I love Gareth Roberts and I was happy to hear he was returning. A episode set in Coal Hill school, I didn’t think anything could go wrong!
So did it?
There seemed to be too much plot to go around really! That was the problem.
You had the robot (Skovox Blitzer) which was kind of only in the background and not really important even though it was apparently this big threat to the world.
You had Danny and Clara, which went round and round in confusing circles.
You had Danny and the Doctor which went nowhere.
You had Danny, the Doctor and Clara which was kind of…. Well just left.
None of the points were really important as far as I can tell. Or at least they never felt important to me.
For the first time I really did feel like this episode would have been improved with Matt Smith instead of Capaldi. The lines, the jokes and the knowing looks were very Eleven. I don’t think Twelve really has much of a distinctness to him yet. I never felt that Eleven was childish or crazy, I felt that he was eccentric and it worked because even when he was standing still he was still moving. It worked for Eleven.
For some reason this episode wanted to do the same kind of thing with Capaldi. There was a lot of jokes from a lot of different Doctors in my opinion and not enough that made Twelve stand out. I’m not sure I really do like the jokes at the expense of humans every ten seconds either, I like that he seems to be less concerned about humans/companions, but at the same time we don’t need every other line of the Doctor just being downright rude. I don’t mind the Doctor being rude but he then at least needs to be a little less… I don’t know. Needy?
Twelve’s portrayal is troubling me. I like him well enough, but I just don’t “Get” whatever it is they are doing. One moment he’s telling Clara he’s not her boyfriend, the next he’s trying to one up any potential date. He didn’t want to include Clara at the beginning of the episode yet he’d parked his TARDIS in her flat.
It is too muddled.
Going back to the “plot”…
We had the Skovox Blitzer who basically was irrelevant. His only point was for the Doctor to be in the school and for Danny to see it. The Blitzer was an interesting story that was forgotten about most of the time.
So you’d think the Danny/Doctor/Clara stuff would make up for it? Much like The Power of Three’s interaction between the Doctor/Amy/Rory/Brian made up for the lack luster ending?
For a start we had a very annoying teenager follow the cast around for little reason the whole time (Courtney) it just felt forced to have a wise cracking kid follow them about.
Then you had the big problem of continuity. Within the episode nonetheless!
One minute Clara is telling us she loves Danny Pink, this is straight after she completely forgets he’s in a room, just been attacked by the Blitzer and seen the Doctor zap it away. No thought to how Danny feels until Danny asks for an explanation.
The ridiculous explanation doesn’t make up for it either. I felt like banging my head against the wall shouting “JUST TELL HIM” until she was forced into a corner to tell him.
But it didn’t stop!
Danny is given nothing. He blindly seems to just get in line. He has a great moment back chatting the Doctor, actually making the Doctor look bad but it is all forgotten because apparently Danny has to be good enough?
For me none of it made sense and if the point was for it to be character developing it failed by a large LARGE margin.
There were moments I loved in it.
Sometimes when the Doctor was being rude and making jokes I actually found him fun. I liked his interactions with Courtney.
I also liked that sneaky little smile when he gets the complete wrong end of the stick when it comes to who Clara is dating thinking she is dating Adrian because he looks like Eleven.
Danny and Clara are great characters and with what they were given they did shine. Samuel Anderson was once again a wonderful addition.
But I felt so much more could have been achieved if the plot had just been focused into one thing and not spread over a few different points that just never connected.
For me the low point of the season so far.