Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode56Finally! An episode that’s less-than-controversial! Well…for the most part. We Verities can find controversy just about anywhere. Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Liz as we muse over all there is to love about this story. Of course, I did mention controversy…though this time it’s minor and mostly revolves around the flirting (or lack thereof, depending whom you agree with)–but that argument will never die.

What did you think of the mummy? Or the total absence of flirting? Or the addiction angle? Or anything else? Let us know in the comments!

^E

Also covered:

Bonus link:
Total Party Kill (in which Erika plays D&D on the internet)

Download or listen now (runtime 1:29:36) 

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Comments on: "Verity! Episode 56 – Are You My Mummy on the Orient Express" (34)

  1. BeckyB said:

    Liz asked why the lights in the sarcophagus were red, and not green which would have been a nice homage. This episode had very strong red blue symbolic coloring. The train was red, but when the facade dropped it was blue. Clara was often lit in red, the Doctor in blue. It seemed to me that the blue represented the Doctor, science, death, and red seemed to be more Clara and emotions.

    This one had a lot of new music, and while it didn’t always work for me, I did love the more pensive rewrite of Clara’s theme played in the very end scene.

    Thanks for another great podcast. You ladies are a joy to listen to.

  2. Another fantastic discussion. The ticking clock graphic in this episode made me recall the Doctor’s comment to Courtney in “The Caretaker”: “Human beings have incredibly short life spans. Frankly, you should all be in a permanent state of panic. Tick tock, tick tock.” I think mummies make an incredibly effective monsters because they represent the inevitablity of death; that’s, I think, why Moorhouse tells the Doctor it can’t be outrun, and bullets don’t avail against it; and why, despite having been through the mummification process, they are invariably shown as rotting away.

  3. I am definitely on Team “Perkins was fake/imaginary/a projection or at least suspicious”. It’s not a perfect theory, but it’s not a stretch to say that the “Somebody shut that man up” could easily have been directed at the Doctor himself. And in an episode that involves a monster only one person can see at a time, and yet another scene where the Doctor talks to himself… it’s all just so fishy.

    Okay, to be more accurate, my more likely theory is that an early draft of this had Perkins as imaginary, then they nixed the idea but forgot to add more interactions in the rewrite. But even so.

  4. […] Verity! Episode 56 – Are You My Mummy on the Orient Express WHOOGLE shared this story from VerityPodcast.com. Finally! An episode that’s less-than-controversial! Well…for the most part. We Verities can find controversy just about anywhere. Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Liz as we muse over all there is to love about this story. Of course, I did mention controversy…though this time… […]

  5. about the science, it’s about presentation

    The science in Kill the Moon bothered people because gravity and mass played a part in the story, both the cause and consequences. It was a story about physics.

    Whereas this story was about a Mummy stalking people, it was essentially a pseudo supernatural element. so the science isn’t an issue here.

  6. Richard S. said:

    Possibly the most hilarious and infuriating Liz-based Verity! yet… and that bit at the end, wow! (OK, no spoilers…)

    A moratorium on the Flirting Discussion with respect to UK newspaper reviews? Oh, God, yes please. Last week, on Monday, October 6th, the Daily Mail published a review by Christopher Stevens, his second review of the show this year and his second ONE-star-out-of-five rating.

    I have an ongoing problem with that particular TV critic, in that he seems to base much of his ranting on faulty premises, such as, in this case, the idea that there’s too much flirting between Twelve & Clara.

    To quote: “But none of this is the worst thing about Capaldi’s Doctor. What really ruins the show [note, this is stated as fact not opinion] is the needy, nerdy way he trails around after Clara… He doesn’t need a sonic screwdriver, he needs a restraining order… if Moffat doesn’t comprehend the dynamic that an older Doctor brings, then he understands nothing of the programme’s history, and his decision [to cast Capaldi] was not so much bold as stupid…”

    Okay, this is from the newspaper whose current, infuriating, deliberately contentious *TRIGGER WARNING* front cover strapline by columnist & mindfulness meditation advocate Sarah Vine, relating to a comment on Monday by DW superfan Judy Finnegan, returning after a long hiatus to her job as a TV chatshow presenter, is: “Judy is right – some rapes ARE worse than others.”

    Uck and WRONG, no matter how much Judy says she didn’t mean it, littered with excuses that really undermine her apology. I know saying stupidly dangerous stuff shouldn’t negate a person’s cred as a fellow fan of a TV show, or meditation technique, of which I am also a fan… but it just SO does.

    Back to this week’s ep, I was thrilled with what the writer Jamie Mathieson did with the Mummy, the creature design, the enclosed space of the gangway and only the victim able to see it.

    Full disclosure: our lightbulbs often flicker when the electric kettle is switched on in the kitchen, which happened last Saturday evening at about 68 seconds to the chef getting killed. Eeeek!!

    The mystery of the 66 second time lag was solved with what sounded like technobabble, when I was expecting more along the lines of a solution the audience could work out for themselves, e.g. it was aliens with three fingers on each hand, using Base Six arithmetic, or something. I seem to remember the mystery of one-headed statues on a planet of two-headed aliens was a clue for the audience to pick up on…

    But I could be wrong, as I have only seen The Time Of Angels twice. Only twice. Oh, how fortunate and PRIVILEGED we are nowadays, and excuse me, did you say that Liz only caught the Tom Baker impression on her second viewing and Deb has yet to see the episode a second time?

    Huh! Tell that to my 7 year old self when he started watching the show almost 40 years ago, with no repeats bar the occasional Bank Holiday or Xmas edited movie version. Tell that to ALL of myself up to the time when I finally began getting videotapes of the show that I could watch multiple times, not that I did, because that year, it was that Trial thing that I just wish Deb could stop mentioning.

    I loved Frank Skinner’s Perkins (the only Perkins you’ll ever need), but I found two problems with a few of his scenes, nothing to do with him, everything to do with the script & direction.

    As with the post from Dave up the page, I found it very odd that an engineer could take precedence in a roomful of experts on the subject in question. And, relating to the podcast, I wonder if LIz has read any of the superb novels about xeno-archaeology by SF writer Alastair Reynolds, including a fairly recent one called “Doctor Who: Harvest of Time.” In a galaxy full of ancient alien races, there will be careers to be made and reputations to be won and lost in the study of such things.

    Yes, it was good that the expert standing next to Perkins was a Woman of an Ethnic Minority, but basically all she did was gawp and (metaphorically) ooh and ahhh, when she should’ve been arguing the hell out of her own research and hypotheses with her equally vociferous colleagues and rivals, as UK viewers used to witness from the real-life historians & archaeologists in the much-missed TV show “Time Team” (one of whom was digging up my own hometown earlier this month, yay!).

    Deb was right to say that the extras were unfortunately conspicuous in their extra-like behaviour. Maybe fewer extras needed. I was surprised when they all disappeared from the screen after the train exploded, I expected to see them all wandering away across the beach, but I guess they couldn’t really have been kept around, as they were non-speaking parts except for Perkins.

    My other “problem” with Perkins was that I was expecting GUS to be unveiled in this episode. When the Doctor began quizzing Perkins in the TARDIS, I expected it to be a trap… but it was a companion audition, which confused me til the end of the ep.

    I think, really, it all boils down to what Jamie Mathieson said on DW Extra. He’s a stand-up comedian himself, and when he found out Frank Skinner would be taking the role, he Perkinsed the heck out of that script. But, of course, any writerly intentions must be delivered with the full knowledge that audience expectations have been whacked multiple times by what might be termed the Moffat of Loving Confusion.

    I didn’t get the comparison between the Doctor and the Mummy but it makes a lot of sense. I think Kat is spot-on when it comes to Danny’s motivation. He’d have been a much more likeable character if he’d been closer to Samuel Anderson’s real personality on DW Extra, but that’s not what was required for this season, and I doubt there’s a line in the Season 8 Writers’ Guide which says: “Danny Pink. Typical. Controlling. Boyfriend. Eye-roll.”

    Clara’s lying… I think it relates to something Moffat has said in different ways in various interviews this year. The first time I saw the comment, I think he said that he & the DW team had to be careful not to lose sight of Clara’s most entertaining & plot-driving attribute (i.e. Moffat phrased it diplomatically, in terms of a potential problem with the character at some undefined future time).

    The next time I saw the comment, I seem to recall Moffat being specific in admitting that Clara’s personality needed tweaking after last season, by taking the character back to (one of) her roots in The Snowmen, where she was living a double life as barmaid & governess, and I guess she was LYING to both employers, which was Clara at her best so let’s take her from there and do lots more of that kind of thing.

    Well, I didn’t plan on typing so much about the episode, but That Damn Show, and This Darned Podcast, they just keep on making me THINK about STUFF.

    My own attempt at the limited edition green vinyl ten-inch of fannishness with signed gatefold sleeve: Thanks to a two-for-£10 offer at my local branch of WHSmith Books, I’m now the proud owner of the lavish merch guide “The Vault” and thick wodge of trivia “Who-ology”. Glanced at back cover of the latter, which asks what are the co-ordinates of Gallifrey. “Ten zero eleven,” I think to myself, “zero zero by zero two from Galactic Zer-… Oh. I need help.”

  7. I’m having a weird disconnect with the episode. I can see how well done it was and there were so many positive things about it (the Mummy, the costumes, Perkins, Maisie), but on an emotional level I just didn’t feel it. In fact it felt poisoned by the last scene. I was uncomfortable with Clara lying to both Danny and the Doctor.

    I didn’t dislike the episode and I enjoyed watching it, but I don’t feel connected to it. It’s kinda how I see the Doctor this season. I can see how excellent an actor Capaldi is, and I’m fascinated at what they are doing with the character on an intellectual level, but I can’t connect with him on an emotional level very well. It’s a very odd feeling for me, who usually consumes media on an emotional level.

  8. terminuspodcast said:

    Definitely #teamliz on the episode being the HOTTEST THING EVER (I’ve been in love with that Guardian review as well). I really found this to be an incredibly shippy episode and I certainly own that is probably due to my own proclivities of shipping Clara/Twelve, but yes, if one is interested in reading the story in such a way, I think the episode gave us a lot of shippy-candy to chew on. I mean, god, that look that the Doctor has when Clara says ‘I love you’ on the phone (presumably to Danny, but its telegraphed in such a way that she might be saying it to the Doctor as well) was worth the entire episode alone for me!

    Oh, and being such a huge Seven era nerd and having ‘The Curse of Fenric’ as my fave classic story, I was so excited to see Janet Henfrey making a reappearance in ‘Doctor Who’ as Maisie’s gran/mum Mrs. Pitt. ❤ ❤

    Also, count me as another classic fan that cheered upon seeing the bubble wrap! AND OMG THE JELLY BABIES IN THE CIGARILLO CASE ARE THE GREATEST THING EVER! I will definitely have to add that to my Doctor cosplay. 🙂

    P.S. I think I'm the only person who was a bit bored with Foxes Queen cover though. I guess I just prefer the original? It was all right, but it didn't do much for me. Even when I watch the fanvid, I find myself turning the sound off. *shrug* YMMV, of course.

    • Another vote for #teamliz here. I don’t even ship those two but my head nearly spun around at the shippiness of the episode. I mean, I can see all the sides represented by the Verity podcast on this and, yes, it would be nice of people could just be friends but really…a ship is a ship is a ship. Now, I can’t unsee it. And, I, too, was bored by Foxes. I don’t know her work but everyone made such a big deal I thought she was going to a big deal but…ehh. She was ok. Get AC/DC on, then we’ll talk.

  9. When Clara was hanging out with the 11th doctor, there was fun flirting, but I never felt either wanted it to go anywhere. They were just pals.

    But now with the twelfth doctor, I think Clara is feeling an attraction and it is scaring and confusing her. When she was talking on the phone with Danny, I totally thought her “I love you” was directed towards the doctor.

    I think she is less into Danny now that she knows he is not into time travel. I still think they do not end up together. Orson must be the grandchild of Danny, but not Clara. Interested in what will happen next.

    • Has anyone else noticed what seems like a disproportionate number of references to grandparents in this season? It started with the reference to Orson’s grandparent (did he specify which one?), then we had Lundvik mentioning that her grandmother used to post things on Tumblr and appealing to Clara’s hope for children *and grandchildren*; and now, this week, Maisie really didn’t like her gran (who really poisoned her pony — yikes!). I don’t know what, if anything, it all might add up to…

      • Doomedrider said:

        Very well spotted. And this all points to one obvious conclusion: Missy is Susan!

        Although, if that’s the case, she has a rather powerfully unresolved Oedipal complex, what with the Doctor is my boyfriend reference. But then again, he did leave her in a post apocalyptic world with a bloke she barely knew. That’s bound to create some issues….

        Maybe I should get my coat.

      • Well, maybe not Susan, but maybe the Doctor’s “real” daughter (as opposed to Jenny) – whether she be biological or adopted, Susan’s mother? The “boyfriend” comment could have been sarcastic, or maybe “oedipal.” But there were also the references to the Doctor’s “dad skills” in “Listen,” and he really acted like an out-of-control overprotective dad from hell in “The Caretaker…” – I can only imagine the Doctor was a terrible father. Maybe Missy is out for revenge!

        (Yes, Moffat under my bed, too.)

  10. Thank you again Verities for another interesting podcast episode. I haven’t commented for a while, because I’m still processing a lot of the earlier episodes(!).

    Like Liz, I thought the Doctor and Clara were extremely flirty at the beginning (technically they weren’t flirting ‘in the TARDIS’, I guess!), but read it as more romantic than sexual. I would argue that all the companions feel some kind of love for the Doctor – otherwise, why would any of them stick around? And surely as they are preparing to say goodbye, all of the strength of feeling between the Doctor and companion would come to the forefront.

    I really loved this episode, from beginning to (almost) end – like many of you, Clara’s lying at the very end made me so uncomfortable. For me, some of the discomfort was because it was such a complete turn-around that I felt it was a poorly written, tacked-on ending that didn’t feel true to the character. But now I can thank you Verities for giving me a few different interpretations of that scene, and making me feel a lot better about it! – at least in terms of Clara’s motivation(s); I still don’t like her lying…

    And I want EVERY SINGLE OUTFIT that Clara wears in this episode – even though I’m a completely different body shape and they probably wouldn’t suit me, but her clothes were just gorgeous. Bravo to the costume department, who presumably had a fantastic time!

    PS. Re Frank Skinner – my husband, who doesn’t listen to Verity and thus is completely unbiased, commented part way through the episode ‘this guy is great!’. So, clearly, he is 🙂

  11. Ooh, and some happy things:

    * my 4-year old wants ‘a robot mug like mummy’s’ for Christmas – the robot in question is a Dalek
    – so any suggestions of kid-friendly Dalek mugs/cups gratefully received!
    * my sister has offered to make me a TARDIS cake for my birthday!
    * I have recently read some non-DW books by Jenny Colgan, which are just lovely romantic comedies with fantastic characters – and you can play spot-the-Doctor Who references, which is fun…

    And finally, I second Erika’s recommendation from last week of Ben Aaronovitch’s novel Rivers of London – I read it a few months ago without knowing the Doctor Who connection, and I thought it was a terrific read.

  12. AntonB said:

    If that wasn’t’ t flirting I don’t know what is. I’m with Liz on that one.

    The comment about the Doctor not lying and Clara beginning to lie is key here because I felt the theme this week was truth and lies. The lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell each other. And the pain that learning the truth can bring. Pretty much everyone in this episode lies at some point. Except Perkins the engineer and even he, in his first encounter with the Doctor pretends to be lying either to wind up the Doctor or test him, like everything about the at character it’s left ambiguous. Maisie lies about her relationship to her grandmother who is pretending to be her mother. The guard is lying or suppressing the truth about his PTSD, GUS is lying about his motives, (and working out the secret of his true identity is driving me insane) the Mummy is lying about being a monster (he’s really a soldier, the distinction is this series’ main arc). The Doctor always lies but this week we catch him lying to himself – “Because you know what this sounds like, don’t you?” and channelling Tom Baker. (Love the jelly babies in the cigarette case.) Even the psychic paper produces a lie which even the Doctor can’t accept with ‘Mystery Shopper’, and the train is lying about being a train (it’s a research lab) but the main dissembler of course is Clara, pretending she’s on a break-up date like someone celebrating giving up smoking with a cigarette. Her addiction to being the one who makes the scary decisions which resolve all the danger is a hard one to kick. She isn’t in love with the Doctor, she wants to be him. That final unnecessary lie about Danny being ‘ alright with it’ and the intense stare at the Doctor as she says,”I love you” to Danny on the phone. This can’t end well.

    The choice of a cocktail lounge version of what could be read as an addict’s theme tune – “Don’t stop me now, ’cause I’m having a good time” is more than deliberate.

    I get a very seventh Doctor/Ace vibe. Is the Doctor putting Clara through some kind of initiation test to see if she’s up to becoming a Time Lord? The reference to the choice between Academy or soldiering in ‘Listen’ reinforced this. I fear she may fail though. She’s shown a propensity toward combat before, most obviously in Nightmare in Silver will Clara end up really breaking the Doctor’s hearts by becoming a soldier?

    • “the Mummy is lying about being a monster” – I don’t think the Mummy makes any claims about himself. He is simply misinterpreted as a monster by the passengers. He’s just following his last orders, good solider that he is.

      Other than that, I think truth and lies is a helpful theme through which to view the episode. And, you’re the second commenter to point out that Clara is staring at the Doctor when she tells Danny she loves him. I did not catch that at all. Good observation, though I will be most displeased if Clara’s “falling hard” for the Doctor or some nonsense like that. Ever since “The Caretaker,” we’ve been seeing a real regression in her character, and I don’t like it. I don’t think she is headed for a good end.

      • AntonB said:

        The mummy’s lying is extra-diegetic. In other words the narrative leads us to make an assumption about him which is false. So perhaps I should have said the writer is lying, or at least withholding the truth. Which still works.

        As also evidenced by the following episode (Flatline) I don’t think Clara is in love with the Doctor. She is in love with becoming the Doctor and I’m afraid like I said, this can’t end well.

    • Nice episode analysis! Caught Clara’s lie at the end (so much lying to is season!), but missed it throughout the episode.

  13. Doomedrider said:

    Perkins (while wonderfully portrayed by Skinner) definitely felt dodgy. He was the train engineer: how did he not know about the facade? Your idea that one one else can see him night hold some weight – if the captain really is the only one to talk to him other than the Doctor, and the only time that happens is on the captain’s final moments, (I’ve also only watched it once, at midnight on Saturday, so forgive anything I’ve missed) that is the point in which the captain is being phased out…. Maybe the Mummy isn’t the only thing he becomes aware of in that state… Maybe the Doctor is being phased out to, say, the Nethersphere, just a lot slower than 66 seconds. Of course, if that’s the case, do we know for sure that the Doctor wasn’t lying when he claimed to have saved everybody? The only proof we have is the survival of Perkins….

    Absolutely loved the episode. Also, the sexual tension was clearly there in every exchange between the two (I haven’t seen that much crackle between a Doctor and companion since Lalla Ward!) and, wow, isn’t Capaldi so heart-achingly good? I get a shudder almost every time he’s on screen…

    More. We need more! What do you mean I have to wait until Saturday?

    • Laurissy said:

      I think Perkins must be Gus’ agent or something. It just seemed very fishy. I loved his performance and I am a little bit sad we won’t see him as a companion but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him.

  14. Henrik said:

    Well that was a wonderful return to form for the show. Lovely atmosphere, good plot, very good story.

    There was definitely no flirting between the Doctor and Clara though. I’m sure of it. When would there have been time? What would it even have looked like? I don’t know!

    The twelfth Doctor is continuing being a great one and is probably shaping up to be the most relatable one we’ve seen since ever.

    Well done, ‘Doctor Who’, I can almost forgive you for ‘Kill the Moon’. Almost.

  15. Laurissy said:

    So at first I liked this episode and I found it enjoyable and then I talked about it with my sister and my sister now hates Clara with a burning passion. We’ve never been Clara’s biggest fans but I’ve enjoyed her a lot more this season. But I think she has crossed a line. I’m not sire where I stand on the sexual tension thing but I completely agree with Kat that this is about addiction and the lies you tell to control your addiction. I find it fascinating but I can understand and my sister definitely falls into this category finds it very offputting. I like this story it’s very simple and it had a good premise and woo hoo for bubblewrap. I think my problem is that even though I do like the new direction of the show and the questions the show is asking about itself. If I think about this season as a whole it doesn’t seem to quite mesh up. The lack of villians annoys me, the plot holes, a lack of scale and adventure. There have been great moments but I feel that none of these episodes are great stories. It’s a shame because I have loved Capaldi’s interpretation as the Doctor and he may be my new favourite but we need a new showrunner.

  16. I LOVE how you ended the podcast-best laugh of my day!

    This episode left me feeling like I had gotten the wind knocked out of me-I wanted Clara’s anger to MEAN something! However, after I took some deep breaths (hmm…), calmed down, and watched again, I discovered he had changed, just not as much as I wanted him to, and I really liked the episode.

    I think it was very significant to Clara that the Doctor let her into his thought process at the end. By telling her what he was thinking and why he made the choices he made, he addressed her fears that he was cruel and insensitive. I think by including! she found a way to trust him again. So, she decided to stay…that and she heard that he offered her spot to someone else-so not going to happen!

    Great episode and great conversation everyone. As always, thanks.

  17. Chloe Hardy said:

    After 42 years of happy viewing, I had my first ever Doctor Who-related nightmare about the mummy from this episode. That’s a compliment, not a complaint! Thus particularly loved the end of the podcast.

    The whole soldier issue came up again. Personally, I think the Doctor’s pursuing (or having the opportunity to pursue) the question of what happens to a soldier who becomes isolated from their comrades.

    The Dalek, the Doo-da Raider Killer Bot thing, the Teller, Danny Pink – all isolated from the body of their army/people by choice or accident. Even robot units in Deep Breath and Sherwood had been isolated from the main body, I think.

    That brings me on to my Pink/Blue twin soldier experiment theory…no, I’ve bored enough people with that for now.

    Cracking episode of Doctor Who and Verity!

  18. lbphilly said:

    Dear Verities, as always a wonderful episode. I have only a couple things to add.

    I thought I saw a real mellowing of the Doctor here. Oh, yes, he still has the brutal honesty of a very bright person of no social skills. And as long as the gun was to his head he has no patience for any of the social niceties. But I also was struck by one word that he said when speaking to the mummy as the clock was ticking and he realized the mummy was a soldier:

    “Son.”

    Often used by an experienced commander to calm down an enlisted soldier who’s circling the drain from one mission too many. (These are the little nuggets you glean as the wife of a former battlefield artillery officer.) I think that in that moment his visceral reaction to soldiers may have shifted from reflexive antipathy and he heard his own voice. The mummy needed to hear the words that would tell him he was relieved.

    Further softening: I think the Doctor was prepared to be very trusting of Clara on the beachwhen he spoke of no good choices and of his need to do hurtful things sometimes because they’re the least bad choices of a bad lot. In the heat of the moment he has no time to talk about his feelings when he throws the soldier a battery in Into the Dalek, or makes the victims of the mummy keep talking. But he has come to realize that Clara needs, nay deserves the explanation he wasn’t fully able to give or she to hear when she unloaded on him at the end of Kill the Moon.

    What about Clara at the end? I think she’s had a little time to think about there being no good choices, and what that may mean for her own life right now. I’m less inclined to condemn her for lying (or not) to Danny and shading the truth to the Doctor. She needs to sort out which choices she should make, and when and how, and when she has actually made her choices she can explain to both Danny and the Doctor that she didn’t tell the whole truth, nor nothing but the truth, when she finally does explain.

    And I’m not sure I’d describe Sylvester McCoy as an overconfident duck, but I’ll treasure the image.

  19. Wonderful podcast, as always, but I feel I have to point out an error. For the second time this season, someone on the podcast has said that Clara is the first companion who has traveled with the Doctor in an on-again, off-again fashion. This is most definitely not the case. Amy and Rory traveled with him in this way for much of their tenure on the show, as is most obvious in “Impossible Astronaut”, “Pond Life”, and “Asylum of the Daleks”. They both tried to have normal lives away from the Doctor. It didn’t work out very well.

    River’s travels with the Doctor are also on-again, off-again. On at least two separate occasions (“Day of the Moon” and “Angels Take Manhattan”), she explicitly rejects his offer to travel with him, but she and the Doctor clearly have many adventures together that we have never seen on screen. (“Picnic at Asgard”, “The Singing Towers”, “The Bone Meadows”, “Jim the Fish”, “Easter Island”, “The Last of the Frost Fairs”, “The Guiltily Hidden Euphonium”, “Living with Otters”, etc.) Rather than making the TARDIS her home, River treats her (easily escapable) prison as a home base to make it easier for the Doctor to find her when he wants to bring her along on an adventure. When she wants to invite him along on an adventure of her own, she tends to use a suitably outrageous method to contact him. As someone on Tumblr (probably Phil Sandifer) pointed out, River is the star of her own un-televised spinoff show, the plot of which occasionally intersects with that of Doctor Who, but which doesn’t always include the Doctor.

    Of course, some people don’t count River as a companion because they don’t like her for some reason or other, all of which are wrong.

  20. Jason M said:

    Believe the equations are the final part of the calculation to send Gallifrey into the pocket universe in day of the doctor.

  21. Once again, I really dislike the cellphone gimmick. There are two aspects about it that annoy me.

    1. It links whenever Clara is to a current time. It means that she cannot return right after she left, because she talked to Danny after then.
    2. I really can’t see how the phone “knows when” to call. Is the phone’s internal clock just continuing on and it called to the point when “it is”? I guess if she returns to “the present” then it resets off the GPS, but her phone history is a bit wonky.

    Anyway, since this wasn’t mentioned, I thought I’d bring it up. Otherwise a really great Doctor Who episode and a fun Verity!

  22. I think Clara’s behavior could be that of an “addict” as well as conflicting desires that seem to be resulting in her acting out of character more and more. She seems to have a strong desire to have her “normal” life with Danny and teaching and for that to be enough. But she is coming to the realization that maybe it is not enough for her. Fighting this truth could make her overly judgmental toward the Doctor. Her time with the Eleventh, and jumping into the Doctor’s time stream to save him because she decided she “was born to save the Doctor”, formed an incredibly strong bond. But can she find her equilibrium now that everything has changed? Can she ever live that “normal life”? She seems desperate to.

  23. Singlestick said:

    Just wanted to note how much I liked your podcast about this episode, especially the discussion of the themes of flirtiness and addiction.

    The “start the clock” coda was unexpectedly delightful. Nicely done.

    • James C said:

      The coda was very clever! It is amazing how long 66 seconds seemed.

      It’s also plenty of time to establish a story! Look at how much was achieved in the 66 seconds of the pre-titles sequence of the episode.

  24. Korina said:

    Wow, so many insightful comments! That’s why I love this podcast.

    One thing no one else seems to have mentioned, and it’s probably not anything, but I found it interesting about five minutes in, when Clara said ‘…but I can’t do this anymore, not the way — *you* do it.’ Probably nothing.

    Also, L O V E D the oh-so-brief appearance of Four; lends a whole new meaning to talking to yourself.

    I can hardly wait until Wednesday; Flatline was an extremely dense episode, with loads of lots to think about.

  25. Christopher said:

    Superb episode, ladies! As usual, you completely amaze us sordid listeners with varied perspectives. Cannot wait until tonight to listen to your views on Flatline!

    A word about PTSD. You certainly did not intend to marginalize PTSD, yet your commentary and perspective is completely off the mark. Undoubtedly you would roll your eyes if a male provided perspective commentary on giving birth, and their perspective on the process. Similarly, perhaps bring in expertise to comment on PTSD, or at least for commentary on such a significant social topic tap into resources of those individuals that have actually lived in the chronic stress which is combat.

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