Monday, October 13, 2014

Doctor Who - Mummy on the Orient Express

Although it's been mentioned on the show previously, this is the first time we've actually seen The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) take a companion to the space-traveling Orient Express carefully recreated to resemble the Earth locomotive of the same name (although no one stops to explain why that is). On what we're told will be Clara's final journey with The Doctor, the pair walk into an unusual situation where members of the train begins dying, being slowly murdered by a mummy who only they can see in the 66 seconds leading up to their deaths.

The concept of the episode work better than the execution, but "Mummy on the Orient Express" has quite a few moments worth savoring including The Doctor lying to Clara (again) and putting himself in danger to save the latest victim and discover the nature of the Foretold in the span of a minute and correctly identifying what is necessary to stop the creature.

We don't learn much about "Gus" who is responsible for stacking the deck by putting scientist and various problem solvers aboard the train for the sole purpose of stopping the Foretold (which was why The Doctor received an invitation). And that effort turns out to be a bit of a waste of effort as the Time Lord does nearly all the heavy lifting himself. I also enjoyed the red herring of the train's engineer (Frank Skinner) who I half-expected to be the person responsible for the entire bizarre situation.

I'm happy, although hardly shocked, to see Clara decide to continue to travel with The Doctor but the sequence of events that convinces her to stay (and keep the experiences secret from her boyfriend?) is more than a little confusing. For someone whose seen the Time Lord's entire life, both the good and bad, there's little that happens in this episode that could or should have changed the Impossible Girl's mind about continuing to travel around with a mad man in a blue box. That said, I am happy that she's staying for a bit longer.

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