The Doctor deals with some of his own personal monsters and we learn a bit more about Danny Pink in Listen
We begin with The Doctor proposing a theory that just as nature has produced perfect hunters there may also exist a creature which has evolved to be the perfect hider. He suggests these creatures are the cause of a dream shared by all people where a hand grabs you from under the bed.
Using a telepathic link with Clara to direct the TARDIS, The Doctor hopes to find a point in her life when she had the dream, and therefore discover the creature. Unfortunately, Clara gets distracted by the embarrassing aftermath of her fairly disastrous first date with Danny Pink, and things don’t go according to plan.
This was an interesting concept for a story and I think overall it was executed quite well. Initially I felt a bit short-changed after there was no confirmed monster, but it is actually quite a refreshing change. There were several hints that indicate there was no creature at all, with each bit of evidence for it being paired with a rational explanation, but at the same time we just can’t be sure.
I think it’s a testament to the concept and the writing that there is already heated debated raging online about whether there was or wasn’t a creature. I’ve said it before and I’ll likely say it again, Steven Moffat can write. Where he falls down is his insistence on pushing these grand, overarching stories and tying everything together. Which leads into my one real issue with this episode. The connection to Day of the Doctor. It just seemed a bit gratuitous to me.
On a similar note, is Gallifrey not time locked any more? How was the TARDIS able to get to that point in The Doctor’s timeline? Perhaps it was just a special quirk of Clara’s because she has been spliced throughout The Doctor’s timeline, but it feels like they are forgetting some important canon there.
In the end, this whole episode felt like a bit of a nothingness. We got some interesting insights into both The Doctor and Danny Pink, and it was yet again Clara’s knack with kids that won the day, but overall it was a much slower pace than we’ve seen recently with not a great deal of excitement. Not that that’s inherently a bad thing, but we maybe need a bit more to hook the audience. And with no definite resolution, we are left without so much a story as a collection of things that happened and some unanswered questions. As I said, not everything needs to be answered, but this kind of felt unfinished.