A wonderful episode on Doctor Who last night: Listen. Right up there with Blink in terms of plot dovetailing and hide-behind-the-sofa factor. Clara is developing into a nicely-rounded character, and the restaurant scenes between her and Danny Pink were very good in their toe-curling embarrassments, and reminiscent of Moffat’s earlier work in Coupling.

I thought it was interesting that the central idea in Blink was that you must not look away from a Weeping Angel, but that in Listen, you must never look at a Listener; polar opposites, but both equally capable of racheting up the fear factor. And the reveals of the boy in the barn and the barn itself at the end – well, I gasped at the audacity of it.

I liked the way that the central idea of there being listeners hiding under every bed was never entirely resolved one way or the other. Is it all in our imaginations or not?

Classic Doctor Who.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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2 Responses to Listen

  1. Mark says:

    a lot of empty holes in the episode. So we are to assume he fell asleep at the beginning and wrote “listen” on the chalkboard, then woke back up in the same spot? and that a kid was hiding under the bedcovers and after all of that quietly walked away when their back was turned.. as you say, lots of unanswered questions!

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      We don’t know that the Doctor didn’t write on the chalkboard himself (or even that he wasn’t aware of writing it himself – we are led to believe that is the case, but it ain’t necessarily so). That there was someone/something on the bed is undeniable, but it could have been a kid – we see the dressing gown on the door swinging to show that someone/something left the room, quietly or not.

      The thing is that it’s a Schrödinger’s Cat episode – both possibilities are equally likely, and perhaps even both at the same time. It may be all in the Doctor’s imagination or not, and it may be that Listeners are real, or not. The episode resolutely refuses to resolve itself for us. The cat stays inside the box.

      Moffat being Moffat, he may resolve it later in the story arc of this or even next season, but my feeling is that he will leave the cat in the box.

      Over in the Guardian, there’s a raging debate going on as to whether the boy in the barn was the young Doctor or the Master. Personally, I think it’s much more satisfactory from a story point of view to have it be the Doctor. Then we have the pleasing symmetry and chicken-and-egg situation over who originates the “fear is a superpower” speech…

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