Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live life with a Franciscan focus.
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19 October 2014

Doctor Who's "Flatline": Meatless as well as Boneless 

Watched the latest Who episode, "Flatline", earlier today, and while we think it's one of the more solid post-2005 episodes and harks back to earlier, better storytelling, Husband Mike pointed out that it was still unfortunately rather superficial in ...

SPOILERS!
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... its treatment of the Boneless.

As he pointed out, the episode was patterned on A) brief discussion/pondering of the Boneless, B) RUNNING!, A) superficial discussion with bickering between the Doctor and Clara, B) MOAR RUNNING!, A) bickering, B) ::LE RUN RUN:: ... and so on. Pre-2005 Who would've taken the time to more densely explore the whole concept of those aliens and their existence. It would've been more on the science fiction end of things; it would've had more meat to it.

I did love how Clara shifted into behaving and interacting with the Doctor more like Romana (the First) did -- that was fun. And I'm still very much liking the way that Capaldi's handling his characterization of Thirteen. Okay, fine, Twelve. I keep wanting to bump it because of the War Doctor. :-P

What we didn't love was the missed opportunity to have this episode explore how Clara could better understand the Doctor's point of view. You've got her running around "being" the Doctor, in a sense, and so you'd think that'd lead to some insight and further discussion with the Doctor at the end. Especially when she makes a point of saying how she doesn't wanna lose anyone, and yet, 3 of the guys who are with her do, in fact, bite it.

So, you'd think that at the end of the episode, she'd show some upset over not keeping them alive like she explicitly said she wanted to do. But nope! No reaction from her at all over their death. Really? No remorse? No sadness? No, "I couldn't save them -- how do you deal with it, Doctor?" ?

That would've been the perfect opportunity for her to talk with the Doctor about what it's like to be in that position -- of trying to save people, and knowing you can't save them all. He could've even referenced the previous Mummy-on-the-train episode, saying something about how of course he cared about everyone, but that he couldn't let those feelings overwhelm him while in the thick of things, otherwise, he'd shut down and be unable to save the ones he could.

The post-2005 series just continues to fritter away so many missed opportunities for greatness. :-(

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