<strong>What They Say</strong>

<strong>Content: </strong>(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The former Golden Witch Beatrice (Beato) finds herself in a most untenable position as Battler has had more than enough of the Witch’s displays of cruelty and no longer wants Beato in front of him despite the seeming mercy she bestowed on the latest victims by granting them a quick death when they were going to be toys of the new Golden Witch- the repressed feelings of Eva from childhood turned manifest who has inherited that title and name Beatrice. And things aren’t any better for her when dealing with the new Beatrice either as this Beatrice feels she has no need for any insight from her predecessor leaving Beato standing almost alone, almost like the island Rokkenjima itself.
But perhaps this seemingly crushing fate may finally be the key to Beato discovering some magic greater than that of The Golden Witch as her role of spectator to the horrors puts her in a position to empathize and watch the actions of those on the island that she formerly toyed with. As she watches their struggles Beato begins to take an interest in the power each of these individuals seems to have and becomes enamored enough with that to even risk her own existence helping them out. Given that the current Beatrice seems to have powers that extend beyond what Beato and her mentor possessed will Beato find herself on the losing end of events or will she discover a power greater than she knew as well as the assistance of a most unlikely ally when Battler challenges the new Beatrice and takes Beato as an ally after witnessing her trials with her new perspective and differing actions?

<strong>In Summary</strong>

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<B>The Review:</b>

<B>Content:</b> (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
A train ride seems like a quaint way to pass the time today but at one time it was the most modern way to travel (and depending on one’s country it still may be very modern) but the posh interior and dress of the occupants of this particular train seem to hint at it being more about the experience than simply the most effective way to get from Point A to Point B. In the corner a timer starts to run as it counts down from 66 seconds and startlingly the countdown is accompanied by a rather traditional looking mummy that is walking the train’s cabin.
As the timer winds down the mummy’s target appears to be a rather old woman seated in the dining car opposite a much younger lady (Marcy) who calls the older woman mother and who, along with the rest of the cabin’s inhabitants seems to think the older woman has taken leave of her senses when she starts yelling about a mummy- and deservedly so as outside of the audience no one else but the woman can see it. As the numbers drain to zero the mummy puts its hands to the woman’s head and she suddenly collapses dead which sends the rest of the cabin into panic and as the camera drifts outside the cabin the name of the train can be seen and it is emblazoned with the storied title Orient Express but as the camera pans further it becomes clear this isn’t the one that inspired the famous novel but instead it must have been inspired by it as Earth at the period didn’t have a lot of trains that traveled through space.
A space train called the Orient Express though may serve as a great place for a grand farewell and that is what it appears like it will serve for the Doctor and Clara as Clara’s anger from the previous events on the Moon seem to have subsided but she still appears to have decided that she and the Doctor’s days of traveling have reached an end and this scenic backdrop may be a perfect place to say a goodbye to it. Of course such a parting is much easier to do when one’s partner in the endeavor isn’t attempting at every moment to change the mood, be it from seeing Clara giving a sad smile to working very hard to change the subject when Clara attempts to talk about why she has come to the conclusion she has about their journeys.
The Doctor gets an odd form of relief when his conversation is interrupted by the young woman (Macy) who watched her companion die early suddenly steps into his musings to Clara and calls him a liar as he was describing an event he had on a planet that had been wiped out millennia ago as she is escorted to her sleeping cabin by the train Captain as she is still in a bit of shock (though obviously not completely in a daze). Of course the Doctor can’t quite resist examining a dead body that supposedly killed in the presence of a mummy only the deceased could see while Clara is still trying to talk with him about why she feels she can’t keep traveling like this and the Doctor seems to acquiesce to her, though Clara may be more talk than follow through when a mystery is involved despite what she tells her beau.
As the Doctor investigates he meets a man named Perkins who seems to be as interested in events as the Doctor, but perhaps not for the same reasons as the Doctor while Clara runs into Marcy and follows her rather than trying to track down the Doctor which leads her to the baggage car. The Doctor though is following up on one of his hunches and he begins to question another passenger who turns out to be a history professor who has a love of legends and who has heard stories of the mummy as it is called the Foretold and it has garnered quite an ominous reputation, one which is growing by the hour as another member on the train falls victim to it.
In order to get to the bottom of things the Doctor attempts to approach the Captain of the train to investigate but it seems that the man has no stomach for such things and the Doctor diagnosis him as being an old soldier just looking for the quiet life now after something happened in the military, which doesn’t earn the man any breaks in the Doctor’s book. When yet another person is killed though the Doctor decides that enough is enough and he startles everyone with his revelation on just what this trip they are on really is but is that revelation going to be enough to draw everyone together to solve this event before the train is emptied of people on it when the scheming mind behind the assembly is dragged out of the shadows and suddenly the race against death gains a second executioner looking to move events forward at all costs? Is the Doctor going to be able to solve things and get Clara home safe one last time or will the rift that had developed as of late grow larger…or perhaps eternal if the Foretold has its way?
The adventures of the Twelfth Doctor continue on pace and the series returns to what seems to be a pattern of late of going for the suspense mode and attempting to create a bit of a horror story to events. This probably wouldn’t be a problem if it were either a one off or even spaced farther from some previous tales but this is at least the third episode in this season that feels like it is attempting to be a bit darker in tone and suspense and in a different series, say Torchwood, which focuses on such things it’d be better but it is starting to feel a bit repetitive in tone and rather than invoking wonder it sets up a barrier to entry.
This barrier isn’t helped in the least by a script that feels too short by half like many of the other episodes this season and I can’t help feeling that series lead Moffat has grown accustom to his longer time allotment on his Sherlock series and that it makes it harder for him to write- or help guide other writers- to polish a script that either flourishes in the time allotted or is special enough to get a multiple episode run (something the old Doctor Who series succeeded at).
I am honestly getting a bit frustrated by a lack of developing characters which hurts the suspense that grows with impending doom closing on them and which helps to create a feeling of buying in with concern for these individuals. Quite often with this episode the audience has no connection to the imperiled member of the group at all, with the set up death coming right at the start and a second coming at the same moment the character is introduced. Part of this is due to the larger than average cast but even when they aren’t being targeted they feel more like props for the Doctor to use as if they were simply moving mannequins with pictures posted on them to help give him a clue as to what is going on. When added in to the fact that almost every important clue or part of the puzzle is done by the Doctor one can’t help but feel there is no other purpose for almost all of the cast than to serve as set pieces- some of which is literally shown to be true when the being that arranged things makes its presence known.
It also takes away the chance for the audience to try to play along when the Doctor suddenly starts making giant intuitive leaps at the end to reach a conclusion that no hints are given to which is part of the reason a Companion exists, so that the viewer can start to arrange the puzzle pieces at the same time but here the pieces seem to be dumped on the table by the Doctor after he already assembled most of them out of sight and is now just placing them to show off that he is brilliant.
The series also has a couple moments that on their own I’d love but when taken into account with all the other episodes so far seems to be really pushing the wrong boundaries as once again the writers sneak in a couple references to older Doctors, first with a case that looks to be a cigarette case but turns out to have a candy inside (I am not familiar with them but I’d bet they are the Fourth Doctors preferred Jelly Babies) and a great line that the threat being a mummy enables a quip that dates back to a series episode as well as quip that the Tenth Doctor made. While I enjoyed these moments individually I am getting rather tired of the writers continually throwing them in as if they don’t yet have a personality quirk for the Twelfth Doctor or are afraid the audience needs constant little moments to remember when they liked the series or something.
*Major spoilers ahead*
When added in to the idea of how the Foretold targets its victims based on some weakness I started with wondering why it picks out the weakest members first as it doesn’t seem to draw more energy from one target than the next and from a military standpoint taking out the healthiest bodies first makes at least as much sense. And then once the idea that some sort of mental condition- like PTSD or extreme grief (or whatever Marcy had) was something that could be sensed and targeted I kind of tuned out as it seems an additional obnoxiousness to try to say that somehow someone with PTSD may be more vulnerable than someone without and help to reinforce a rather negative image that exists right now just irritated me, then again I work in a field helping people who have issues so I may be more sensitive to that than most other people.
The Doctor’s odd “I’ll take your grief” or whatever moment also felt like just a bit too much of a solution designed by time rather than story and another place where events came up short. Add in the somewhat odd way that the Doctor treated the poor eternal soldier as opposed to other soldiers and it felt like an episode that was at odds with some of the other developed themes this season.
*Major spoilers end*
On the plus side, as an anime fan seeing a train in space gave me warm feelings as it drew me toward both The Galactic Railroad and various Galaxy 999 properties which bought the episode some good faith from me, something that wasn’t hurt either by having the murder mystery take place on The Orient Express either. I am intrigued by where things will go in the future now that Clara has had a change of heart both toward traveling with the Doctor as well as participating in one of his main was of manipulating people- even with someone she ostensibly cares about. Through in a manipulative entity who may be part Gantz and the episode feels like on that has the ability to connect with a number of other anime fans.
There were also some great moments at the end where the Doctor sits down and tries to explain why he does some of the things he does and why he acts cold at times which seem to ring true but one can’t help wondering if this and one other thing he told Clara about the other passengers is actually true or merely a fragment of a the truth or simply a lie she is likely to believe because she wants to. There is also a great juxtaposition between the engineer Perkins when he is given the chance to travel with the Doctor and work on the TARDIS’ engines and his recognition of how traveling with and working on the engines would change a person versus Clara who, when faced with the prospect of the end of her travels, revels she has been changed but she does appear to the same level of cognitive realization of it as she lies to Danny when the truth might have served just as well- or perhaps that is a reflection of her traveling companion’s influence as well.
I thought it was a nice touch that when Clara questions the Doctor about why he does what he does he doesn’t seem to be able to provide an answer which brings the question out into the open and while there isn’t an answer given the hanging question offers the chance that the idea may be explored at some point in the future. Playing into this is the addressed issue that it turns out the Doctor did know a bit about the danger being present on the train as he’d been contacted in the past to participate but only chose now to do so, having first lied about it being safe to Clara and being in the dark to the nature of things earlier and it raises an interesting idea when Clara talks about traveling with him possibly being like an addiction that the Doctor may very well know this and be playing into that aspect with her while also raising the chance that perhaps he is also trapped in the embrace of the compulsions as well.
Overall though the episode feels like on that is the kind of average tale that appears in long running sci-fi series that isn’t terribly memorable in the long run and more of fills out a season run than helps to define that season’s run and while it isn’t strong enough to stand without its connection to this franchise on a straight story perspective it also isn’t a disaster that will cause fans to skip over it when marathoning or revisiting a season which feels like a bit of a missed opportunity floating in a sea of series that have stories that also failed to do much more than ‘be’ as opposed to being special.

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<B>What They Say:</b>



<B>The Review:</b>

<B>Content:</b> (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Man calling police, trying to phone in a tip on who committed a crime
“They are all around”
Suddenly he is gone and phone falls loose
Angle changes and the man in now a screaming smear on the wall with his features noticeable
Clara is taking all her stuff out of the TARDIS and she is lying to him about Danny wanting all her stuff out but still being OK with traveling
Same location…ish
Tardis outer doors have shrunk from inside but from outside the TARDIS has shrunk on the outside to be shorter than Clara…on top of which the pair are in Bristol 120 miles away from where the Doctor planned them to land.
Youth being put into community service and forced to paint over his graphitee by a tough task master
Doctor in Tardis trying to figure out what is going on and he here noises that aren’t good
Clara finds a mural of missing people and tries to figure out what is going on and as she goes back to where the TARDIS is to find it is now toy sized because external dimension is being leached off.
Doctor gives Clara screwdriver and Psychic Paper and has her take the TARDIS with her as he gives her an ear piece
Clara encounters the same youth she calls herself the Doctor…to the Doctor’s annoyance
Shows off the room where people missing and does some thoughts as to what if the person is still there.
Doctor wants him to go but after the youth says something interesting the Doctor wants the youth to stick around.
Doctor meets the youth and youth is a bit stunned
Something is draining energy from the TARDIS and Clara and Brigs run off.
Doctor is embarrassed he can’t understand and Clara uses psychic paper to pose as MI-5 and examine the room the first person vanished
Doctor gives Clara a sledgehammer
Police officer is in another room and something goes toward her and it pulls her into the carpet by changing her dimensions
Doctor continues to theorize that maybe these aliens aren’t from this universe
Doctor discovers the nervous system on the wall is the police officer and thing on the wall in 1st apt is giant skin cell
Things are the wall and turning leaching them of dimensions.
Danny calls and Clara continues to lie to him as they were supposed to be on a date in the park making him suspicious as she is having to make a sizable excursion to survive
Doctor figures out the aliens are from a dimension that only has 2 dimensions
Doctor also figures out that Clara has been lying to him about Danny
As Clara and young man come back to the mural they find the missing people, in the wall; as Clara tries to get them out one of the people is pulled in
The group tries to hide in a municipal storage are and Clara attempts to take control of this group including the stubborn man who can see through Psychic Paper
Clara is filling in as the Doctor she starts to sound like the Doctor which gives the Doctor some insight into himself
Doctor thinks that the creatures may not see how 3D creatures need to live and he attempts to talk to them
They hook the TARDIs communication through a speaker and they attempt to see if maybe they can communicate
As the creatures ‘talk’ they reveal which members of the group they captured…first the one they already did and then their next target
George is captured and rest of the group goes into the tunnels and find that the alien had been there already and turned the handle 2 D
“Deflatner” that might be able to return small objects like handles…but it doesn’t work
TARDIS being drained again
Another member of the group is grabbed as the creatures start to take on 3 dimensions and chase the group
Doctor thinks he may be able to send them back
Crabby man tries grabbing TARDIS and causes it to fall out Clara’s purse and down a hole.
Tardis took a near fatal blow…and now it is on train tracks
Doctor moves the TARDIS like Addams Family’s Thing
Tardis falls back on tracks and klaxon bell rings as Doctor pulls a switch
Three surviving members climb down to train tracks and find the creatures are already there
Meanwhile TARDIS is in siege mode and not enough energy to fet out
Youth tries to ram the aliens with train but Clara grabs him out as she had a plan that doesn’t require sacrifice from him
Train is turned 2D and the creatures return
Clara grabs a cube that she thinks is the TARDIS’ safe mode and she tries to figure out what to do to get the TARDIS energy enough to beat the creatures
Clara has the youth spray paint something for her plan as she places the Tardis on a part of the tunnel
Inside the TARDIS life support is failing
Aliens try to make a 2 D picture 3D
Doctor proclaims that Clara made a fine Doctor
Creatures are now pouring energy through fake door and powering up the TARDIS and returning it to functionality
Doctor apologizes to the creatures, says he is treating them as the monsters that they seem determined to act like and he banishes them while naming them “The Boneless”
Each of the survivors deal with their survival in different ways with cranky man not at all caring about the people lost as they were ‘lost causes’
You were an exceptional Doctor Clara- “Goodness had nothing to do with it”
Lousy building story season returns.
<B>In Summary:</b>



<B>Grade:</b>