Doctor Who: Listen
September 13, 2014 12:52 PM - Season 8, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The Doctor goes in search of whatever it is that's under the bed when we wake up, terrified, at night. This takes him, and Clara, into Danny Pink's childhood, to the end of the Universe and a barn in the distant past where a frightened boy is trying to sleep. Meanwhile, Clara has several shots at the same date with Danny.

Not so much the Blink-like fright machine that one might have expected, but darker and more psychological, and some moments (the scene with the Thing on the bed, for example) were quite scary. Clara is doing all the interacting with people, since the new Doctor isn't very good at it - the line about her caring so he doesn't have to seems to be literally true.
posted by Grangousier (80 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Weird episode! I quite liked it, even if it didn't quite hold together. Not at all clear why the Doctor chose this particular moment to deal with something that has apparently bugged him his whole life, but there you go. Loads of memorable moments and images, but often strangely plotless and meandering.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:34 PM on September 13, 2014

Yes... There are so many tiny things in it that I'll need to digest properly, and I think there will be a lot of callbacks to this episode later in the series. Perhaps a lot of the episode takes place in later episodes - I don't mind that, really, as I know I'm watching a series, but it can be a bit disorienting. Whereas last week's was a trad RTD-type episode and it looks like next weeks will be more adventuring, too (and the week after is a Gareth Roberts At-Home-With-the-Doctor ep, like The Lodger), it was a good time to go for the all-out psychological episode. And I'm excited by the fact that there's literally nothing like it on television, and there was something very different from previous Doctor Who in this episode. But that means it can take a while to absorb the details.

Interestingly, while last week's episode seemed to be caught in story-book logic (and it concerned a legendary story-book character), this one - about the unseeable creatures who live in dreams - very much evoked dream logic. The to-ing and fro-ing; the way that Clara kept jetting off around time and space before returning to the restaurant to try to resuscitate the date with Danny again; the way that it would occasionally jump from one beat to another with no logical connection - this is the way that dreams work.

I'm a bit slow, sadly, so I caught on that it was the Doctor in the bed at around the same time Clara did. I'm sure it was blatantly obvious the the more quick-witted viewers from the moment the Tardis landed.

I'm increasingly impressed by Jenna Coleman - there were a lot of psychologically close up moments in this, the kind of thing that Matt Smith would previously have done, and she really does have the authority to really grasp them. It's not just in the emoting and the speechifying, but really subtle stuff. A moment that catches it from a previous episode is the bit where The Doctor asks whether he's a good man, and she's caught off-guard in a rictus of frozen horror - it's not just the physical expressiveness, but the fact that she can convey that something is going on internally, and there seemed to be more of that in this episode.

And it's another episode that was constantly visually beautiful, often in surprising ways.

Whereas I don't think I'll watch the Robin Hood romp again, I'll definitely be firing up the iPlayer for this tomorrow.
posted by Grangousier at 2:20 PM on September 13, 2014 [7 favorites]

It was awfully meandering. Worth it to see Clara get a chance to be a real person for once.

Evolution does not work like that, Doctor. And the Silence and/or the Weeping Angels are already the world's best at hiding. Moffat, you're stealing from yourself again.

Good thing the time machine was also a space station. Wouldn't have gone very well otherwise.

Also, hang on, at the end of the universe there's nothing alive, but there's a perfectly good planet (with a star!)? The humans stuck at the end of the Universe last time we saw it didn't even have a star.

Whoever was under that sheet was the world's creepiest and quietest child instead of a Thing? Or was it also a Thing?

What did the patch on great-grandchild!Danny stand for?

When did we last see a companion pilot the TARDIS on her own?

Clara intervenes in the Doctor's past again.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:31 PM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've never had that dream! I might now. There was definitely something non-human under that sheet. I had expected the Doctor to be the one on the bed.

Clara is good with children. You never really see her being a teacher so this little nugget was great.

"Once upon a time. The end." I liked that a lot.

Did they have a glass break at the exact moment that Clara said the name Rubert Pink in the restaurant? Nicely done, writers.

I feel like the Tardis has been to the end of the world/time a lot. It's the end of the world and you're ALL lying to each other. Really, Doctor.

"While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door."

I'm not one to bring up Rose unnecessarily but I'm thinking she might have found that "psychic connection" to the Tardis a bit handy.

I liked this episode. So much happened and most of it was great. I do hope they don't show more of the Doctor's childhood and Gallifrey, however. Some things should remain a mystery. Otherwise, one ends up wondering why an advanced civilization is living in a re-creation of earth's past. Barns shouldn't, literally, be universal.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 2:36 PM on September 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

Otherwise, one ends up wondering why an advanced civilization is living in a re-creation of earth's past. Barns shouldn't, literally, be universal.

What we saw and/or heard of the Time War was something of a cross between WWI* and the Battle of Britain** (except with Daleks) so it kind of fits aesthetically. Maybe the Academy is basically monkish, intentionally low-tech for cultural reasons. Why a Gallifreyan barn would be full of hay, I don't know...

* space trenches!
** nation under siege, bombardment from the skies
posted by BungaDunga at 2:58 PM on September 13, 2014

Yeah, I got that from the shot of the other Doctor. I just don't like it. The show should never have gone to the Time War. It's as bad as the pre re-boot episodes that had meetings in Gallifrey conducted in these dreary chambers that were something out of the Roman era (as imagined by the writers).
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 3:07 PM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I liked most of this episode, but I personally prefer The Doctor to be presented as a timeless adventurer. So Moffatt's obsession with showing The Doctor's end (he gets killed by an astronaut, no wait, his final end is on Trenzalore) or his beginnings (what's his real name? here he is as a little kid!) bugs me.

I know they already showed him and the master as children in "The Sound of Drums" but at least there Gallifrey was mysterious and alien. Now we find out he slept in a barn. Maybe Clara should have tested his midi-chlorian levels while she was there.
posted by Gary at 3:11 PM on September 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

I dislike how unimaginative New Who* is about worldbuilding Gallifrey/the Time Lords/the Time War -- with the exception of the s3 initiation flashback and "Night of the Doctor" -- but I didn't think this episode was egregious on that front. Okay, the light should have been tinged orange/reddish and those were obviously repurposed Victorian outfits on the adults, but all the information we're given is so ambiguous it could fit into almost any backstory. He could be an orphan in the system, paralleling Danny, but on the flip side he could also be at an adventure summer camp (or junior boot camp). The only definite thing we learned is that at adults didn't think that he was Time Lord material (which we could easily have inferred) and that he would have been shunted into some sort of soldier caste (there was already a caste system in Old Who, at least implicitly).


Like you, Grangousier, I really need to rewatch the episode because there was so much to unpack. I think Moffat deliberately created a stereotypically Moffat-y plot as a familiar framework that he can use as a scaffold for what he really wants to do, which is spend 50 minutes poking into Clara and exploring/building her relationships with the Doctor and Danny. I have to admit, I had concerns before this series started about, "ugh, of course the moment they take the Doctor off the table as Clara's love interest they give her another one, because she's a lady," but even though romance is a factor it's very far from the most important part of her character arc this series so far or this episode.

I'm also intrigued by Moffat flipping the script on "the Doctor meets x as a child," although I'm still pulling together my thoughts on how that ties into how the Doctor-Clara relationship is playing out this season. Since Day of the Doctor he does seem to be soft rebooting the "Clara entwined in the Doctor's timeline" thread without referencing the Impossible Girl arc other than that one throwaway line, which is understandable considering what a hash that turned into but still deeply annoying.

Danny came together for me this episode in a way he didn't in Into the Dalek. He's actually quite similar to Clara in that he puts up a front (Anderson did a fantastic job with the conversation about the 23 wells -- the desperate defensiveness as he tries to convince Clara of something he clearly can't make himself believe), though he's not as good at maintaining it. Or maybe just more honest, despite whatever secret he's struggling with.

Orson on the other hand didn't feel distinct enough as a personality, and even though Anderson and Coleman have great chemistry in whatever form we've already done the "someone rescues their time travelling pioneer descendant" plot in Hide. Though my prediction is that the story about Orson's great-grandparent is that he spent some time travelling in his then-girlfriend's time machine.

*I get the impression Old Who wasn't much better, but I can't say fairly because I haven't seen those serials yet.
posted by bettafish at 4:44 PM on September 13, 2014

I had concerns before this series started about, "ugh, of course the moment they take the Doctor off the table as Clara's love interest they give her another one, because she's a lady,"

Oddly, I was thinking about something like this just today - specifically that Doctor Who, since the reboot, has positioned the Doctor in relationship to the domestic and the everyday. So the companions have been ordinary people with established lives, who step into the magic cupboard and are transported somewhere else. Initially, RTD did it as an inversion of what he saw as the way the traditional companions had been separated from real life, but it's something that Stephen Moffat has taken on systematically. Whereas Rose or Martha or Donna certainly *had* home lives they were a textural background to the series. Amy and Clara's lives are the ongoing story itself. Most of RTD's characters didn't end up in the "real world" - they are taken out of real life to become action heroes or (in Donna's case) a lottery winner. On the other hand, Amy and Rory's story is one of moving from their early twenties into their thirties and settling down. Similarly, while she's been travelling with the Doctor, Clara has aged several years and moved from the aimlessness that overtook her in mourning her mother's death to becoming a teacher.

It's not so much that a female character has to have a boyfriend or get married to be actualised, but these primary characters are women and the overwhelming majority of ordinary women do do those things; those are some of the landmark elements that actual lives are woven from. In fact, the difference might be that RTD's heroines needed to become fantasy characters in order to become real (c.f. Rose's "chips" speech in The Parting of the Ways), while Moffatt's characters are negotiating the relationship between real life and fantasy. RTD might have shown working class life prominently, but I worry that he might despise it in some way, because his characters have to escape it to approach any kind of happiness; Moffatt's characters' lives might be studiously middle-class, but he does have an affection for them, and he sees them as a place that his characters can achieve contentment. Which I actually find more hopeful.

This probably stems from the difference in life-history and personality of the two show-runners.

Most women may not get to be fashion models or travel writers like Amy, but those represent idealised versions of drifting-twenty-somethings jobs and settling-down jobs that many real young people do have (and Amy is contrasted with Rory, another type of real person, who saw he had a vocation very young and stuck with it). The point is that Moffatt's characters' lives are developing and changing in the ways that normal people's lives do, while RTD's characters' home lives were effectively in stasis, only changed by the fantastical.

I think it's a question of taste which version you prefer - I know there are people who like the idea of ordinary girls becoming kick-ass fantasy heroines, it's a very popular theme, and I really don't have a problem with that, though I wouldn't say it's my thing, really. The ongoing theme (that at least I detect) in the last few seasons that actually the marvellous is suffused throughout the everyday and dependent on it is much more to my taste.
posted by Grangousier at 5:43 PM on September 13, 2014 [14 favorites]

I like what you say about Moffat, but I think you're doing RTD a disservice in underplaying the extent to which he renovated the Doctor-companion relationship, and whose four seasons provided the foundation to give the show of Moffat's era the confidence it needed to engage in these more meandering narratives*. There's a direct line between "Rose" and "Listen."

I also disagree that RTD's companions are "in stasis" or that their families are just textural background. It's true that their arcs tend are of a more traditional coming-of-age type, hero goes on a quest and returns to their family ready to put their new skills to use, but there's something to be said for a clear-cut narrative arc in which you can expect important events to have immediate and real impact on a character's psychology and behavior. Just as one can argue that RTD's companion stories now seem a little simplistic and dated, you can also say that Moffat's slower, more thoughtful explorations have a tendency to turn into dead ends or narrative-breaking shortcuts, with confusing time skips and major consequences glossed over or relegated to webisodes. I'm still furious that Amy's reaction to losing Melody and River and Eleven's trip to the Singing Towers were considered "extras," and Clara's Impossible Girl status seems to be going the way of Rory as the Lone/Last Centurion -- though I'm holding out hope for her to meet one of her echoes somehow.

*And possibly to give producers the confidence to let the same three/four actors stick around and develop their characters' relationships for two and a half seasons on a show famous for its rotating cast? I don't know anything about behind-the-scenes casting, it's just a thought. Rose had two seasons, but she was there to ease the Eccleston-Tennant transition.
posted by bettafish at 6:37 PM on September 13, 2014

I noticed the glass too.

I also think this was a weird episode; not sure which side of the line I come down on yet.

What's with needling someone about probably having killed people? Repeatedly? (Needling, I mean, not killing.) I mean...bizarre. Is it horribly clunky writing trying to show that Clara is socially inept? Is Clara actually a horrible person? Is there some mystery strand going on that will erupt at some point? I don't know, but I find it irritating.
posted by wintersweet at 7:43 PM on September 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

On re-watch, I'm left wondering how exactly the TARDIS managed to find Gallifrey when it's been implied that the "pocket universe" had rendered it ordinarily inaccessible. So what, if you can't find something with the sonic, just stick Clara's hands in the telepathic interface?

I actually liked the meandering plot and ambiguity everywhere. The PTSD thing going on with Danny whenever anyone mentions killing seems like it's going to take us somewhere, though I have a feeling that with all the vagueness mentioned about "family stuff" and "reading", that somewhere is not going to be good for the Doctor.
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 9:22 PM on September 13, 2014

I don't think they're writing Clara as socially inept. She has served as a very good buffer between the Doctor and others, for instance. However, the show is placing a lot of emphasis on the difficulty that Pink and Clara have in communicating with each other. In typical TV fashion, that means A/they're soul mates or B/they're not meant to be together.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 9:23 PM on September 13, 2014

I actually love their awkwardness in general--it seems really realistic and human. It's that specific bit that seems out of place to me. But who knows...wait and see, I guess.
posted by wintersweet at 10:15 PM on September 13, 2014

For an old school, read-the-good-and-the-shit Virgin novels, I actually don't usually care much for deconstruction of the Doctor stories or meta-commentary about the show itself. But I really liked this one.

I thought both the build up with Danny and Clara's relationship and the glimpse into Danny's past actually worked very well, much better than it in "Into The Dalek" (and I thought it was fine last time)

I dug the whole thing about the importance of fear in making you a hero, and then they closed on the close paraphrase of one of my favorite lines ever. ("Fear makes companions of all of us”, so maybe it was just targeted right at me hopelessly.

I'm sure the TARDIS showing up in Doctor's past is going to be the bit that fandom can't get over, but I really liked it, mostly because I always love imagining what Gallifrey outside the Capital was like in the Doctor's youth and the scene reminded me of how the Third Doctor described a bit of his youth in "The Time Monster."

DOCTOR: Ah, well, that's another story. I'll tell you about it one day. The point is, that day was not only my blackest, it was also my best.
JO: Well, what do you mean?
DOCTOR: Well, when I was a little boy, we used to live in a house that was perched halfway up the top of a mountain. And behind our house, there sat under a tree an old man, a hermit, a monk. He'd lived under this tree for half his lifetime, so they said, and he'd learned the secret of life. So, when my black day came, I went and asked him to help me.
JO: And he told you the secret? Well, what was it?
DOCTOR: Well, I'm coming to that, Jo, in my own time. Ah, I'll never forget what it was like up there. All bleak and cold, it was. A few bare rocks with some weeds sprouting from them and some pathetic little patches of sludgy snow. It was just grey. Grey, grey, grey. Well, the tree the old man sat under, that was ancient and twisted and the old man himself was, he was as brittle and as dry as a leaf in the autumn.

I actually thought a lot about this in "Day of the Doctor" too, so when it was the same barn, I was smiling.

Of course, how they got to Gallifrey if it is still hidden is a whole mess of a situation that was a total continuity error or it will be an important plot point to how they find Gallifrey anew — or most likely it will be handwaved away when Gallifrey does return but as if that was the intention all the time because this is Doctor Who we're watching.

(Or actually they didn't really visit the Doctor but the weird telepathic way of steering the TARDIS was taking them to a recreation of the memory not the place itself, which doesn't explain either of the trips to the men of the Pink family, but who knows...)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:17 PM on September 13, 2014 [6 favorites]

Both Mr minsies and I were sure that he said his name was "Awesome Pink", not Orson Pink.

We liked the Where's Wally line as well.

I'm curious how the Dan the soldier man toy got to Rupert - did the Doctor drop it in the box among the other soldiers? I missed that if so.
posted by minsies at 12:38 AM on September 14, 2014 [8 favorites]

When the premise revealed itself, I thought, "Oh good, Moffat brought out his story." I've seen reviews refer to this episode as a coalescing of Moffat's themes, which is certainly an optimistic way to look at it. I guess I'm a pessimist, because I feel like if Moffat has managed to create a theme, it's been an accidental result of his beating a good idea into the ground.

Listen was a good episode, probably the best in a long while. It was funny, and scary, and tightly written while still allowing for character study. But it didn't really give us anything new, which is a disappointment.
posted by aedison at 3:35 AM on September 14, 2014

I may have just been in a bad mood when I sat down to watch it. I loved the cold open, liked the episode a little less every scene as it went on until about halfway through, when Orson (who I also thought was named "Awesome," which would have been hilarious) appeared, and then I just sighed. This is so much like stuff we saw with Amy and Rory and River that pretty much destroyed those characters in the name of Moffat's boundless enthusiasm for time travel convolutions. More to the point, though, it's so much like stuff we saw. I think I might like to see more stories that are mostly about things external to the main cast, and in specific light years distant from their childhoods and time-displaced babies.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:47 AM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just added the AV Club recap...the reviewer gave it an A, which is a fairly uncommon grade on the TV section site, reserved for "series best" episodes.

It's a very incisive review from a long-time fan who's not afraid to criticize the show when it deserves it, and it's worth a read even if you don't agree with the reviewer that this was the "best Doctor Who episode in years [and] the best story Steven Moffat has written for the show since The Eleventh Hour.”
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:29 AM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I liked this episode the most out of Season 8, and not just because I've had that dream (I haven't; it's this irrational fear right after I wake up in the middle of the night).

I like it that they continue to develop Clara's character and give her more to do, and I like Danny Pink's character. I could have done without revisiting Gallifrey, because my initial inclination is to let the Doctor's past remain a mystery, but Moffat handled that scene better than I expected.

I was glad the monster wasn't actually shown; I was expecting it to be something which in grand Moffat tradition either has no mouth (The Empty Child, The Clockwork Droids, The Silents) or has a lot of pointy teeth (The Weeping Angels, Prisoner Zero, The Smilers, The Snowmen, The Whisper Men).

On the downside, comments about Clara's appearance continue with barbs about her hips and face.

What did the patch on great-grandchild!Danny stand for?

I don't know. Maybe just reuse of a costume? Orson's space suit was the same as Eleven's in The Satan Pit.
posted by johnofjack at 7:34 AM on September 14, 2014

I came across this today in my Twitter timeline: Moffat Bingo card.

"Survive by controlling a natural impulse (blink, breath, fart...)".
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:38 AM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Survive by controlling a natural impulse (blink, breath, fart...)".

I can see it now ... "Hold It In," an episode featuring the return of the Slitheen.
posted by jbickers at 8:10 AM on September 14, 2014 [17 favorites]

Ian A.T.: "I just added the AV Club recap...the reviewer gave it an A, which is a fairly uncommon grade on the TV section site, reserved for "series best" episodes.

It's a very incisive review from a long-time fan who's not afraid to criticize the show when it deserves it, and it's worth a read even if you don't agree with the reviewer that this was the "best Doctor Who episode in years [and] the best story Steven Moffat has written for the show since The Eleventh Hour.”

Alaisdair Wilkins has been knocking it out of the park with his reviews this season. Also check out his podcast with Caroline Siede, Debating Doctor Who.
posted by bettafish at 8:36 AM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm still digesting it but I have to say I loved it, particularly the ongoing development of Clara. She was such a waste last season and she's been so good this season.

And Grangousier, you have really made me rethink my dislike of the sameyness of Moffat's companions, so thanks for that.
posted by immlass at 9:51 AM on September 14, 2014

I quite liked it, especially the spookiness of the first half because that can be something Moffat does very well, but I am bit confused about the latter half. Still, it's my favorite of the new season so far.

And yeah, Alisdair Wilkins' review on the AV club was really really quite excellent. It gave me a lot to think about in terms of my ambivalence of the latter part of the episode.
posted by Kitteh at 11:02 AM on September 14, 2014

You can see a face (shadowy, grey, large eyes and mouth) when the monster drops the sheet in Danny's bedroom and they're all facing the window. Something like "our" grey anus-probing aliens from Mars.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 11:09 AM on September 14, 2014

Whoops, I keep adding an extra i in there -- on the off chance Alasdair Wilkins ever ends up on MeFi, sorry!
posted by bettafish at 11:14 AM on September 14, 2014

Also, since nobody has mentioned it yet: nobody died ("just this once, Rose, everybody lives!") and there was no Missy appearance.
posted by immlass at 1:17 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I liked the bait-and-switch. Moffat made me think it was one of his creepy monster episodes, but it turned out there was no monster. It was Clara all along! I was afraid Moffat was going to tack on something about how because it was the Doctor's childhood fear, all his travelling through the Universe helping people psychically caused the universal bad dreams. But no, turns out it really just is a universal fear and the Doctor was as freaked out as we all would be if someone really grabbed us from under the bed.

What I didn't like is that Moffat simply can't stop himself from writing a time-loop paradox into simply everything. The Doctor's speech about fear being a superpower inspired Clara's speech, which in turn must have originally inspired the Doctor's speech. Here's a man who seems to think that painting himself into a corner is a clever trick. Maybe he just likes the look of footprints on the floor?

And, yes, it does seem to only be Moffat giving the Doctor so many lines telling Clara how horrible she looks. It's gotten to the point where I look forward to the episodes written by other people and I wince when a Moffat-written once comes up. But this one was better overall than I expected. I thought it would be warmed-over Blink leftovers, which is exactly what Steven Moffat wanted me to think.
posted by rikschell at 5:34 PM on September 14, 2014

There was a monster under the sheet.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 5:54 PM on September 14, 2014 [9 favorites]

Philip Sandifer's review.

I agree with Grangousier on the issue of the companions. I love that Clara (and, previously, the later-seasons Amy/Rory) have a real life, that they pop out to do adventures from time to time. Clara is becoming a strong character (in the linked-article sense) - she's constantly scared, anxious and occasionally awkward, but able to overcome that when the pressure is on, either on the adventure (as in Deep Breath) or in her normal life (going back to RupertDanny). Compare this to that weird one where she gets turned into a robot and has hacking skills or whatever. It's a sea change, and very welcome.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:27 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Listen" is an anagram of "silent." Just throwing that out there.
posted by speicus at 1:45 AM on September 15, 2014 [6 favorites]

Lemurrhea, thanks for that link, I like Sandifer's take on things, especially this post on Dr Who and feminism. I don't completely agree with him, but its nice to have a new perspective!
posted by Cannon Fodder at 3:08 AM on September 15, 2014

It was a good episode, but I have a hard time getting over how hell bent Moffat is on marking his territory over everything from the Doctor's beginnings to the literal ends of the universe. I wouldn't be surprised at this point if his own hand reaches out from underneath Clara's grandfather's bed and tells him to create the BBC.
posted by lucidium at 3:35 AM on September 15, 2014 [10 favorites]

lucidium: "I wouldn't be surprised at this point if his own hand reaches out from underneath Clara's grandfather's bed and tells him to create the BBC."

He's totally going to pull a "Stephen King writes himself into The Dark Tower" isn't he?

I also thought this episode was amazing, but I really really hope the snippet of the Doctor as a child is just left alone for a while. I'd like his childhood to stay a mystery for many years to come.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:50 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Tom & Lorenzo had a really great reaction to this episode that I thoroughly agree with: Great episode, but with ominous portents, given what we've seen in the past from Moffatt.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:17 AM on September 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

I liked the bait-and-switch. Moffat made me think it was one of his creepy monster episodes, but it turned out there was no monster. It was Clara all along!

But, there was a monster!

I enjoyed elements of the show, such again, giving Clara a much longer leash away from the Doctor and the opportunity to be Clara and not Companion in Tow Clara. I was actually enjoying the suspense of the Listeners when the episode decided to veer to juvie Doc, sleeping in a barn. One of my favorite touches was the night watchman finding his coffee gone and the immediate cut to the Doctor drinking it as he walked away.

I think the episode would have worked better for the ending, if it had never set such a stage (such as showing the monster out of focus) for it to be a creepy monster episode. If it had been entirely on tension and misdirection, deciding at the end it was just fear and nothing more, it would have worked so much better. It may not have been as suspenseful or creepy, but that's just the bill you have to pay.

It may be that mind isn't as open as it should be to accept the sudden left turn at the end, but as a result, I would say it was generally a fine meal, but the dessert was mediocre.
posted by Atreides at 7:20 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am in agreement. The end was a let down. I feel like Moffat didn't know how to end it, so stapled that ending on. It was so contrived and didn't answer why people have that dream. Unless Clara becomes some Face of Boe-like immortal being that haunts people under the bed and the blanket monster was Clara the whole time.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:31 AM on September 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Or, I suppose, the doctor, when he gets to the end of time goes crazy alone and heads back through time, emulating the thing that terrified him as a child...
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:35 AM on September 15, 2014

Regardless of how evolution actually works, I really liked the intro on hunters, defenders, and hiders. But because I liked that so much, it was sort of a shame to see the idea of perfect hiders wrangled into hiding-under-the-bed-and-grabbing-your-leg-and-maybe-sometimes-deciding-to-go-on-top-of-the-bed-under-a-blanket-and-maybe-being-really-really-dangerous-if-you-see-them, because, uh, that's not very good hiding (let alone evolutionarily perfected hiding).

Also: a couple episodes back I felt weirded out by the one overtly sexist bit of dialog, but felt okay with the doctor being generally mean to Clara, and maybe even liked it, his gruffness. But this episode was really over the top on that front and felt unavoidably like classic pickup-artist body-shaming negging (as others were keen enough to point out earlier). It happened four or five times this week? It's extra frustrating, I think, because this is meant to be a kids show, right?
posted by nobody at 9:05 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I liked this episode quite a bit. This episode felt more as though Capaldi is the Doctor (as opposed to Capaldi is trying to play the Doctor). I appreciated that there was no monster, that it was just something the Doctor was personally freaked out about, and it took longer than expected for the fridge logic to kick in with respect to the thing on Rupert's bed. The girlfriend and I were baffled about the toy soldier -- did the Doctor simply not notice it in Rupert's room? Did he plant it there at some point? With this episode, however, I feel a lot more forgiving about these plot holes -- maybe because the episode in some ways felt more like Old Who, particularly with the antisocial Doctor alarming people for his own amusement (like taking the night watchman's coffee) and the bad guy turning out to not be a bad guy at all. It's not like Old Who wasn't rife with plot holes (or, for that matter, convenient Time Lord psychic abilities).

I've been assuming that the Doctor's negative comments about Clara's appearance are an attempt to play up his alien-ness. As it stands, however, I agree that it certainly does look a bit like negging. I don't think that is the intention. It would be nice if he had other humans with whom to interact (and, thus, insult) regularly so I could be certain of this.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:20 AM on September 15, 2014

Oh, yeah, has the doctor always been able to put people to sleep by touching their foreheads?
posted by nobody at 9:28 AM on September 15, 2014

nobody: I'm almost positive I've seen him do that before. I can't remember when, though. Maybe in one of the old serials?
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:01 AM on September 15, 2014

I don't know about insta-sleep, but it's established that The Doctor has conveniently vague low-level psychic powers. For example, in The Lodger he headbutts his history into Craig. The powers have been the psychic equivalent of the sonic screwdriver: ill-defined capabilities, inconsistently applied, there to get the writers out of a jam, forgotten about otherwise. That's not a complaint, though...I love that a show with a fifty year history hasn't precisely defined everything, leaving room for little thrown-in jokes like "Once upon a time, the end."

Speaking of the sonic, I loved The Doctor's annoyed momentary befuddlement after picking up a non-sonic screwdiver.

Two things I caught on rewatch:

First, when Danny and Clara are talking about how their date has been delayed so long, he says that he was dealing with "family stuff." Yet later in the episode we learn that he at least spent some time in a children's home as a kid. There are plenty of explanations: he was lying to cover up his nervous embarrassment; he was later adopted and now dealing with "adoptive family stuff"; he is/was in touch with his family in spite of not living with him when he was younger; etc.

However, since we literally meet a time-traveling member of his family this episode, I have a feeling him dealing with "family stuff" isn't a throwaway line. It would be very Moffattian to have a flashback later in the season that puts Danny's side of this period in a different context.

Oh, maybe Orson and Danny are the same person. That explains why Orson is wearing his spacesuit...because the Doctor is afraid of the "catastrophic consequences" if they saw each other. Not sure how I'd feel about that twist, though...

Second, when Clara enters Danny's room, she asks him why he only has one chair and where people sit when he has guests. "On the bed." Okay, this is toooootally a stretch, but you could read that as The Doctor having been in the room before the Monster / Prankster came in, and therefore "in on it" in a way we don't otherwise see. He was already sitting in the chair looking for Wally, so whatever came in had to sit on the bed.

(I really don't think this is the case, by the way, just thought it was a neat conjecture.)

I legitimately choked up when we got the flashback to the War Doctor going back to place he felt safest, the place he always went when he was afraid and didn't want to be a soldier.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:07 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Regarding the toy soldier - the toy originates with Rupert/Danny, who takes it out of a box. Danny keeps the soldier into adulthood where it eventually gets passed down to Orson. Orson gives it to Clara who gives it to the young Doctor. It is left ambiguous if the Twelfth Doctor recognizes or remembers the toy soldier from his childhood.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:41 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Or, I suppose, the doctor, when he gets to the end of time goes crazy alone and heads back through time, emulating the thing that terrified him as a child...

There was a brief moment, in the second half of the episode, where I wondered if Moffat was building up to an ending where the "monster" turned out to be a very, very, VERY old future version of the Doctor...older than the (implied) future Doctor Tom Baker appeared as in "Day of the Doctor". Basically just a Doctor who was so old that he had become a mere shadow, little more than a living memory, no longer overtly fighting monsters and rescuing worlds, just traveling quietly, persistently, maybe even desperately, in search of some mysterious horror creeping underneath the Universe's beds (the One That Got Away, so to speak) not even realizing that he has become the thing he's looking for...

I guess in the end Moffat decided to go in exactly the opposite direction (with a slight rewrite of the Series 5 ending thrown in for good measure). That works too, I suppose.
posted by DiscountDeity at 11:07 AM on September 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

It was so contrived and didn't answer why people have that dream. Unless Clara becomes some Face of Boe-like immortal being that haunts people under the bed and the blanket monster was Clara the whole time.

It would be a dark and twisted ending for Clara, but rather awesome in the execution.

Regarding the toy soldier - the toy originates with Rupert/Danny, who takes it out of a box. Danny keeps the soldier into adulthood where it eventually gets passed down to Orson. Orson gives it to Clara who gives it to the young Doctor. It is left ambiguous if the Twelfth Doctor recognizes or remembers the toy soldier from his childhood.

I was kind of expecting the Doctor to pull it out at the end like Doc Brown and his letter from Marty.
posted by Atreides at 11:39 AM on September 15, 2014

I didn't catch this until my second viewing, but the very last shot of the episode is Capaldi's hand placing the soldier on a ledge or shelf, and a starfield fading in behind it.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:50 AM on September 15, 2014

Mark my words, we've not seen the last of that toy soldier.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:33 PM on September 15, 2014

I've been assuming that the Doctor's negative comments about Clara's appearance are an attempt to play up his alien-ness. As it stands, however, I agree that it certainly does look a bit like negging.

The thing about all the Doctor's comments about Clara's appearance, which on top of all the ick reasons about them just plain aren't funny jokes, is that they are almost verbatim the most common comments one saw about Jenna Coleman when she was first cast and throughout the first season. I can almost imagine this being some sort of in-joke among the cast and crew that even Coleman herself was a part of or encouraging. But even if that's the case (and it's a big stretch I realize), it doesn't work on screen.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:23 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've been assuming that the Doctor's negative comments about Clara's appearance are an attempt to play up his alien-ness. As it stands, however, I agree that it certainly does look a bit like negging.

The thing is, I can see how the comments could be viewed as harmless teasing of the sort many friend groups engage in, and some of the comments do just fall under the heading of "fun banter" to me. But they've frankly gotten excessive, and they throw me out of the show every time. I honestly don't think Moffat is aware of how gross such comments come off. But for me and many others, we're putting ourselves in Clara's shoes and considering how we'd react to such comments. I don't know about everyone else, but if I was getting such comments from an older man, even one I considered a close friend or family member, I'd be pissed off and hurt. The power dynamic at play there is unavoidable.

Aside from that nagging annoyance, I have started enjoying this season more thanks to this episode. I don't even mind the plot holes, "Listen," just worked for me on an emotional level. And yeah, that flashback to the War Doctor wrenched a lot of emotion out of me and I thought it was enormously well done. It adds some great resonance to the 50th anniversary special too.
posted by yasaman at 3:07 PM on September 15, 2014

Okay, but what was under the fucking bedspread, y'all?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:20 PM on September 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

I was sure it was a Silence.
posted by nonane at 3:33 PM on September 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Bit of a belated reply, Bettafish, but I've been thinking about it.

Yes, you're right, I shouldn't have been so dismissive of RTD. I do have huge respect for his energy and passion, and what he did (especially with Rose) was a huge breath of fresh air compared to the Classic series ("Oh, by the way, Peri's dead ... no, wait, she's married to Brian Blessed ... in any case, she's not coming back. Meet Bonnie Langford.") What has been done in the last few seasons was definitely a development from (and perhaps a reply to) what he did with his companions. I do still believe, though that it's the case that his characters can only develop by escaping real life: Rose discovers that her father is still alive in a parallel universe (and has become a billionaire), and relocates there with her mother to become a kick-ass action hero; Martha abandons her ambition to become a doctor to become a kick-ass action hero, marrying Mickey, who has transitioned from comedy layabout to kick-ass action hero; Donna is returned to her everyday life unchanged (apart from the fact that the Doctor convinces her mother to be a bit nicer to her), the Doctor finally saving her by giving her a winning lottery ticket. Davros is right to tell the Doctor that he generally turns his companions into soldiers.

Which is all fine, really. Apart from the Donna bit, which is infuriating and sad (though I'm not sure that fiction shouldn't be infuriating and sad, sometimes). But that's one approach, and it's a solid action/fantasy approach. It's just that the approach with Amy and (apparently) Clara seems to be quite different.

I think Moffatt has been trying to put the companions at the centre of the narratives to a far greater extent than RTD did with Rose or Donna. Although I can see that the way it's been done is annoying to many, I don't think it's a bad idea. So Amy's story is the story of her youth, from childhood to settling down, and then she grows up and goes away (like Christopher Robin, I suppose). When she moves into her own story, she's banished from the story in which she's merely a very prominent supporting character. Similarly, River is identified with the Doctor (symbolised by deliberately acquiring the same honorific), and when she graduates from him (symbolised by her promotion to Professor and her release from prison),* she disappears from the narrative. Until her death, of course.**

My suspicion is that what is happening with Clara is even more radical - we've already seen her parents before she was born (the whole leaf business) and her birth and childhood, and we've seen a character who may very well be one of her descendants. I wonder whether we're not going to see her whole life. Her story, in some ways is the Doctor's story - c.f. The Name of the Doctor. I wonder whether we're not going to see her in old age as well - he's going to visit Clara, not realising that he's doing it wildly out of sequence, and we're only seeing his visits in sequence (a sort of reverse River narrative), and some of the rather odd comments he's making might be entirely appropriate, if still a little personal. Which is all a bit tricksy and timey-wimey, and, yes, Audrey Niffenegger probably ought to be claiming royalties, but it does seem to be something Moffatt is fascinated with, and it shouldn't upset the individual stories we watch, really. If I'm right, and we do see Clara's death in old age, surrounded by her loving family, would that be a bad thing?

(Well, yes, death is sad - I mean would it be a dramatically or narratively bad thing?)

I realise that that's all conjecture, though. Not even conjecture. Fevered fanboy fantasy. But still. I do think that Stephen Moffatt (is he ph or v, I keep forgetting?) is taking the responsibilities of writing the companion very seriously, and trying to do justice to characters who were, traditionally, little more than disposable (with honourable exceptions). However, yes, he's doing it in a way that's an affront in some quarters, and an annoyance in others and impenetrable in still others.

I'm a perverse enough person to think that that's a good thing, though.

*And it's interesting that being in the Doctor's story is represented by a prison.

**The Paternosters seem to be in their own narrative, happy to pop up occasionally in the Doctor's as guest stars, but not subject to his story.
posted by Grangousier at 4:37 PM on September 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

(There really is no evidence for my conjecture, is there. Sigh. Please do pardon my fantasy projection.)
posted by Grangousier at 4:47 PM on September 15, 2014

Actually, Grangousier, I think you might be onto something. Moffat's been setting up a lot of parallels between Clara and the Doctor (a Doctor, if not necessarily Twelve):

- Clara's identified as "the asking-questions one" and "the carer;" both times in dialogue that frames her as the opposite of the Doctor, but really, what does he do besides run around asking questions and aggressively caring about things at people?
- She has a particular affinity for scared children -- something the Twelfth Doctor's lost or repressed but which is an important drive for both Eleven and the War Doctor, the other two Doctors Clara is closest to
- She uses her fear as a superpower and retroactively inspires the Doctor to do the same (which, yes, was convenient, but on the other hand if there's any companion who'd understand the power of that speech, it's Clara)
- She meets people asynchronously
- She's essentially died and regenerated any number of times, and because of that people have had trouble seeing her for who she really is

And then there was that speech of Robin Hood's about inspiring the people who believe in your legend to be heroes in their own right. It's as though the Twelfth Doctor is outsourcing his Doctorishness.
posted by bettafish at 5:26 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think Clara's being really explicitly positioned as a teacher in this season, more than anything else, and I don't just mean her day job. The companions have always been the Doctor's "carer" ("she cares so I don't have to") or the Doctor's unjaded view into the wonders of the universe (see the Eleventh Doctor's speech to Amy about how she and the companions help him "see" the universe as more than just his "backyard"). But Clara has been in more of a teacher role with the doctor this season. I was especially struck by it in the Dalek episode, where she was so insistent about how "that is not what we have learned today!" about the Doctor writing off the possibility of a good Dalek. And then in "Listen," we see it's Clara who taught the Doctor about the value of fear.

We've seen Clara as a nanny, governess, and teacher, and while those are all caretaking roles, they're also roles that are about teaching. Clara is usually shown explicitly teaching children, but I'd argue that she's currently kind of the Doctor's teacher too. Clara is being defined by her job in a way no companion since Martha has been, and Martha was paralleled to the Doctor before she left. But if Clara had a Time Lord name, it wouldn't be the Doctor. It would be the Teacher. Which is interesting when you contrast her with the Doctor, who has after all been called the Professor, and the Master.

I don't know where I'm going with this, but it's just something I noticed, and it's part of why I'm really liking Clara more this season. Her being a teacher to the Doctor is thus far way more interesting than her being the Impossible Girl.
posted by yasaman at 5:59 PM on September 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm not really convinced the companions require some sort of almost invariably bittersweet ending, or really any ending. I mean, you can argue that this is a show about a person who travels across time and space, so it seems fitting that he would witness the end of his friends' lives...I guess if he were some sort of incredibly morbid Space Morrissey or something...but the show has said over and over that time is mutable and fluid, so how definite is a person's death, really? It basically depends on what the person writing it feels like that day. I'm not really sure what's wrong with a person just getting on with his or her life. This isn't Breaking Bad, it's a show about a magical extraterrestrial elf who has adventures. I feel like this has all become a bit gravitas-soaked, you know?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:14 PM on September 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

Sorry -- I don't mean to detract from what people enjoy about the show. I just feel like it's something that could benefit a lot from taking itself a little less seriously.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:31 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Clara is in her flat. She goes into the bathroom and closes the door behind her. Suddenly Doctor Who pops out from behind the shower curtain

Doctor Who: Clara, are you alone?
Clara: I was!
Doctor Who: And yet look...

Doctor Who points at the bathroom door.

Clara: It's... a door?
Doctor Who: And? And?
Clara: And... What, exactly, am I supposed to be looking at, Doctor?
Doctor Who: If someone believes they're truly alone in the house, why would they lock the bathroom door behind them.
Clara: Habit?
Doctor Who: What if they don't believe they're truly alone at all?
Clara: No, I'm definitely sure it's just out of habit.

Cut to: Doctor Who and Clara are in the TARDIS control room. Doctor Who is pressing buttons and pulling levers on the control panel.

Doctor Who: What's the first thing you see when you sit down on the toilet? The door! And what do doors do? They open! And when are we at our most vulnerable? When they're on the toilet. Now imagine if outside every bathroom door there is a monster that wants to eat you. If you didn't lock that door, it'd kick it open and catch you with your trousers down and you'd have no chance to fight back.
Clara: And that's why we lock the bathroom door? Because they're are monsters in our house that only come out when no-one else is around and you're sitting on the toilet on your own?
Doctor Who: Exactly.
Clara: Doctor, do you think that maybe you're the monster? I mean, it was you that appeared in my bathroom.
Doctor Who: Don't be absurd. It's the most common fear in the world, imagining someone bursting in on you while you're sat there. It's terrifying.
Clara: Anyway, Doctor, can you stop somewhere right now because I really really need the toilet.
Doctor Who: We can't stop now. I don't know where we are.
Clara: I really don't care.

Clara reaches across the control panel and pulls on a swanee whistle, causing the TARDIS to dematerialise instantly.

Doctor Who: Clara what have you done? That's the emergency toilet stop. We could be near any public convenience in the entire universe.
Clara: Sorry, Doctor. I'll just be a mo.

Clara runs out of the TARDIS into a row of shabby looking toilet cubicles. She kicks the nearest one open. It flies open, hitting a schoolboy who was sat there on the head and knocking him out. As he slumps back he drops a marker pen on the floor.

Clara: Oh my, I'm so sorry.

Clara moves to the next cubicle, finds it empty, and shuts the door.

The camera switches to a viewpoint just behind the slumped form of the boy. As the toilet in the next cubicle flushes he begins to wake. We hear the TARDIS huff its way back into space, and as the boy leaves the door swings back shut and we see that the graffiti he was writing on the wall says:


Also then we see a sign saying GALLIFREY SCHOOL FOR BOYS above the exit. Also we see that the marker pen was actually a sonic screwdriver. And then text whooshes in to the screen saying THE BOY WAS DOCTOR WHO, followed almost instantly by NEXT WEEK and a picture of a Dalek emerging from a toilet cubicle

posted by dng at 9:49 AM on September 16, 2014 [22 favorites]

<Orson Welles clapping GIF>
posted by Rock Steady at 10:06 AM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

With Ian A.T.'s comment in mind I watched Listen a second time last night and that was a nice bit of (mis)direction at the end where Clara tells the child Doctor she is leaving him something and we see a hand placing the toy soldier on a ledge. We are meant to think that is Clara leaving the soldier but the hand is clearly the Doctor's.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:46 AM on September 16, 2014

So what did Clara leave him?
posted by Rock Steady at 10:48 AM on September 16, 2014

Clara left the young Doctor the toy soldier, but we don't actually see her leaving it. Twelve putting it on the ledge shows he has kept it his entire life.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:53 AM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

We know that Clara was the hand under the bed and the story. Great. But, the chalk falling on the floor and the writing on the chalkboard, we're all agreed that was the monster under the sheet, yes?

And why did the Doctor and Clara just let it all go at the end? No follow-up.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:57 PM on September 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

"Don't look now round".
posted by aesop at 7:19 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ik ben afgesneden, my thought was that while alone outside the TARDIS, at the strangely-restaurantless end of the universe, that the doctor learned something about the boogie men for whom he was searching; he deliberately let the whole thing drop because he needs to prepare/he lost all memory of them/because they'll get resolved at the end of the season.
posted by The Gaffer at 1:25 PM on September 17, 2014

There is no follow-up because there is nothing to follow-up on. He doesn't let on, but the Doctor knows the toy soldier Clara gives Rupert right after his "fear is a superpower" pep talk is the toy given to him by Clara when he was a child. The Doctor claims to have found Orson via traces of Clara's memory, but it seems just as likely that he sought out Orson (especially in light of his offer to go into the future to check out the guy Clara was on a date with) because he knows the soldier has to be passed from Orson to Clara for her to give it to the Doctor and complete the ontological paradox.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:59 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Gaffer, I'll go with "they lost all memory of the monster." That I can understand and it's my personal theory as well. (Moffat does like to bring back his creations though so I suppose anything is possible.)

Plastic_animals, I see what you're getting at but there was an actual Thing.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:49 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Totally and definitely a thing.
posted by Atreides at 7:40 AM on September 18, 2014

What would be interesting is if the premise was somehow that the audience, too, is subject to the same psychological conviction as the characters. The thing on the bed under the red duvet wasn't actually there - they all saw it and we all saw it, but it was our brains playing tricks on us.

Which I don't think the show will ever actually do, mind you - there is an implicit contract that what the audience sees is "real" in the world of the show, unless we are directed into the point of view of a character for a specific scene. Watching the thing on the bed appear behind all three characters while they're standing at the window would violate that. But it would be a magnificent mindfuck if they could pull it off.
posted by marginaliana at 9:53 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had to watch the end a couple more times and I was wrong. That is Clara's hand leaving the toy soldier, not the Doctor's. It's her ring and her nails.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:05 PM on September 18, 2014

I'm worried about what might happen when the Doctor finds out Clara has been lying to him about whether she has any connection to Rupert and Orson.

I'm also worried for Danny, especially in light of the series finale's title, even if I don't know why I like him so much. He hasn't had much screen time yet (though I feel like he's been much better characterized even in the small amount of time he's had than Clara was in almost all of Series 7).
posted by johnofjack at 6:28 PM on September 18, 2014

I have to assume the Doctor is smart enough to realize that Clara has been fibbing about Rupert and Orson. Though, technically, he hasn't seen Rupert's face, has he?
posted by Atreides at 7:13 AM on September 19, 2014

Rupert's, yes. Unless you mean Danny's/Rupert's face as an adult, in which case no, or at least not that we've been shown.

12 doesn't seem as attuned to the nuances of human interaction as the others were on their best days. 4 and 11 frequently didn't seem to get human interaction, either, but they could tell when someone was lying. 12, I don't know yet.
posted by johnofjack at 7:56 AM on September 19, 2014

I'm not saying you're wrong (and I love that aspect of this Doctor) but in this episode he knew that Orson was lying: "There are only three people in the universe and you’re lying to the other two."
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:10 AM on September 19, 2014

That's a good point. I'd forgotten that line.
posted by johnofjack at 9:38 AM on September 19, 2014

So, did you have dreams like that as a kid? My most recurring nightmare was of 'the hand' which would come out of the cushions or corner of the room. Sometimes big and hairy, sometimes looked just like my own. It would try to pull me down into the couch, or whatever. Is this a very common nightmare?

This was one of my absolute favorite episodes of new Who. I loved the pacing, I loved the misdirection.

Was the implication that the young Doctor was also in an orphanage? Or did he just have brothers in the house?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:18 PM on September 23, 2014

I never had that dream or any dream like it, even when I was exposed to the scene in Poltergeist with the clown when I was rather young and impressionable. Which again, made this episode's focus on dreams a bit weak for me, as I never thought, "OH YEAH, THAT NIGHTMARE I HAD."
posted by Atreides at 9:26 AM on September 24, 2014

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