First Broadcast September 13th 2014 @ 7.30pm (7.01m viewers)
The fourth episode of Peter Capaldi’s debut season as the Doctor, simply titled ‘Listen’, is an instant classic. There are so many elements which although on paper are very disparate mesh perfectly together. Sadly there are flaws. For instance, the existence of Orson Pink is never fully explained, or how he manages to find a Sanctuary Base 6 spacesuit. However, the episode provides a totally engrossing story that takes us from a modern restaurant to the end of time and back to Gallifrey!
Opening with the Doctor theorising it is the closest we get to the Time Lord addressing the viewers directly. The idea is fascinating. Has evolution perfected a creature so adept at hiding in the shadows that we cannot perceive it? This puts in place one of the eeriest and debated moments in Doctor Who’s history.
Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)
The thing beneath the bed sheet. Was anything really there? If so what was it? The moment that the shape under the bed sheet rises up to Clara’s eye level is chilling. This is then followed by the trio turning away and the bed sheet dropping to the floor. There certainly seems to be a shape of some sort behind them but it is big clear. In an era where very little is left to the imagination, this scene is masterful in denying the viewer a concrete answer, making us doubt our own universe.
Peter Capaldi is utterly engaging during this episode and Jenna Coleman demonstrates both a plucky unlucky-in-love vulnerability but also a caring maternal side. Samuel Anderson as Danny/Orson Pink would prove to be the gem during this season of Doctor Who. This would come to fruition during the penultimate episode of the series but it begins during this story, adorably banging his head on the table following his disastrous date with Clara, making his character an instant hit.
Memorable Moment 2 (Spoiler Warning)
I’m not a huge fan of Clara Oswald, particularly how cemented into the Doctor’s personal history the character would become. For example, the Impossible Girl storyline solution that saw her saving the Doctor throughout his time stream and her triggering his change of mind to save Gallifrey during the Time War. However, although Clara once again plants herself in the Doctor’s background, this representation of a young Doctor, which we have never seen before, is pure genius.
The Doctor – Peter Capaldi
Clara – Jenna Coleman
Danny Pink – Samuel Anderson
Rupert Pink – Remi Gooding
Reg – Robert Goodman
Figure – Kiran Shah
The War Doctor John Hurt
Writer – Steven Moffat
Director – Douglas Mackinnon
Producer – Peter Bennett
Executive Producer – Brian Minchin
Also First Aired On This Day…
- Terror of the Zygons: Part Three
- The Leisure Hive: Part Three
- The Trial of the Time Lord (The Mysterious Planet): Part Two
- Battlefield: Part Two