This week's episode is pure filler, but filler can be fun too.
This week's Doctor Who is really just filler: it's a chance for the show to stop and take a deep breath before the sprint through the last two episodes of season 8. As such, not a whole lot happens.... but the episode does have some important character beats with The Doctor, Clara, and Danny. Capaldi finally feels like he's hit his stride with a version of The Doctor who's alien and strange, but also caring and relatable -- pairing him up with a young Coal Hill School student, Maebh, provides an entertaining contrast to his gruffness... and seems to give him an excuse to be a bit softer than he might normally be.
The story isn't perfect: it continues to push a jealousy between Danny and The Doctor which is more annoying than entertaining and one has to wonder how it's possible for Danny not to be on to Clara's sideline of adventuring (especially after last episode)... but minor flaws aside, this week's installment is a lot of fun.
Interestingly, as the rough edges seem to wear away from The Doctor's character, Clara is more like the darker side of The Doctor every episode.... coincidence? With Steven Moffat in charge, few things are. But wither it is or it isn't, we'll find out just what's happening with Clara and Missy as the season comes to an end.
You can see new episodes of Doctor Who on Saturday nights on BBC America -- though cord-cutters will have to pick up the current season on iTunes or Amazon Instant. If you want to catch up on earlier seasons, they can be found on both Netflix and Hulu.
To get you up to speed for this episode, in the last episode we saw:
- The Doctor gets trapped in the TARDIS while Clara has to take on his role and save people from the thoroughly creepy monster of the week, The Boneless. (More definite articles -- and we get another one this week.)
- We learned a lot about why The Doctor acts the way he does, as he coached Clara through an episode of being him.
- Clara's been telling both Danny and The Doctor fairly ridiculous lies because Danny thinks Clara's done with time travel and The Doctor thinks Danny's okay with Clara's adventures in the TARDIS. That's probably going to come back to bite her soon. As in now.
- The Doctor finally gets a proper "Doctor" speech where he tells off an alien threat because the Earth is under his protection.
- Mystery woman Missy makes a brief appearance at the end of the episode to suggest that Clara isn't all that she seems, which probably won't lead anywhere good.
Now, on to the latest episode: "In The Forest Of The Night." Spoilers follow!