Mummy on the Orient Express: a review of a Doctor Who episode

Spoilers Sweetie! Go watch the episode first.

Peter Capaldi

Are you my mummy?

I found this episode much more fun than I was expecting for a ‘monster of the week’ episode. I am certain that this was a deliberate ‘rest’ from the much more serious tone of last week’s episode. My two favourite moments of dialogue were the ‘Are you my mummy?’ spoken by the Doctor when studying the death-dealing vision of a Egyptian-mummy-analogue, and again, when the Doctor agrees with Perkins that a job on the TARDIS would ‘change a man’. Self-referential jokes have to be clever and unexpected to work. I was actually expecting some humour relating to the previous Agatha Christie episode, The Unicorn and the Wasp, so a joke made on the first series double episode The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances was a bonus for me. And am I the only person the think of Auden’s poem with the ‘stop the clock’ statements.

Right up, can I say that Clara’s dress and pyjamas on the train were simply gorgeous. It is a pity she can’t dress in period clothing more often. And Clara’s changeable attitude to the Doctor both annoys me and makes sense. After all, I think she should be more trusting of the Doctor as she has known him for a while, and she knows the man underneath the new face is still the same man. Still, I’m glad this wasn’t her actual last trip with the Doctor, as I am still keen to see how her relationship with Danny works out. Danny seems to be her sea anchor and voice of reason, which is odd since that was previously her role for the Doctor. It does worry me that is still lying to the Doctor, as I can see no good coming from that.

Now, the big questions of the episode revolved around Gus. Who the hell is Gus, and how come he/it/she has the ability to contact the Doctor in the TARDIS? And why doesn’t that send a red flag up with the Doctor? I was quite horrified with Gus’s tactics to get the team of experts to work, as it really seemed quite unnecessary to motivate them more with lives already at stake. He is obviously a Big Bad Villain, and yet the Doctor didn’t seem too excited by the fact that it was Gus who was calling all the shots.

And just where was Missy? Somebody tried to tell me that Missy is a future version of Clara, but I don’t see it. What do you think?
Perkins was the real treasure of the episode. I hope we come across Perkins again, and not just because he was an engineer on a Science Fiction version of a train. The Doctor is usually the smartest person in the room … but not with Perkins around.

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4 Comments

Filed under Doctor Who, Review

4 responses to “Mummy on the Orient Express: a review of a Doctor Who episode

  1. Of course, “Albert Perks” was the name of the station master in The Railway Children – played by Bernard Cribbins. Which might be a coincidence…

  2. Laura Jones

    I really enjoyed reading this! I’ve started following you, I’m looking forward to reading more posts!

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