'll come back." BAM, right to the feels.
-Even though O'Donnell and Bennett didn't get a chance for their relationship, I'm glad Cass and Lunn got their happy ending!

Episode 5: The Girl Who Died

I'll admit it, I've watched this episode four times now. I love, love, love it. Never thought I'd say that about a story with Vikings!

Here we have a collaboration between Steven Moffat and Jamie Mathieson, the writer of Mummy on the Orient Express and Flatline, both fantastic episodes last year. After another winner with The Girl Who Died, I have to say, Jamie Mathieson would be my vote for next show runner! 

The Good:
Oh, my goodness, where to start? There's so much to love!
-RIP, sonic glasses - was I the only one who cheered when the sonic glasses were snapped? Not that I hate them, I'm just ready for the screwdriver to be back! Maybe Twelve can have his own when it eventually does return - I vote purple!
-Odin - first of all, the Doctor's fake Odin impression is hilarious; it's the very worst imitation of how you would think a god would sound, and funny in revealing just how stupid the Doctor thinks the Vikings are (and he is, of course, very wrong; nice try, anyway, Doctor). And then we have an Odin who looks like God from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

-Clara - Clara was frikkin' awesome standing up to the head of the Mire. This was her shining moment in this episode, and Jenna Coleman nailed it. She manages to intimidate Odin, break down his intention and his own analysis of her and Ashildr, and convinces him to leave Earth. Also, she gets points for this quote: "The universe is full of testosterone. Trust me, it's unbearable." 
-Ashildr - Ashildr is such an interesting character. She's a product of her time, so it makes sense she would challenge the Mire even if it ultimately wasn't a great idea. But she's out of her own time, too, telling stories and feeling a bit of a misfit. I love watching her and the Doctor connect - he's a misfit in his own society as well, so to see him listening to her and understanding her is what gives this episode such great heart. She's lost inside her own head, but at the same time she is so connected and compassionate towards the people around her; she's uncertain about herself and her own identity, but brave and passionate when it comes to defending her village. In short, I'm so glad the Doctor saved her, even if the consequences are yet to be seen.
-"I speak baby" - What started out as a line employed for comedic effect in the long-ago days of Craig and Stormaggedon is transformed in this episode into something oddly poetic, as the Doctor translates the crying of Lofty's baby. It's a strange scene, yet in Capaldi's capable hands it's turned into something that I'd say is even beautiful. 
-The Doctor's names for the Vikings, lol
-Slapstick comedy - In a surprising moment of hilarious slapstick, a training sequence abruptly cuts to its aftermath, where fires are burning, horses run wildly, and I think even a few buildings lie partially collapsed, lol
-Fire in the water - If you really care that electric eels can't be found anywhere near that particular geographic area, you need to lighten up a bit. It's a brilliant ending to a great story, making it possible for the Vikings to use the Mire's technology against them in a great example of bad karma!

The Bad:
-Warrior juice - The Mire's motivation for invading was a little odd (You really like the taste of mashed-up Viking adrenaline? Maybe there's some green Gatorade in there to give it flavor, who knows), but in any case, it doesn't really take away from the rest of the story.

-When Clara puts her hand on the Doctor's face when he's listening to the baby cry. It's such an intimate gesture, so sweet and caring.
-When the Doctor covers Ashildr's hand with his when he puts the helmet on her. It's such a small gesture, and it only lasts a couple seconds, but I'm so glad they showed that. I'm sure it meant the world to her that he believed in her, and that one gesture said it all.
-The Doctor: (to Clara) "Look at you, with your eyes. Your never-giving-up. Your anger. Your kindness. And one day, the memory of that will hurt so much that I won't be able to breathe. And I'll do what I always do - I'll get in my box and I'll run and I'll run, in case all the pain ever catches up." This, this is what defines the Doctor. So much love and compassion, and because of that, so much heartbreak. If anyone ever says this is just a silly sci-fi show, I'll show them this scene, because it perfectly illustrates both the beauty and the tragedy of the Doctor's life.
-Flashback to Ten and Donna - what a perfect way to explain why Twelve chose that face. Thank you, Russell T. Davies!
-Doctor: "Immortality is everybody else dying. [Ashildr] might meet someone she can't bear to lose. That happens, I believe." *looking at Clara* As Tumblr would put it, I CAN'T EVEN

So now the Doctor has a predicament on his hands: what will happen to Ashildr? How will she cope with being immortal? Can she? I don't know, but that final shot (amazing cinematography, by the way) looks foreboding; those eyes will haunt you:


"They went willingly to Valhalla. As would we all." 
"I wouldn't. Well, I wouldn't! I'm not good with heights."

"What are you going to do, raise crops at them?"
"If necessary!"

"When I say jump, you say how high!...unless it's across a gap of some kind, which of course means you jump horizontally."

"He's actually upgraded his phobia."

"I'm the Doctor, and I save people! And if anyone happens to be listening, if you have any kind of problem with that, to hell with you!"

Episode 6: The Woman Who Lived

Here we have it: our first episode written by a female writer since Helen Raynor in Seasons 3 and 4! The Woman Who Lived is written by Catherine Tregenna, who's also written for Torchwood, and we'll have another female writer, Sarah Dollard, for episode ten, Face the Raven!

So, what did I think of this episode? Overall, it felt very...sad. This episode is preoccupied with Ashildr dealing with her immortality, which of course is mirrored by the Doctor's own brand of immortality. Even though she leads a thrilling double life as highway robber the Knightmare and noblewoman Lady Me, she feels empty; her heart has grown hard across years of tragedy and losing loved ones, leaving the Doctor to try to help her find her compassion again.

The most touching moment was when the Doctor read Me's diaries - it really showed how difficult her life had been, and emphasized the even greater tragedy of her not being able to remember it all. The parts she does remember have fueled this overwhelming anger, masking a deep and awful loneliness, much like the Doctor when he travels alone (Time Lord Victorious, anyone?). While the Doctor is able to run away from his problems with the TARDIS, Me is forced to live through it, and that has made her into someone very bitter and very desperate.

It's that desperation that makes her scheme with Leondr plausible. Although he wasn't fleshed out all that much, and consequently was probably the weakest part of the episode, we can see why she would go with him, even though she knows it may mean her death. At this point she's just tired of living, even suicidal, which is hard stuff for a kids' show. 

Ultimately, though, the Doctor manages to show her that she does care about other people. I love her face when she realizes it, like "Dammit, I do care!" Maisie Williams is amazing, in both this and The Girl Who Died; in this episode I can believe she's lived for 800 years. She makes us feel that weight, all that tragedy and loneliness carried around with her for so long. To see her character find the strength and compassion to save the townspeople was a grand transformation to witness, and it made me excited for what else her character can bring to the show in future.  I personally can't wait for Me to show up again, whatever episode or season that may be!


-I loved that they showed glimpses of Me's different lives. I wanted that segment to keep going, it was fascinating!
-I wonder if Sam Swift the Quick really is immortal now? Will he stay with Me? Would that even work?
-Are they bringing back Captain Jack Harkness?? Please do! :D

Season 9 Ranking So Far:

1. The Girl Who Died (Ep. 5)
2. The Witch's Familiar (Ep. 2)
3. Under the Lake (Ep. 3)
4. The Woman Who Lived (Ep. 6)
5. Before the Flood (Ep. 4)
6. The Magician's Apprentice (Ep. 1)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Doctor Who: Season 9 So Far - Episodes 1, 2, and 3

Thoughts on The Magician's Apprentice, The Witch's Familiar, and Under the Lake

So, Season 9 has begun! After seeing some of the trailers and watching the short prequel episodes, I was pretty excited to get going - and the first episode didn't disappoint! Who's ready for some new adventures in time and space? Allons-y!

Episode 1: The Magician's Apprentice

First off, the picture above tells you all you need to know about the season opener: the Doctor, on a tank, wearing sunglasses, playing the bass line to his own theme song on an electric guitar. In other words, awesomeness personified.

I mean, wow! Last year we got a dinosaur spitting out the TARDIS, this year we got the Doctor riding in on a tank! I'll give Steven Moffat this, he knows how to create a spectacle!

This episode really was a lot of fun. It was thrilling, intriguing, entertaining - its only flaw was it didn't really have much of a plot, but for a season premiere, I think that can be forgiven, as long as all the set-up eventually pays off. So, without further ado:

The teaser - A great opening sequence! First of all, we got a new monster - the hand mines. Though they may be a rip-off of the monster from Pan's Labyrinth, they're definitely creepy-looking, and actually pretty effective for building tension early on in the episode.

And then the reveal! I had no idea! As soon as the boy said his name, I gasped and jumped out of my chair! This is an enemy we haven't seen since the end of the Tenth Doctor's era! It's been so long, I don't even remember what happened to Davros! But now he's back, and apparently the Doctor played a part in creating his genocidal tendencies, so...yeah, Doctor, not so good. But what a fantastic reveal to start off the episode!

The theme song - they kept the electronic trills, ugh. They changed the theme song each season for the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, why can't they do it for Twelve?

The Whoniverse - You forget sometimes how big the Doctor Who universe really is, so it was kind of cool to watch Colony Sarff (another great monster; he doesn't look that scary until you find out what he actually is, and then he's really creepy) go from planet to planet looking for the Doctor, from the Shadow Proclamation (which I don't think we've seen since the Tenth Doctor's era, either!) to Karn. If we're visiting all these older locations, I wonder if we won't be back on Gallifrey by the season finale!

Clara - Clara still kicks ass, and even more so than usual, to tell the truth. When she's called into UNIT and takes charge right away, figuring out what's going on before Kate Lethbridge-Stewart or even the scientific team, it started to remind me of Rose and how confident she became while traveling with the Doctor. In The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, Rose starts giving the spaceship crew orders and generally taking charge while the Doctor is down exploring the cavern. It was so great to see Rose's progression as a character in those scenes, and it's great to see Clara doing the same thing. I mean, in Season 7 she never did anything on her own or took initiative, and now she's bossing UNIT around! I kind of love it. As Missy says, "You go, girl."
Also, side note, I love her leather jacket.

Missy - Still alive, still evil! I have to admit, Missy is starting to grow on me. Michelle Gomez gives this wonderfully insane performance, and it injects such life into every scene she's in. You never know what Missy's going to do, whether she's going to save you or kill you, and to be fair, I don't think she knows, either! It's also interesting to see her being jealous over the Doctor; we think of the Master and the Doctor as each other's greatest enemy, but at the same time, she gets jealous when Clara claims to be the Doctor's best friend, and the same with Davros claiming to be his archenemy: "I'll scratch his eye out." So Missy wants to be the Doctor's greatest frenemy? I think her problem is she just wants to be the Doctor's everything, period. Regardless, definitely looking forward to seeing more of Missy!

The Doctor - Oh, my goodness, the Doctor. This is exactly what I wanted from last season and I never got, and now it's here, and it's wonderful. The Doctor is emotional; he is emotionally invested in his actions and in the people around him and his relationship to them and it feels right, it feels like we have a chance to finally really get to know the Doctor again. Last season the writers spent all their time wanting us to worry about whether the Doctor is a good man, when what we really should have been concerned with is: does the Doctor care? And with this episode I can say yes, yes, he does.
The Doctor seems to think he is going to die - I guess he assumes Davros is coming to kill him? - and so we get a telling look into the Doctor's troubled psyche when he sends his last confession to Missy, throws a huge farewell party for himself, and hugs Clara. He hugged Clara! My heart melted and broke at the same time. How broken must he feel to hug Clara of his own accord? But it also shows how much he cares about her, and I'm so glad that finally comes through. 

But seriously, was that not the most adorable moment ever.
But, unfortunately, we can't forget that this episode is ultimately about the Doctor leaving a child to die. How are we supposed to feel about that? The Doctor made a poor choice, but could that one choice really have created the Davros he knows and hates? The moral gray area is interesting, but maybe a bit heavy for the fun tone the rest of the episode was setting. Ah, well; we'll see if the set-up pays off in the second part.

So the Doctor, Missy, and Clara get taken to Davros' infirmary. The Doctor meets Davros again, while Clara and Missy go exploring. And lo and behold, they discover they are on the planet...Skaro! 

For a millisecond I thought we had already found Gallifrey and subsequently lost my mind, but then it was Skaro and I was rendered sane again, lol. Even so, it actually was a pretty good reveal. 

And then of course the Daleks proceed to kill Missy and Clara.

Really? It's the season premiere and there was no heart-ripping, emotional moment beforehand, so they can't be dead. My money's on it will explain how Missy escaped death the last time.

In my opinion, a pretty great season opener! I'm excited for Season 9; it feels a lot more focused than Season 8, with the characterization of the Doctor and Clara finally fixed in place, and darker in tone, a bit like Season 6 (my favorite season of Eleven's run). Bring on The Witch's Familiar!

-No more sonic screwdriver? No; no, you wouldn't take that away, Moffat...would you?
-So if the Doctor has referred to himself as looking like a magician, is the magician's apprentice young Davros?
-Doctor: "You've got one chance in a thousand. Focus on the one." I love it, I really do, when the Doctor says things like this. Your Ten is showing, Doctor. :)
-Doctor: "Clara, my Clara." He called her "my Clara" in Dark Water, but this time it feels really heartfelt, and genuinely heartbreaking.
-What's on the confession dial? Will we see it eventually? Maybe as part of Clara's departure from the show?
-Doctor: "It's my party, and all of me is invited!"

Episode 2: The Witch's Familiar

I found the first two-thirds of this episode absolutely delightful. As for the last third - well, we'll get to that. For now:

Missy - This episode is really Gomez's time to shine, and she does; Missy is frikkin' hilarious. Just look at all the outrageous stuff she does in just one episode!
  • hangs Clara upside down and talks about eating her if she gets hungry 
  • makes a pointy stick to use as a weapon against the Daleks (Clara: "Can I have a stick, too?" Missy: "Make your own stick.")
  • nonchalantly pushes Clara down a hole to measure the distance ("...Twenty feet.")
  • pokes holes in a Dalek
  • pokes Davros in the eye!! I seriously wanted to high-five her when she did that, lol
She's just so crazy, and she's so obviously enjoying it!

It's also interesting seeing Missy and Clara team up, even if the pairing doesn't work as well as the Doctor and Clara. It's unfortunate that Clara comes across as a little bit dumb in this episode, as she trusts Missy when she really shouldn't. I suppose Missy is really the only one she can trust on an unknown and dangerous planet like Skaro, but even so...if Missy tells you to get inside a Dalek, don't do it. Just don't. 

Dalek Clara - This was an interesting callback to Oswin in Asylum of the Daleks; are we going to get more references to Clara's other selves throughout the season to lead up to her final farewell? Whatever the purpose, it was intriguing to see what these scenes added to the Dalek mythology. I'd never thought about emotion firing the Daleks' guns, but it does make a weird sort of sense.

The Doctor and Davros - Even with Missy's endless shenanigans, the scenes that really make this episode are between the Doctor and Davros. Their whole conversation is intense, philosophical, psychological warfare between enemies who have been fighting for centuries. 

For me, these scenes are what really made me love the Doctor again. I've always loved him, no matter what the face, for his compassion. Last season he felt so cold and distant; this season it's like he's finally found his heart, and it makes me love him all the more.

Doctor: "I didn't come because I'm ashamed. I came because you're sick and you asked."
Davros: "Compassion, then."
Doctor: "Always."...
Davros: "It will kill you in the end."
Doctor: "I wouldn't die of anything else."

Excuse me while my heart just melts. Twelve, again, your Ten is showing. :)

And it's that compassion that shapes these scenes. I love the moment where the Doctor and Davros actually start laughing together, at the absurdity of their whole relationship; it's in that moment that both of them actually feel human, and you feel their connection as they see each other, not just as an enemy, but as someone who was trying to do what was right, whether it was misguided or not.

I don't care who you are, the Doctor offering up his regeneration energy when Davros doesn't have enough strength to open his eyes to see one last sunrise, is one of the most heartrending moments of Doctor Who we've seen in a long time. I mean, my god; I could feel the tears misting up out of nowhere, taking me completely by surprise. The whole scene was just so touching and lovely...

Which is why I don't buy the end of the episode.

Call me a hopeless romantic (and I hate to admit it, but I am) but I don't believe the Doctor knew the whole time that Davros was lying. Peter Capaldi is an amazing actor, but I don't think the Doctor is. There was genuine feeling there; I think, despite the Doctor's denial, he used that super-powered brain of his that we saw build a new and improved vortex manipulator in four nanoseconds at the beginning of the episode in Missy's flashback/story, to figure out how he could still win. And he did, thank goodness, by the skin of his teeth, like always.

Which brings me to:

Dalek sewers - clever or stupid? It's a clever concept, the ultimate karma of the Daleks being destroyed by their own kind, but the actual execution looks kind of...well, gross, for starters. I mean, the climax of the episode is watching Dalek sewage drown other Daleks. Needless to say, it jarred me out of the viewing experience a little.

The last third - So, yes, the last third of the episode is predictable, and actually feels a bit rushed. We get a moral tagged on - "Friends, enemies, none of that matters, as long as there's mercy" - which I don't think was strictly necessary. Unfortunately there are a few moments in this episode where the subtlety is not strong, and to have this message hammered home wasn't a great way to end an otherwise well written episode. Sometimes the moral can be written in and feel more organic, such as in Mummy on the Orient Express last year with "Sometimes all you have are bad choices, but you still have to choose," where it worked because it's a private moment between the Doctor and Clara, and not a vague moralistic message to a child who has no context for the Doctor's meaning.

Overall, even with a couple clunky moments, I thought this episode was thoroughly enjoyable. We've ended our first two-parter of Season 9; now on to something hopefully a little less convoluted: Under the Lake!

-The Doctor stealing Davros' chair!! "Admit it; you've all had this exact nightmare...Anyone for dodge-ems?"
-Davros has to find the only other chair on Skaro for the Doctor to sit on; that is actually hilarious.
-I'm just wondering, why does Davros keep his eyes closed? I'm not really up on my Classic Who lore, but is there a reason for it, or is it just to make him look scarier?
-Did Steven Moffat just forget that in The Big Bang a Dalek begged River Song for mercy?
-Sonic sunglasses - how long are these going to be around before we get the sonic screwdriver back?
-Are we really supposed to wonder why the Doctor left Gallifrey? He's so unlike the other Time Lords I just figured it was because he didn't fit in!

Episode 3: Under the Lake

Ghosts! I don't think the show's done that before. The closest thing I can think of are the "ghosts" in The Unquiet Dead back in Season 1, and those turned out to be an alien species called the Gelth. So what are these ghosts, and why are they haunting an underwater mining facility?

This episode is written by Toby Whithouse, who's also written the thoroughly entertaining School Reunion (Season 2), the "meh" episodes The Vampires of Venice (Season 5) and A Town Called Mercy (Season 7), and the brilliant The God Complex (Season 6). So how does this stand up in his Doctor Who CV? So-so, enjoyable, or amazing?

Characters - We meet most of our characters right off the bat, in the crew sent to investigate the mystery spacecraft. With so many characters, it's difficult to make each of them a distinct personality within such a short time limit, and unfortunately that's a small failing of this episode. Even so, it's good that we get to know them at least a little:

Cass: Oh, my goodness, I love Cass. Seriously, what a badass! When Moran is killed early on in the episode (which is a shame, considering how good an actor Colin McFarlane is), she steps up to lead, and you can tell the crew trusts her completely. She's tough, and incredibly smart - even the Doctor comments on it. My favorite part was when she stood up to the Doctor; it's not easy to stand your ground against the smartest person in the room, but she did, to protect her crew, and you could tell he respected her for it. Go, Cass!

O'Donnell: How refreshing is it that the two most defined members of the crew are women? I'm just saying, that hardly ever happens. But yeah, O'Donnell; how can you not love her? She's a huge fangirl of the Doctor, which I think most Whovians can relate to, but she's smart and focused when it comes to doing her job and saving the crew. I loved her blush when the Doctor compliments her. She's totally fangirling inside her head, but she doesn't let it distract her from the task at hand. More female characters like these two, please!

Pritchard: The corporate a-hole we all love to hate. I think the Doctor had the best response to him: "It's okay, I understand. You're an idiot."

Lunn: We didn't get to know too much about Lunn, but I loved seeing how close he and Cass are. You can tell from their interactions that he isn't just her translator, he's also her best friend. :)

Bennett: Bennett didn't get much characterization beyond science nerd and occasional coward, but there's also still time to get to know all of these characters in the second part. I thought O'Donnell punching him playfully in the arm after he got away from the ghosts was interesting - could there maybe be something there?

The monsters - Another creepy creature to add to the ever-growing roster, the ghosts with empty skulls is definitely a great scary image!

The Doctor and Clara - I think this episode really shows how solid the Doctor and Clara's friendship has become. It's an established partnership, it feels comfortable; they're constantly glancing at each other to share reactions, and they know what the other's thinking without having to say a word. Even better, they laugh at each other's jokes! It's great to finally be here, after a rocky start at the beginning of Season 8, and see how much they've grown as friends. When the Doctor says, "Trust me, don't you, Clara?" and puts his hand up on the glass, you feel that connection.

The explanation - So herein lies my main problem with the episode. When Cass is able to lip-read and figure out what the ghosts are saying (called it!), it unravels what feels like a vague explanation for the turn of events. The words the ghosts are mouthing are coordinates, directions to the base. The Doctor explains them, but I'm not sure I buy it: 

The dark: Space. So they're directing them to another planet, that makes sense.

The sword: Orion's sword. In the whole galaxy, there's only one constellation in the shape of sword? Okay, well, maybe it's the most well known or something.

The forsaken: This is where the explanation starts to feel a bit tenuous. How is Scotland the only forsaken place on the planet? Clearly there are others, unless the aliens have seen Skyfall and are using that as a reference.

The temple: The church. All right, that's fair.

Is it really possible for such vague directions to lead an alien race here? As for the four markings on the wall, I don't feel that worked as well as it could have. The audience can't experience the same sensation as the crew, so while the words felt strangely familiar to them, it still felt completely random to us. 

Overall, I'd say this episode is somewhere between School Reunion and The God Complex quality-wise for Mr. Whithouse. It has great atmosphere, creepy monsters, characters we like, and showcases the Doctor and Clara's bond; it just gets a little too unclear at the end with the explanation of what all's going on. In other words, great set-up, not a fantastic pay-off. Still, it's good enough to keep us intrigued for next week. I have three questions that I hope get answered:

1) Why can the ghosts only handle metal objects? 
2) Why didn't the ghost kill Lunn?
3) Why the heck is the Doctor a ghost?? (Great cliffhanger!)

-The cards! I think this was one of the best parts of the episode. I think my favorite was, "I didn't mean to imply that I don't care," lol
-After the cynical Doctor of last season, it's so great to see the Doctor getting excited about things again! And when he gets excited, he starts talking really fast, a bit like Ten once again - "Why can they only handle metal objects, ooh, I didn't know I noticed that"
-The Doctor's "don't go native" speech to Clara was sweet, but unnecessary. It's nice to see, though, that traveling with him isn't just her "hobby" anymore; it's her life, and she loves it, as would we all!

Next week: the second part of Whithouse's two-parter, Before the Flood!

Season 9 Ranking So Far:

1. The Witch's Familiar (Ep. 2)
2. Under the Lake (Ep. 3)
3. The Magician's Apprentice (Ep. 1)