Mummy on the Orient Express
11 October 2014 at 19:39 #33356Craig @craigEmperor
It’s The Orient Express – in space! (more Rule of Cool!)
Written by another Doctor Who first-timer, Jamie Mathieson (Being Human), and brilliantly directed again by last week’s Paul Wilmshurst, the clock is ticking for the passengers on board the Orient Express. Agatha Christie meets Universal and Hammer Horror movies in what is more-or-less a stand-alone episode.
The Doctor and Clara are on the most beautiful train in history, travelling amongst the stars. A deadly creature is stalking the passengers. Once someone sees the mummy they only have 66 seconds to live. No exceptions, no reprieve.
As the Doctor races against time, he’s at his deadliest and most ruthless. Can he work out how to defeat the mummy?11 October 2014 at 21:24 #33364
Clara. Flapper look. Oh yes.11 October 2014 at 21:26 #33365
On a less distracted note. Gus. Missy. Relationship: discuss.11 October 2014 at 21:33 #33366
@pedant – I was more ‘A mummy! On The Orient Express! IN SPACE!’
Don’t think the flapper outfit suited Jenna Coleman as much as the ‘medieval’ costume, but I do think that there’s one actress who really ought to be starring in films.
Another soldier. And was that salute rather similar to Danny’s, or what?11 October 2014 at 21:37 #33367
Well the mirroring of the War Doctor’s terrible choice in each of the narratives this season, which I’ve been banging on about, is made even more explicit in this episode.
Sometimes, there are no good choices but you have to make them anyway.
A war-weary soldier kept artificially alive by tech… so that’s how the Doctor is feeling about his new set of regenerations. He doesn’t see them as a gift of forgiveness from his people. He sees them as an extension of the punishment meted out by The Moment – that he has to live on – to keep making impossible choices, over and over again, since the one he made between the children of Gallifrey and the End of Time for the universe.
If last week’s episode was Jenna Coleman’s this week’s was definitely Capaldi’s, who acted his very talented socks off and showed us a little more of the terribly weary and hearts-sore Doctor behind the brusque façade.
I’ve not doubt this was a delight for Agatha Christie buffs and to appreciate it properly necessitates a re-watch of Murder on the Orient Express.11 October 2014 at 21:44 #33368
Well, it looks as if the Doctor’s outlook has moved from idealistic in the previous episode to utilitarian in this one. Previously, he felt it was appropriate to risk a metaphorical mother’s life for a space baby, and this week he bullies dying people because they are useful to him. His bedside manner is truly awesome.
Other thoughts – Clara in a flapper dress: awesome! Tension and drama in the episode: fantastic. My rating? 5 out of 5 stars. Ms BadWulf’s? She hated it, because she now feels that the Doctor has crossed the moral event horizon. I foresee interesting discussions ahead!11 October 2014 at 21:44 #33369
@bluesqueakpip – Oh I had that bit last week (and did you spot the deft handwaving away of the call to Eleven?)
– Sometimes there are no good choices but you still have to choose
– I thought there was a hint of Danny Pink in the Foretold (not just the salute – his gait and stance at the time of reveal)
– Jelly babies and “Are you my mummy”.
– For some reason @danmartinuk is seeing sexual tension in this. Not there at all for me More grief at a daughter leaving home.
And something else that I can’t remember but there is a shitload of teleport action in this series..11 October 2014 at 21:47 #33370
@bluesqueakpip Another soldier. And was that salute rather similar to Danny’s, or what?
My thoughts exactly!11 October 2014 at 21:50 #33371
Also, after last week’s episode, which passed the Bechdel test with flying colours, this one deliberately took the piss, with Clara and Maisie locked in the sarcophagus room decrying the fact that all they can talk about is a man, only to spend the time talking about just that.
Plus – I was very taken with the Doctor’s snazzy jelly baby case – nice touch.11 October 2014 at 21:51 #33372
Oh and full version of the song:11 October 2014 at 21:53 #33373
What did everyone think of the fact that Clara has changed her mind about travelling with the Doctor just because Danny has said it is OK? That doesn’t seem very 21st century of her to me and Ms BadWulf.11 October 2014 at 21:53 #3337411 October 2014 at 21:54 #33375phoebe-phire @phoebe-phire
@juniperfish so right, PC just incredible, was captivated by 12 already but this episode took it to another level. Felt from the beginning of this series that 12 had so much to reveal and to give. Only 4 more episodes, then its the box set and novels.
I’m not sure about Clara now, liked her with 12 at the beginning, but through the series and now with her on/off yes/no towards 12 is a bit insensitive.11 October 2014 at 22:06 #33376
Also, after last week’s episode, which passed the Bechdel test with flying colours, this one deliberately took the piss,
I laughed out loud at that one. The two women had, of course, already passed the Bechdel test as they’d previously been discussing Maisie’s horrible Grandmother.11 October 2014 at 22:06 #33377
Oh my good episode, Spenser struck me as odd as in I have a funny feeling about him but not sure what. Glad Clara and the doctor seem to be back on track so to speak.
Need to really watch it again,I’m sure the was a couple of things that peaked my interest. For one was it really “Gus” that put up the force field that stopped Clara from getting to the tardis. Secondly did anyone catch how the mummy/soldier saluted the doctor.
Anyway off to bed then hopefully a rewatching in the morning.11 October 2014 at 22:18 #33378
Hmmmn – well “Gus” is short for Augustus – first Roman emperor. Wasn’t there a quote about Augustus on the blackboard in Clara’s school in a previous episode? Anyone?
The question of “rule” is looming large, what with the Doctor identified as “officer class”, and saluted whether sarcastically by Danny or gratefully by the Mummy. What right do the Time Lords have to lord it over time and “lesser” species?11 October 2014 at 22:18 #33379
Well, it looks as if the Doctor’s outlook has moved from idealistic in the previous episode to utilitarian in this one.
Different moral situations. Last week had a good choice (let the baby Moon Dragon live) versus a bad choice (kill the baby Moon Dragon because you fear it). This week has a choice between bad and worse.
The Doctor goes for ‘bad’ rather than ‘worse’ – if you notice, the ‘bullying’ of the dying people gives them the opportunity to be heroic. Lying to Maisie gets her to him, with at least a chance that she might survive. Or she might not.
But it’s an ongoing Moffat theme – dying is not the worst thing that can happen to you (everyone dies). If you remain true to your beliefs/standards, you’ve been killed, but not defeated.
The Professor tried, but couldn’t quite manage to keep giving useful information up to the moment of his death. The Captain not only managed to keep giving useful information, he died (despite his PTSD and nightmares) like a brave soldier.11 October 2014 at 22:27 #33380
I thought the IN SPACE vibe, albeit similar to Voyage of the Damned, was reminiscent of Enlightenment, one of my favourite 5th Doctor stories. The period style vehicles travelling through space, with advanced technology hidden behind the decor is a narrative choice that works well for Doctor Who, in a way that would feel forced in some other science fiction/fantasy franchises.
Does anyone more familiar with the 1st and 2nd Doctors’ eras know if that was ever done then?11 October 2014 at 22:32 #33381
Just had a thought as I was getting ready for bed did anyone pickup that Spenser (Frank Skinner) that a) appeared just too convienently,
And b) seemed to have some kind of knowledge of the workings of the Tardis.
Could he have been a timelord, yes I know the only other Timelords are supposed to be in the bubble universe but we know from BG Who that the doctor wasn’t the only “rouge” timelord around could Spenser really have been one of these that we hadn’t prviously met.11 October 2014 at 22:33 #33382Magnetite @magnetite
That was definitely better than the previews suggested – another great episode this series.
I must admit that I wondered whether the mummy was going to turn out to be Danny – even in the Doctor Who Extra you never got to see who the actor actually was. Not to be, but it was an quirky thought at the time.
Also, having watched the full version of ‘Don’t stop me now’, including scenes from future episodes, does the song refer to Clara herself – she’s ‘having such a good time, I don’t want to stop at all’?
Oh, and jelly baby cigarette case? Excellent!11 October 2014 at 22:35 #33383
*looks out cautiously over the sofa – is it safe to come out yet? 😯 *
Yay! @juniperfish and everyone calling the mirroring of the Doctor’s choice.
And also delighted that what I’ve been banging on about the Doctor still being the Doctor, as in compassionate and warm but just hiding it well, has bubbled to the surface.
Yes the Doctor lies as we know – although he’s been generally more upfront this series, hence the accusations of “callous” – but Clara’s been an inverate liar throughout this series, particularly to both Danny and the Doctor and she lies thoroughly to both of them in the last scene. Danny’s given her permission to travel with the Doctor so it’s OK. Oh really??! Just as well the Doctor doesn’t really understand Clara or he’d have seen straight through that one!
Travelling with the Doctor is like an addiction? (Don’t think Clara looks like giving it up any time soon. It was the same with Amy and Rory. And us 🙂 )
Who’s Gus? (or GUS?)
@juniperfish – there was the Marcus Aurelius quote (in Day of the Doctor (and Deep Breath?)) about not wasting time arguing what a good man should be. Will need to watch again re Augustus.
(And yes, I too was expecting a trainload of newly deceased for Missy’s place!)11 October 2014 at 22:39 #33384
And answering my own question – who was Gus?
He was John Sessions 😀 Hope he’ll be back!!11 October 2014 at 22:44 #33385
@bluesqueakpip Different moral situations. Last week had a good choice (let the baby Moon Dragon live) versus a bad choice (kill the baby Moon Dragon because you fear it). This week has a choice between bad and worse.
Hmm. I still think I disagree. Your description of the Moon Dragon options as respectively good and bad is only valid from either the omniscient viewpoint, or the perspective of hindsight. The “leap of faith” option you describe as “good” was, to my mind, repugnant, because it gambled the fate of ten billion human lives on the offchance that an event that had the potential to exterminate humanity would actually be harmless.
And this week, the Doctor had the choice as to whether he could comfort the dying and ask for their help, or bully a panicked victim into revealing something useful. So here, in my view, he chose the worse option.11 October 2014 at 22:44 #3338611 October 2014 at 22:51 #33387
@juniperfish <waves back>
Roman empire/Time Lord analogy would always hold up well! Re Missy as possible TL, I’ve been wondering that myself (along with many others!) – with all the potential tech involved. Is she making a present for her “boyfriend”?
And another misunderstood monster this week – well, the mummy was still a monster but was only acting on (defective) programming. Gus however…
And why has Gus got the Doctor’s phone no? Seems to be everyone and their granny has it these days!11 October 2014 at 23:00 #33388
@scaryb Lol re the Doctor’s telephone number 🙂
@bluesqueakpip I’d have to agree with @badwulf that the Kill the Moon choice was presented to Clara and Courtney as between potentially mass deaths on earth due to flooding (hello climate change reference) and killing an innocent baby creature – no good choice there (from their perspective) although a gamble, as the mass deaths were not certain. So it was a slightly “softer” option the Doctor gave them than the choice he himself faced as the War Doctor, between the children of Gallifrey and the destruction of the universe.
After you have chosen the genocide of your people, even if you have later rescued the situation with the help of several of your reincarnations, all choices where death is at stake must burn with the sting of that enormity. The Doctor is attempting to shrug as if he feels them less, because they are “smaller”, hence his many callous-sounding speeches to Clara. But the truth is, he feels them all and feels eternally condemned to make them.11 October 2014 at 23:03 #33389
Oh and “Perkins”. Nice little nod to Perks (Bernard Cribbins’s character) from The Railway Children.11 October 2014 at 23:04 #33390
@scaryb And another misunderstood monster this week – well, the mummy was still a monster but was only acting on (defective) programming. Gus however…
I really enjoyed this monster – its appearances were initially mysterious, but its motivation and the mechanism by which it operated were both explained satisfactorily to me. The science was again fantastical, but unlike Kill the Moon it was in the service of telling the story, not just as pseudo-scientific window dressing.
One thing I think I missed in this episode was *why* it was going after the weakest. The Mummy was clearly powerful enough to kill anyone it chose, so why go after the weakest?11 October 2014 at 23:11 #33391Miapatrick @miapatrick
@BadWulf- re Clara staying because Danny said he was fine with it. I thought that was odd, because she wasn’t leaving because Danny didn’t like it. She was leaving because she was pissed off with him, that was her ‘wobble’. That whole scene seemed wrong to me. hopefully, almost certainly, deliberate?11 October 2014 at 23:13 #33392
oh my bad @pedant aka IAmNotAFishIAmAFreeMan (nice nod to Patrick Mcgoohan btw) was it Perkins and not Spenser now why did I think it was spenser though i am terrible with name s it takes ages for character names to stick lol.11 October 2014 at 23:15 #33393
Your description of the Moon Dragon options as respectively good and bad is only valid from either the omniscient viewpoint, or the perspective of hindsight.
No, sorry. Your description of the Moon Dragon options is the one arguing from the omniscient viewpoint, because you’re taking a consequentialist view. That is, you are viewing the morality of the events from the point of view of their possible consequences. If something has potentially bad consequences, it’s a ‘bad choice’. This ethical approach presumes that you actually know what the consequences will be.
In this particular case you are arguing that killing an as yet unborn creature, which you have NO reason to believe is dangerous, and which may well be (from the Doctor’s reactions) sentient, is a good thing.
But it can only possibly be a good thing if you know the future. In itself, it isn’t and cannot be a good thing. The proposal was to kill a baby. An alien baby, a baby Moon Dragon, but still – a baby. If you consider the action in itself, without regard to consequences, the action is an evil action.
Additionally, from the consequentialist viewpoint, your assessment of the consequences happens to be utterly wrong, biased by fear, because you don’t know all the facts.
This week, the Doctor had precisely sixty-six seconds and, let’s face it, this incarnation isn’t exactly touchy-feely. Actually, he rubs his arm whenever people touch him (it’s a sign of how much he cares for Clara that she gets to be touchy-feely with him). 😉
But anyway, sixty-six seconds? We do see him being comforting – though it’s a distinctly ‘alien’ view of ‘comforting’. He tells Maisie she was right about the pony. He tells the Professor he can help save others. The Captain actually thanks him.
He, at least, didn’t think he was being bullied.11 October 2014 at 23:26 #33394
Did anyone notice the picture on Clara’s phone for ‘Doctor Calling’?
It’s a cartoon stick insect. 🙂11 October 2014 at 23:30 #33395Seyhall @seyhall
Based on things in this episode I’m guessing Missy is The Rani ….
Wiki plot summary “The Doctor must recover his wits in time to avoid becoming a permanent part of the Rani’s plan to collect the genius of the greatest scientific minds in the universe, of which she has captured many including Einstein [was he on the train?] in order that she can create a time manipulator, which would allow the Rani to control time anywhere in the universe”
and second, turn that GUS’ monocle anticlockwise and it starts to look like a pocket watch11 October 2014 at 23:30 #33396
You may be think of Frank “Some Mothers Do Have ‘Em” Spencer.
Gus and Missy – relationship! Discuss!11 October 2014 at 23:39 #33397
@pedant We don’t have much to go on in terms of a Gus/ Missy relationship.
Except – both create virtual worlds.
Missy is nefariously “saving” people to one whilst Gus was nefariously slaughtering people “for science” in another.
Each of them seems to be “testing” the Doctor in some way – Missy by “saving” people who have died in the eddy of his dealings and Gus by watching him work to save people under pressure.
I’d say a second Trial of a Time Lord is in the offing and it is being decided whether he really is “worthy” of his new set of regenerations.11 October 2014 at 23:52 #33398
Well technically we don’t know that Missy’s is a “virtual” world. Could still be a physical place/thing.
@seyhall Technically I’d say that counts as a potential spoiler – info pulled from elsewhere than in-programme or on BBC site. @Craig @phaseshift @fatmaninabox Am I being oversensitive here…? (if not can you move the post please?) OK – wikipedia entries prob count as speculation anyway!11 October 2014 at 23:54 #33399
@badwulf – One thing I think I missed in this episode was *why* it was going after the weakest. The Mummy was clearly powerful enough to kill anyone it chose, so why go after the weakest?
great question! not very honourable behaviour for a soldier, right? perhaps the malfunctioning tech is responsible… or, the mummy was being used by missy and/or GUS, to play games with the doctor?
did anyone else think of CAL (re: GUS)? almost expected (hoped) that river would put in an appearance in her archaeologist role! chief engineer perkins… perhaps he knows more about GUS’s intentions than we were shown? i expect to see him in a future episode…
also, at the end, i thought that clara’s call to danny was to let him know that she was definitely leaving, for good, but that she changed her mind at the last minute? in essence, lying to danny, and choosing the doctor. will have to pay closer attention upon rewatching…
i’ve gotten the feeling a couple of times that danny is trying to separate clara from the doctor, whilst someone else was trying to keep them together (the woman in the shop, in ‘deep breath’ and ‘the bells of st john’)…11 October 2014 at 23:57 #33400
@scaryb – i think seyhall’s post is a summary of an old peter davison episode, featuring the rani? out of place, yes, but not a spoiler, per se…
(unless you’ve not seen any of davison’s run!)
🙂12 October 2014 at 00:02 #33401
@juniperfish – I agree that this is another ‘mirror’ episode. This is what I said on another site:
When is the war over? When one side admits defeat.
There is a war. An eternal war. And in that war, there is an eternal soldier. He wanders the universe, unable to ever stop fighting the enemy. And until that war is over, he cannot ever go home and he cannot even die.
He will never stop being a soldier – until his enemy tells him that the war is over.
The Doctor can’t win – unless the Daleks surrender.12 October 2014 at 00:05 #33402Craig @craigEmperor
@seyhall is referring to the wikipedia entry for “Time and the Rani”, but it is an interesting point given the events of this episode.
I’ll allow it as bonkers theorising, although they could have been clearer… And they may be on to something.12 October 2014 at 01:04 #33404
@devilishrobby – i think the doctor can sense other timelords, so no, i don’t think the engineer is one. he’s just someone whose career is working on (space) ships, so the tardis innards wouldn’t be too unfamiliar to him, in a strictly “spacecraft” sense. he does say something like, “i won’t pretend to understand half of it,” before remarking that the “drive stacks” need replacing…12 October 2014 at 01:13 #33405
@bluesqueakpip – The Doctor can’t win – unless the Daleks surrender.
and then the cybermen, the weeping angels, the sontarans, the atraxi, the master… and the blorgons! etc. etc. 🙂
i wonder if the doctor can’t ever stop because the moment sentenced him to live? they fixed what he did (in ‘the day of the doctor’), but they didn’t fix his decision to do it…12 October 2014 at 01:52 #33408
they fixed what he did (in ‘the day of the doctor’), but they didn’t fix his decision to do it…
No, The Moment clearly manoeuvred the Doctor into finding a better solution (while robbing him of the memory of having done so). I’d say (from the Moment’s PoV) that the punishment was turned into a reward in the long run.
But that was The Moment – it was the Time Lords who gave him the extra regenerations in response to Clara’s entreaty.12 October 2014 at 01:56 #33409
We don’t have much to go on in terms of a Gus/ Missy relationship.
I think you are forgetting this place’s mission statement!
It might be quite interesting if Gus and Missy turned out to be rivals, but I am suspecting different variations on the same theme – in the sense that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all Abrahamic religions. No wait…12 October 2014 at 03:08 #33410idiotsavon @idiotsavon
Did anyone notice another Carlisle reference? (“Perhaps you’d allow Mr Carlyle here to escort you back”.) So many names to choose from and we’ve got another Carlisle/Carlyle!
The Doctor’s unpleasantness in this episode is explained by the fact that he was to some extent putting on a show in order to hide his true intentions from Gus.
So if the Doctor has a more general suspicion that he is being followed around (which is kind of the premise of Listen), then all the morally questionable things he seems to be doing of late could possibly be explained in the same way (keeping up a pretence to fool whoever is listening/watching him). This is the same trick he uses in The Architect.
Gus and Missy – relationship! Discuss!
I’ll bite 🙂
If there’s a Gus/Missy relationship going on, that would presumably mean that Gus is the “boyfriend” Missy mentioned in Deep Breath – which means it’s Gus who might and might not have pushed the Mandroid out of the skin balloon, and who has recently changed his accent. Is that possible? He would have to be able to follow the Doctor in Deep Breath without being seen somehow. Also, if Gus pushed HFM, then perhaps the Doctor saw him, and knows who he is? (dun-dun-DUN)…
That’s all I’ve got for now.
x12 October 2014 at 03:14 #33411idiotsavon @idiotsavon
*AS The Architect / IN Time Heist – is what I meant to say!12 October 2014 at 03:30 #33412Melloyello @melloyello
I like watching Dr Who because it is a good Sci-Fi show.
This season, it has been a day time soap opera, which I detest.
Half-way through this episode, I was rooting for the mummy to get Clara.
Moffat isn’t drawing me into the long story, he is making me not care
to watch it. After this Episode, I really don’t care what Danny Pink
story is, neither do I want to hear it. Same goes with Clara. It wouldn’t
disappoint me if Danny Pink and Clara were dropped from the show and never
mentioned again. I have been a Dr. Who fan since the days of Tom Baker.
I have really loved watching it since it came back on the air in 2005.
But this season is just getting nauseating. After the Kill the Moon episode,
I thought Clara would be out of the picture for a while. To say I was
disappointed when I saw Clara in this episode is an understatement. Well,
I stomach through this one, on the assumption she wont be back in the show
for awhile. I sure got a rude surprise at the end of this one. I already know
I wont watch next week’s show, Clara will be on it. For me, Clara has become the
most disliked of ALL Dr. Who companions. If Danny and Clara are in future
episodes, I’m not going to watch them.12 October 2014 at 03:41 #33413
@pedant – But that was The Moment – it was the Time Lords who gave him the extra regenerations in response to Clara’s entreaty.
ah, that’s what we were led to believe, based upon clara’s plea into the crack, and the subsequent opening of the crack in the sky above christmas… but the one doesn’t absolutely lead to the other! not in a moffat/who universe, anyway! 🙂
(just playing devil’s advocate, here. i, too, think it was the time lords, keeping their only operative/advocate in our universe going, so as to return one day, themselves. but i wouldn’t be surprised to have been deceived…)
my point about the moment, however, was that ten, eleven, and the war doctor were all still going to push the button together, and would have, had clara not been there. the man (men) that he is would still have gotten it wrong without her. yes, the moment facilitated the possible future by getting her there, and gallifrey was saved, but it could still be that he is effectively “immortal” (because of the moment’s judgment), because of that initial decision to push the button. that condition inflicted upon him due to his initial action isn’t necessarily wiped away because the three of him finally found a different solution. re-writing time didn’t re-write his soul. at least, that’s how i see it… 🙂
given the dialogue in today’s episode, between clara and the doctor, it’s clear that he has never tried to stop doing what he’s doing (she has the “addiction,” as she’s the one trying to quit). he simply does what he does, and perhaps doesn’t even question “why” (possibly never has?), consumed, as he seems to be, with the desire to right wrongs all throughout space and time. which (again, to my mind) smacks a little bit of desperation, to get the balance of his soul back towards the “good” that it had been, before that first use of the moment. removing gallifrey to a bubble universe hasn’t completely scrubbed away the blood on his hands (or the memory of it, at any rate)…
as lady macbeth would say, “out, damned spot! out, i say!”12 October 2014 at 03:51 #33414Serahni @serahni
I don’t have time to read responses right now or time to add much of my own but I just wanted to yee-ha! my way in here because I really enjoyed this episode, on first watch no less! It had the tension and pace that was missing from the last two episodes for me and was Doctor-centric for most of it, which again proved to be great. As for Clara’s wobble? I think that’s fine. I think it would have been weirder for her to just accept this version of The Doctor, who is vastly different to the three this version of herself as met. Some of the things he’s done, or at least the way he’s done them, and the lack of reassurance that he’s willing to give, would have made me react too. It’s entirely understandable that she has taken some time to make peace with the way he handles things, she’s having to learn how to see beneath the surface of this incarnation because he doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve like Smith often did.12 October 2014 at 03:56 #33415
@melloyello – it’s funny, but i was looking forward to an episode without clara, too, and was completely surprised that she was there. i thought she would be absent for a week, maybe two, then brought back to “redeem” herself, for her mistrust of the doctor. but, i think her redemption played out nicely in this episode, and i’m glad she was there. (not the least because of the short hair and the flapper girl outfit! she is a handsome woman… lol)
now, why is danny trying to get her out of the doctor’s life? that’s a question that really needs an answer…
i’m sorry that you don’t like the personal, dramatic nature of the clara/danny vs doctor arc, but i’m enjoying her much more this series than i did when she was “just” the impossible girl. she’s no longer a pinocchio, she’s developed into an actual person, now. and i’m quite interested to see how far she goes…
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